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: Arizona Bushwhackers (1968)  ( 483 )

« : February 09, 2017, 04:09:02 PM »

You better put that blindfold back on.

Actually, wearing a blindfold during a sitting for this movie seems like a pretty good idea given how lifeless it is. When you see it's produced by A.C. Lyles then realistic expectations are needed, his low budget Westerns grabbed the aged coat tails of a genre that had moved onto a different plain than the one Lyles now traversed. Lyles was astute enough to fill out these Oaters with names familiar to genre fans, regardless of the advent of time or box office appeal, so some interest in the said picture was there from the off.

Some of these Westerns rose above their budget limitations to be better than average, the likes of Johnny Reno, Waco and Stage to Thunder Rock, while not essential Western viewings, are good time wasters for the undemanding fan. The trouble with Arizona Bushwhackers is that it promises so much more than it can ever deliver. Proudly it tells us that it's in Technicolor and Techniscope, and it stars Howard Keel, Yvonne De Carlo, John Ireland, Marilyn Maxwell, Scott Brady, Brian Donlevy, Barton MacLane and James Craig. Hell! The opening narration is even by one James Cagney. And with a plot involving spies and gun runners in the town of Colton, where Union and Confederate operatives dwell, it's all in place for some solid "B" entertainment. Unfortunately it's a lame duck once Caggers has finished his narration.

Story limps on as the various citizens of Colton potter around wondering about who is trustworthy? Who will get caught out? Who will survive? And isn't it about time the Indians showed up? The actors, bless em', give it a good go, shuffling about in some sort of one-take wonderland, while director Lesley Selander tries hard to beef up the plot with the odd action scene; including a fight between two one armed men that I'm pretty sure isn't meant to be funny. It all builds to a hopelessly weak finale where the Indians do indeed turn up and they file in for cannon fodder duties. The colour photography is washed out, the scenic locations barely realised, and the musical score is 101 rank and file. Lifeless all told and only fans of the fading stars should seek this out so as to tick off of their completist lists. 3/10

« : February 09, 2017, 08:24:16 PM Spikeopath »
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