Curse of the Faceless Man


1h 7m 1958

Brief Synopsis

An ancient Roman gladiator returns to life to find his lost love.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Vogue Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Synopsis

During an expedition to explore the remains of the ancient Italian city of Pompeii, a workman unearths a jewel box and a mummified body, which is quickly ascertained to be a victim of the infamous volcanic eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the city nearly two thousand years earlier. In Naples, Dr. Carlo Fiorella, head curator for the Museum of Pompeii, summons ancient history expert Dr. Paul Mallon to work with his daughter, Dr. Maria Fiorella, and Dr. Enricco Ricci to examine the unique body being brought to the museum. Carlo explains to the others that he has already examined the jewelry discovered in the box and learned it is not particularly valuable. When he describes a medallion in the collection, however, Maria recognizes it as that of the Etruscans, a mysterious cult-like society that was eventually assimilated by the ancient Romans. Meanwhile, the driver of the van carrying the body is attacked and killed by the mummy, which has suddenly become animated. The doctors learn of the accident just before the arrival of an ancient history expert, Dr. Emmanuel. The doctor has translated the writings on the medallion identifying the mummy as Quintillus Barelius, a gladiator who died in Pompeii. Dr. Emmanuel adds that the writings predict great devastation and include a pledge to destroy all who come between the medallion's owner and his property. Once the now still body of Quintillus arrives at the museum, Paul notices blood and skin fragments on its fingertips, but refuses to believe there is any connection with the particles and the van driver's abrupt death. Later that evening, Paul visits his fiancée, artist Tina Enright, and is startled to find her working on a painting of a figure similar to Quintillus. Tina confesses that the painting was inspired by an unsettling dream she had the night before, then, to Paul's amazement, proceeds to describe the mummy, the murder of the driver and her premonition that the figure is searching for her. Upset, Paul suggests that they return to New York and marry immediately, but Tina refuses and demands to see Quintillus. Later at the museum, Carlo introduces Paul and Tina to Inspector Rinaldi, who reveals that the van driver was murdered, prompting Carlo to close the museum. Tina asks Paul if she can use Quintillus as a model to finish her painting and when he hesitates, Maria offers to allow her to stay in her rooms over the museum. That night, Tina awakens after another disturbing dream and goes down to sketch Quintillus. After a few moments, Tina is horrified when the mummy slowly rises and comes toward her. Hearing Tina's scream, a guard hastens to the exhibit room, but is struck by Quintillus, who then takes the medallion from the display cabinet and places it upon Tina, who has fainted. Carlos and Maria discover the guard dead, Tina in shock and the mummy on the floor. The next day, when Carlos suggests the van accident and this latest assault may indicate that the mummy is alive, Maria scoffs, before taking the stunned Tina back to recover in her apartment. Later, Carlo learns that particular ancient Roman woman wore brooches in the same way that the medallion was discovered on Tina and implores Paul and Maria to conduct an experiment with him. Carlos places the medallion on the floor before Quintillus, and as they watch, the mummy rises to retrieve the ornament. When the mummy approaches the doctors, Paul intervenes and is hurled aside by Quintillus, who then breaks through a wall and disappears. Reviving, Paul anxiously tells Carlo that he believes the mummy is in pursuit of Tina, as her dream foretold. Paul and Carlo rush to Tina's home, which, Carlos explains, is located at an old center of Pompeii mentioned on the medallion. Quintillus breaks into Tina's building, but collapses upon reaching her with the medallion. Carlo has the mummy's body returned to the museum. The following day, Paul and Tina agree to go with Emmanuel, who takes the couple to a small cove, which Tina recognizes and calls by its ancient name, then describes her feeling that great suffering occurred there. After Emmanuel confirms that hundreds of Pompeiians, fleeing the destructive eruption, came to the sea for shelter, only to die in the boiling water, Tina agrees to go with Emmanuel for further questioning. Later, Paul meets Emmanuel, who plays a tape of a hypnotized Tina, describing a previous life as Lucila Elena, the daughter of a Roman senator living in Pompeii, the great gladiator Quintillus who loves her, and her own death during the destruction of Pompeii. Paul scoffs at the notion that Quintillus and Tina have an ancient connection, but later, after discovering Tina missing from her apartment, Paul returns to the museum, where he finds her with the mummy. When Quintillus rises and comes after Tina, Enricco attempts to shoot the mummy, who strangles him and knocks Paul out. Tina faints and Quintillus carries her off. Carlo and Maria arrive and revive Paul, who is anxious to find Tina. Reporting her abduction to Rinaldi, the scientists are soon told that the mummy has been spotted carrying Tina toward the sea. Deducing that Quintillus is reliving the day of the volcanic eruption and his failed attempt to save Lucila, Paul and the others drive to the beach just as the mummy walks into the sea and begins to dissolve. Paul rescues Tina and is relieved to discover that she has no recollection of the last few days.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Fantasy
Sci-Fi
Release Date
Jan 1958
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Vogue Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
United Artists Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 7m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White

Quotes

One more of these killings and they will hold me criminally responsible.
- Dr. Carlo Fiorillo
The fools! Here we are so close to solving the mystery of life and death, and they worry about their precious laws.
- Dr. Emanuel

Trivia