Thursday, September 10, 2015

Curse of the Faceless Man, Love Never Died in Pompeii

Washington, DC....New York,..Detroit....Philadelphia... formerly great American cities.  As America plunges into mediocrity and political correctness, it is safe to say those four cities are dead and never coming back.  Their demise hardly strokes the imagination as Pompeii does.  2000 years ago, Mount Vesuvius exploded, burying everything and everyone in volcanic ash.  Those trying to flee the flaming ash dove into the sea, the modern day Bay of Naples, only to be boiled by scalding water. Unlike the large cities of today, Pompeii's destruction occurred as the city thrived.  1958's "Curse of the Faceless Man" tells the story of a gladiator, buried in ash and stone, but kept alive by a taboo love.
Dr. Fiorillo (Luis Van Rooten) and his beautiful daughter, Maria (Adele Mara), are called in when a man encased in stone is found during an excavation at Pompeii.  The curious find is clutching a box of jewels and is transported back to Fiorillo's lab.  Uh oh...on the way to the lab, the stone man re-animates and kills the driver.  When authorities arrive, our stone friend is once again inanimate.  Dr. Paul Mallon (Richard Anderson of "The Six Million Dollar Man" fame) is called in, though I'm not sure why.  Double uh-oh....Paul and Maria used to be quite the item.  Triple uh-oh...Paul is now engaged to the ravishing Tina (Elaine Edwards).  Quadruple uh-oh....Tina is actually the reincarnated love of a slave/gladiator, known now as the stone man.  It seems the two were going to flee together when Vesuvius dealt it's fatal hand.
Meanwhile, Tina begins having strange dreams.  She has visions of the mysterious deaths that begin to occur whenever someone is alone with the stone man.  She also has visions of ancient Pompeii, and her frolics with her gladiator beau.  Paul, a skeptic, will try anything to save his girl from the apparent spell that has overtaken her.  As Paul, Maria, and the doctor research the black arts of ancient Egypt, the stone man gets more powerful and makes a bee-line through the streets of modern day Pompeii to find his long lost love. 
As the fiend embarks on a murderous trek to reclaim his ancient love, our trio must act fast as they are already a few steps behind.  What does the stone man ultimately have planed for Tina?  Is the stone man an avenue for Maria to get Paul back?  As the election season begins you will hear a lot of talk on how to rejuvenate our lost cities....ignore it, they ain't coming back.  Gone for 2,000 years, Pompeii has come back....though strictly in our imaginations.  In "Curse of the Faceless Man," love surviving after death is Pompeii's legacy.

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