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Author Topic: Heads You Die, Tails I Kill You  (Read 7516 times)
Marco Leone
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« on: November 02, 2005, 02:46:31 PM »

I've been a bit quiet of late, so I thought it was about time I unleashed my next write up on you all!

HEADS YOU DIE, TAILS I KILL YOU
Any film with a title as memorable and eye-catching as "Heads You Die, Tails I Kill You" has a lot to live up to. Luckily this one does.... well, for the first half at least.

The story centres around George Hilton's character named "Halleluyah" (thus the films alternative title "They Call Me Hallelujah"). He has been hired by Mexican general Ramirez (Roberto Camardiel) to steal jewels from the army, allegedly to help fund the revolution.

The beginning of the movie is very strong, as Ramirez is led to the firing line by the army, to Ciprani's fantastic score. Some onlookers are already grieving, but proceedings are intervened when Halleluyah appears with his very novel machine gun. Great stuff.

The plot has more twists and turns than, ummmmm, a very twisty turney thing! It is not just Halleluyah searching for the jewels, but a secret agent disguised as a Nun (Agata Flori), the Russian Alexei (Charles Southwood) and a gang of arms dealers led by Fortune (Paulo Gozlino).

Whilst the movie is a real roller-coaster of a ride, it does reach new levels of stupidity with the introduction of Alexei. As I said at the beginning of this write up, the film doesn't disappoint - it just (in my opinion) has one eccentric character too many. This makes the second half just a bit too farcical to me at times.

Most of the best scenes are based around Halleluyah's interaction with the gang - particularly near the beginning where disguised as monks they successfully steal the jewels (and soon face a confrontation with "Brother" Hallelujah). There is also a hilarious scene in which our hero poisons the gang's food, resulting in much belly ache and diarrhoea enforced swift exists! As far as the cast are concerned, Hilton makes a good leading man for the less serious westerns. Regular spaghetti stalwart Federico Boido is also well cast as the weasel like gang member Slocum.

I would definitely recommend this film (despite my reservations about the Russian!). It is a well plotted, good fun view, with enough double crosses and twists to keep you interested and entertained throughout.

.... If you've seen it and want to rate it, please visit http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/headsyoudie.html

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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2005, 06:10:06 PM »

I've been a bit quiet of late, so I thought it was about time I unleashed my next write up on you all!

HEADS YOU DIE, TAILS I KILL YOU
Any film with a title as memorable and eye-catching as "Heads You Die, Tails I Kill You" has a lot to live up to. Luckily this one does.... well, for the first half at least.

The story centres around George Hilton's character named "Halleluyah" (thus the films alternative title "They Call Me Hallelujah"). He has been hired by Mexican general Ramirez (Roberto Camardiel) to steal jewels from the army, allegedly to help fund the revolution.

The beginning of the movie is very strong, as Ramirez is led to the firing line by the army, to Ciprani's fantastic score. Some onlookers are already grieving, but proceedings are intervened when Halleluyah appears with his very novel machine gun. Great stuff.

The plot has more twists and turns than, ummmmm, a very twisty turney thing! It is not just Halleluyah searching for the jewels, but a secret agent disguised as a Nun (Agata Flori), the Russian Alexei (Charles Southwood) and a gang of arms dealers led by Fortune (Paulo Gozlino).

Whilst the movie is a real roller-coaster of a ride, it does reach new levels of stupidity with the introduction of Alexei. As I said at the beginning of this write up, the film doesn't disappoint - it just (in my opinion) has one eccentric character too many. This makes the second half just a bit too farcical to me at times.

Most of the best scenes are based around Halleluyah's interaction with the gang - particularly near the beginning where disguised as monks they successfully steal the jewels (and soon face a confrontation with "Brother" Hallelujah). There is also a hilarious scene in which our hero poisons the gang's food, resulting in much belly ache and diarrhoea enforced swift exists! As far as the cast are concerned, Hilton makes a good leading man for the less serious westerns. Regular spaghetti stalwart Federico Boido is also well cast as the weasel like gang member Slocum.

I would definitely recommend this film (despite my reservations about the Russian!). It is a well plotted, good fun view, with enough double crosses and twists to keep you interested and entertained throughout.

.... If you've seen it and want to rate it, please visit http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/headsyoudie.html







MARCO is this a joke? i think i remember u saying this as one of youre fake titles to throw people off.


then again i could be wrong.


and i made a mistake anyway in asking if it was a joke or not, since u would never admit it if it was. Undecided

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Banjo
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2005, 01:40:26 AM »

I really enjoyed this movie also and the Singer sewing machine gun is brilliant.I know what you mean about the quality going downhill somewhat in the second half and i feel that Charles Southwood is a bit too lightweight for SW's and all that silly Russian dancing is embarrasing.I didn't think he was any good as Sabbath in Fistful of Lead either,especially in the pouncy white suit and girly umbrella!

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2005, 03:03:37 AM »

Hex - It is a real film, but it was titles like that which inspired my Spaghetti Western generator!

Banjo - The machine gun is fantastic.  And there are some great quips throughout.  Maybe the russian wouldn't have been so annoying if he had been in it from the start.  But he just suddenly appears half way through to take the second billing, and I just never warmed to him.

Strangely this film also has the alternative title of "Fistful of Lead", like the Sartana movie.

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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2005, 02:36:33 AM »

I must confess i'm a big fan of George Hilton who is excellent in the more light-hearted SW's.I've only got the abridged video version(90 minutes) of Any Gun Can Play which leaves out a brilliant SW gun duel parody at the beginning(and more besides?)apparently so i might have to get the longer dvd as Hiltons good it this one as well.I also think he's very convincing in straighter roles in Bullet for Sandoval,Massacre Time and Ruthless Four.George Hilton does make a really good Sartana in Fistful of Lead and Charles Southwood also appears from nowhere halfway through in this movie also which i suppose isn't that surprising as it was also directed by Carmineo.Southwood is a bit annoying here too,but like the Hallelujah film,not to the overall detriment of the movie,and you can get the dvd for a couple of quid from Amazon!!
Watched Hallelujah through again last night and before Hilton lets rip with the sewing machine you are given the impression that we are in for a Bullet for the General type movie but the way it turns out with all the one liners and slapstick was good fun,the missus likes this one,and as you say the music is brill!!

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2005, 02:00:07 PM »

Yeah, Any Gun Can Play is a fun film too, particularly the great Django/No Name and Mortimer snipe.

I can't remember any of the one-liners in Halleluyah, but I remember that there were plenty of them!  Glad you enjoyed watching it again.

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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2005, 05:46:44 AM »

Marco,it would appear that George Hilton and Gianni Garko were for Giuliano Carmineo what Nero was for Corbucci and Eastwood for Leone and it seems that Carmineo used to like alternating his two lead actors in his long string of light-hearted SW's.I don't know whether Hilton and Garko ever starred in the same Carmineo movie?Apart from the ones i've got- the whole Sartana series,first Hallelujah & the Moment to Kill ,can you recommend any other Carmineo titles?Is Find a Place To Die any good?

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2005, 01:10:37 PM »

Yeah, I watched it some time back and enjoyed it, although I think my version was probably edited quite a bit, because it was disjointed.  Strangely can't remember too much about it though - maybe due another watch!

I got it because i liked the tagline "they wanted her for her gold and her body.  they didn't get the gold" or something like that!

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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2005, 03:27:24 AM »

I assume that you got hold of a copy of the Find A Place To Die from Amazon where they're quite cheap.From what i've read this is a more serious film than Carmineos later Hilton/Garko vehicles and  i'm tempted to buy the dvd because it includes Jeffrey Hunter who is brilliant in Run,Man,Run i say.There is also a great photo still in a book i'm reading at the moment!

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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2005, 01:32:22 PM »

As I say, my memory is deserting me a bit on this one, but I seem to remember there being a good soundtrack, and it being a really enjoyable flick.  It was quite serious if I recall.

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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2006, 08:48:15 AM »

Or. title: Testa t'ammazzo, croce...sei morto. Mi chiamano Alleluja


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069366/

http://www.spaghettiwestern.altervista.org/chiamano_alleluja.htm


If the movie would have kept the pace and brilliancy of the first 15-20 minutes we would be talking of the absolute masterpiece of the comedy-western. I agree with Marco and Banjo in a general appreciation of the movie, which keeps you interested to the end. As in other comedy westerns you have a character delivering deliberately a line in roman dialect.
(I watched a english sub version and, though I didn't follow the translation sometimes I wondered whether the translator knew his trade, even though some lines are hard to render in english).


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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2006, 09:21:18 AM »

This loses it's way during the very hard to follow second act. The Final gunfight is brilliant though.

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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2007, 04:01:45 AM »

Silenzio's  review:-

They Call Me Hallelujah -- My first Carmineo spaghetti! Yaaay! He left a great impression with this excellent Spaghetti Western.  Carmineo's slick, stylish direction aids George Hilton's laid back presence as the anti-hero Hallelujah.  And i mean laid back.  That's what makes this character so cool; he seems to have such a control on the situation that he goes about a gunfight relaxed and even bored.  The film's about Hallelujah who is working for Mexican Revolutionaries to steal a shipment of gold from the Mexican Government, but, of course, it turns out not only the Revolutionaries want the gold, there's a Russian, Mr. Kranz, and  a nun after the gold as well. Did I forget to mention Hilton has an ultra-cool machine gun disguised as a sewing machine? This is the best George Hilton western I've seen yet, and i really liked him in this role.  The music was really good as well, and, as I already said, the direction is top notch.  The slapstick comedy in this movie (of which there's not a whole lot) was tolerable, and better executed than most of the other spaghetti attempts at slapstick.  The Russian's trip-out dance sequence was the best trip-out dance sequence I've seen in an SW (waaaay better than the one in 10,000 Dollars Blood Money).

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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2009, 08:38:12 AM »

The opening is one of the best I have seen in any SW, with a great musical score and very good cinematography. One would have the impression that we are about to watch a "serious" SW, but after the first 10 minutes it becomes obvious it is actually one of the many comedy/action-SWs that started proliferating from around 1968. While some of the scenes are quite childish (read silly) I think this is quite a good, entertaining SW and a must in any SW fan video library.

7/10

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