Maya (1988)

Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Opening with a quote from Carlos Casteneda, this international horror-adventure from Italian director Marcello Avallone (Spettri) was filmed in Venezuela with an English-language soundtrack. Horror veteran William Berger stars as Dr. Slivak, who is murdered while undertaking a study of a Mayan pyramid. A number of bizarre supernatural murders follow, while Slivak's daughter (Mariella Valentini) and old friend (Peter Phelps) attempt to solve the mystery. Avallone loads the story with sex and blood, as a strange force emerges from mirrors to split people's noses open, rip their skin with sharp hooks, and so forth. There's even a cockfight and an exorcism which concludes with the victim vomiting live snakes in a scene reminiscent of Asian horror films like Black Magic. The various elements revolve around a Mayan legend which prophesies the return of both an 8th century king and the God of the Dead during a Day of the Dead festival around the pyramid, setting the stage for a colorful climax. Mirella D'Angelo co-stars.