Incense for the Damned (1971)

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Incense for the Damned (1971)
Opis: Richard Fountain [Patrick Mower], Oxford University's authority on Greek mythology, is in Greece researching Minoan rites when word comes back that Fountain has become chummy with people involved in drugs, orgiastic rituals, and possibly a rash of murders. Since Richard is the son of an English foreign secretary and the almost-fiancé of Penelope Goodrich [Madeline Hind], daughter of Lancaster College's provost, Walter Goodrich [Peter Cushing], Investigator Tony Seymour [Alex Davion] has been summoned to find Richard and bring him back to England. Tony leaves immediately for Greece, accompanied by Richard's almost-fiance, his student Bob Kirby [Johnny Sekka], and Major Derek Longboy [Patrick McNee] of the British Attache. About the only thing that is known about Richard's status is that he left England a virgin and, much to Penelope's dismay, he's taken up with a woman named Chriseis Konstantanini [Imogen Hassal].Tony sends a telegram to Richard's villa in Mykonos, advising him of their arrival on Thursday, but Richard apparently does not wish to see them, as he immediately vacates the premises, sending his "saviors" on a wild goose chase to find him. All they have to go on is a note found in Richard's room, in which he mentions the city of Hydra. They contact Colonel Stavros [David Lodge] of Greek Intelligence for help. Stavros places a helicopter at their disposal, and they fly to Hydra, then take a land rover to the Monastery of the Blood of Christ. There, the abbot admits to having recently treated Richard for an ancient sickness having "to do with the blood." Unfortunately, Richard is no longer at the monastery. Those who brought him have carried him off again in the direction of a nearby fort.While they are interviewing the abbot, Penelope begins to feel ill. They write it off as too much wine and sun but decide to leave her behind at the monastery while they follow the mule trail up the mountain to the fort. When they arrive, they find that they have stumbled on the beginnings of a ritual. Chriseis and her followers escape, taking the mules. Richard is there, too, but he is in some sort of trance. Without the mules, the search party is forced to remain the night, intending for Derek to return to the monastery early the next morning and get Penelope off the island while Tony and Bob attempt to carry Richard down the mountain and back to the monastery.During the night, Richard comes out of the trance. He admits to still being a virgin but explains that Chriseis' influence over him is very strong. Even now, they must watch out for her, he says, as Chriseis will be back. The next morning, Richard is still too weak to travel, so the plan changes such that Derek will have to bring in the helicopter in order to transport Richard. Richard refuses to allow Derek to leave. He requests that they first carry him outside. There, he shouts a prayer to the gods, asking for protection for Derek and the others. As a sign, Richard sees an eagle swooping. Based on the number of the swoops, Richard predicts that one of their party will die before they can get back to Hydra.Derek makes it down the mountain okay and sees Penelope off at the dock. Unfortunately, on the way down he was seen by Chriseis who, seeing Derek leaving, is making her way back to the fort. Derek is not far behind and trying to catch up with her. Chriseis starts a rockslide, which knocks Derek over a cliff. Hanging on for dear life, Derek screams loudly. Tony and Bob rush to his aid, leaving Richard alone in the fort. Chriseis takes this moment to slip in and drink Richard's blood. When Tony and Bob sense her presence, Bob goes back to help Richard, while Tony tries unsuccessfully to pull Derek back over the cliff. Bob and Chriseis struggle, but Chriseis falls down a flight of stairs and appears to be dead. Bob attempts to put a cane through her heart, but Tony stops him before it turns from an accident into a murder.Richard, Bob, and Tony return to England, where Richard takes up his studies again at Oxford and marries Penelope. But the pressures placed on him by Provost Goodrich cause Richard to remain impotent and to revive memories of Chriseis. Bob senses that Richard is backsliding and sends for Tony's help. Tony arrives on the day of Richard's address at Lancaster College's quincentenary dinner. After the opening prayers and while the quests dine on the traditional boar's head and peacock with feathers, Richard begins to deliver his welcome-back speech. He winds up causing a riot when he accuses the academic world of "leeching on" and "possessing" the minds, souls, and bodies of the academics as well as their students. He points to all the "smooth deceivers" dressed in their scarlet gowns, and fingers Goodrich as the worst of all.While the academics compose themselves, Richard leads Penelope to his office where he is finally able to experience sexual freedom by ripping off her bodice and drinking blood from her neck. Tony and Bob break Richard away from Penelope's neck. Richard attempts to flee over the rooftops but goes skittering off, impaling himself on the wrought iron fence below. Provost Goodrich tearfully pronounces their deaths as due to "suicide", but Bob and Tony complete the act by driving stakes through Richard and Penelope's hearts. [Original Synopsis by bj_kuehl.]
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