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The Firecracker
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« Reply #255 on: March 20, 2007, 03:03:06 PM »

DAY OF ANGER- 1969-Another classic Gemma western although this one is low on action and high on dramatics which only enhances the action that much more. Here, Gemma plays a put upon errand boy who meets up with Lee Van Cleef. He teaches him how to defend himself and use a gun. Eventually Van Cleef is revealed to be the villain of the film and ends up dueling with him and his men at the finale. The final scene with Gemma and Van Cleef is quite cold and shocking. Contains an extraordinary duel on horseback similar to medieval jousting. One of the best. Another fine western from Tonino Valerii. The quirky score by Francesco De Masi can be heard in numerous independent kung fu pictures.

DEATH RIDES A HORSE- 1968-Quite possibly Van Cleef’s most enjoyable and violent western film. A gang of cutthroats massacre a family but one little boy survives to take revenge for their deaths. He grows up to be John Phillip Law who enjoys emptying his gun into his targets. Each villain has a discernable feature that Law remembers from the night his family was wiped out. LVC gets out of prison and takes up with Law, both with similar agendas involving lead villain Luigi Pistilli who gets a chance to shine here as the lead heavy. The torture scenes are a bit more creative this time as opposed to the usual and stale methods of simply punching the good guys up a bit. The violence level is stronger than usual for a western from this time period and the hauntingly baroque score from maestro Morricone offsets the violence quotient very well. The sophisticated training scenes where Law practices his gun skills appears influenced by HK adventures during this time wherein the heroes and villains display similar skills with knives, swords and what not. Both genres share much in common and traded on concepts for years. Directed with style by Guilio Petroni.

DJANGO- 1966-Massive hit in Europe, this film showcased a different kind of hero. One that was conniving and deceptive and not above being mutilated in some way. Django is a coffin toting mystery man who is after a nasty, racist named Major Jackson played with appropriate villainy by Eduardo Fajardo. In between his vendetta, Django helps a Mexican bandit gang rob a fort of its gold consignment. Before the gang can double cross him, Django attempts to do the same to them leading to a cruel scene where the gang renders Django nearly incapable of handling a gun shortly before he is to meet up with his nemesis, Major Jackson. When submitted to the BBFC, the level of violence made the film unreleasable. It also failed to snag US distribution. In Europe however, the film got some 50 sequels most in name only, others detailing Django’s adventures played by different actors each interpreting the character differently. The film made big stars out of Franco Nero and director Sergio Corbucci who was able to secure 1 million budgets for his films after DJANGO’s success. Several others behind the scenes would go on to fruitful careers as well. Assistant director Ruggero Deodato and cinematographer Enzo Barboni would both go on to hugely successful directorial careers. Luis Bacalov contributes a great score. A landmark in western cinema.

DJANGO, KILL- 1967-Odd ball and confusing art house western from Guilio Questi about Tomas Milian returning from the “dead” to avenge his death accompanied by two quirky Indians. The gunmen are traced to a town full of characters that are more barbaric than the films villains. The narrative is never straight forward and nearly all the characters are unhinged in some fashion. Some out of left field gore scenes only add to the nuttiness. Also on hand is a merry band of black clad faggot desperadoes who want to “initiate” Milian into their group. Another scene involves the torture of Milian tied like Christ on the cross complete with thorns. Considered by some to be a classic of the genre. But then, when a film has artsy touches or scenes that are viewed as symbolic of a higher meaning said film is put on a pedestal even if the film itself is not cohesive at all. Not recommended at all.

DJANGO THE BASTARD- 1973-Terrible Anthony Steffen vehicle in which he plays a gunslinger from beyond the grave who avenges himself on the traitorous soldiers who put him there. Some striking moments such as Steffen heralding his arrival with crosses adorned with his victims names carved on them. The final scene is quite spooky. Directed by Sergio Garrone who would later try his hand at the short lived Naziploitation genre that enjoyed a brief run in Italy after the popularity of the ILSA films.

DJANGO, GET A COFFIN READY- 1968-Comic book prequel to DJANGO has Terence Hill taking over for Franco Nero. However, Nero was supposed to star to finish out his three picture deal that included DJANGO and TEXAS ADIOS. Hill does a good job of it and seems more at home playing solo than his frequent collaborator Bud Spencer. Here, we learn what happened to Django’s wife and where he got the gatling gun. Director Ferdinando Baldi shoots the film at a rapid pace and none of the scenes have much impact when they should such as the fateful encounter with Django and the bad guys. Probably the best of all the sequels and one of a few that acknowledge the original film. Frequent script writer and actor George Eastman (Luigi Montefiore) would go on to an illustrious career in exploitation films.



DAY OF ANGER: Agree with AC though I think Gemma's turn against LVC should have been more fleshed out.


DEATH RIDES A HORSE: Classic of the genre. Borrows heavily from Leone's FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Only complaint is the final gunfight has way too many ridiculous moments involving our heros dispatching the villains with silly tactics like sneaking up behind them and tapping them on the shoulder before shooting them.

DJANGO: classic. Plain and simple. You can't ask for a better place to start if your a newbie.
Sure the second act gets a little dodgy at times but stick around for the final gunfight. I'm convinced this film has one of the best endings in cinema history.

DJANGO,KILL: AC couldn't have said it better. This film stinks.
The first 20 minutes are good but the rest is a load of bull.

DJANGO THE BASTARD: One of the few Steffen films that I don't want to slit my wrists while watching. Fun supernatural flick that drags here and there but is worth a view or two. I think you should give it another try AC.

VIVA DJANGO (Get the coffin ready): A "prequel" to Corbucci's classic DJANGO. It doesn't succeed in being a prequel (too many contradictions) but it does succeed in being a fun little film that doesn't build up to much. Worth a look.

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« Reply #256 on: March 21, 2007, 12:27:20 AM »

.

 Apparently director Giancarlo Parolini enjoys the circus as he fills all his action films with acrobats or characters with eccentric weaponry.



He ran away from home to join the circus at a young age.

This could also be the source of his admiration for the comic strip hero "Mandrake the Magician" whom the character Sartana (his own creation) was modeled after.

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« Reply #257 on: April 12, 2007, 05:58:14 AM »

A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS- 1964-Sergio Leone’s classic retelling of YOJIMBO about a gunfighter turning two rival gangs against each other has been retold dozens of times over the years in various genres. Clint Eastwood in his first of three Italian westerns. In Eastwood’s later US westerns, the Italian influence is much in evidence in films such as HANG’EM HIGH, HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER and THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES. In recent interviews Eastwood doesn’t appear very enthusiastic about his Italian western outings for some reason or other.

A BULLET FOR SANDOVAL- 1969-George Hilton plays a Union soldier engaged to a Spanish beauty although the father and sons disapprove. Upon learning she is ill, he goes awol to be with her. She dies giving birth to their child and Sandoval, the father, curses the man should he ever return. Later the baby dies as well from a plague. The man then forms a gang with a number of cutthroats and shoot their way to Sandoval eventually being surrounded in a coliseum by the military in a Chang Cheh style finale. A very tragic movie and definitely one of George Hiltons better performances where he is allowed to play a serious role for a change. Ernest Borgnine doesn’t convince as the Spanish Patriarch but then one suspects he was cast for his name alone. A somber and depressing film all around. The English DVD is missing near 10 minutes of footage, mostly dialog.

A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL- 1967-Damiano Damiani’s classic political western about a young American secretly hired by the Mexican government to assassinate a powerful Mexican bandit leader. Stage actor Gian Maria Volonte portrays the rude but likeably filthy bandit chief Chuncho who wants at first to help his people by providing them with arms but then is seduced by Nino’s ideals for wealth and power. He becomes an unknowing participant in the General’s death as well as his somewhat unhinged brother Santo (Klaus Kinski) among other events. He gains redemption during the final moments when he finally sees the rich American influence treading over the poor and harmless Mexican peasants that he was blinded to all along. Anti American sentiment runs throughout as well as the notion that all those with money are evil and must be killed. Some have written about the supposed homo erotic nature of the relationship between Chuncho and Nino although I don’t see it. Chuncho is merely bewitched by Nino’s fast talk and get rich schemes that permeates the other members of his band eventually leading to many of their deaths. Martine Beswicke also stars in this must see classic. Luis Bacalov provides the great score some of which was recycled from DJANGO.

ACE HIGH- 1968-Guiseppi Collizi’s second film with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. The first being the classic GOD FORGIVES, I DON’T. This one goes for a more comical approach. Eli Wallach joins the cast here and manages to steal the show away from the usually unbeatable team of Bud and Terence. One of a handful of Italian westerns to have a decent budget, the film drags a bit much in places but is miles away better than the third film in the trilogy, the dreaded BOOT HILL.

A CLOUD OF DUST…A CRY OF DEATH…SARTANA IS COMING! 1971-Gianni Garko returns in the best of his five SARTANA films. By this point, the outlandish aspects of the weapons and situations had taken a James Bondian flavor similar to the popular American western show THE WILD, WILD WEST. It’s a shame director Guiliano Carnimeo could not maintain the level of restraint in his later, more wildly chaotic western “comedies”. Although this film is very much over the top with its Organ doubling as a cannon and gatling gun and the wind up explosives, it’s handled with a degree of control. Also called LIGHT THE FUSE…SARTANA IS COMING!

Little to add for FOD , BFTG and OJW - all very essential!! Afro


BULLET FOR SANDOVAL-yes a powerful serious role from Hilton for a change but a downright depressing western but a good one if you're in a melancoly mood.Yes i too expected more from Borgnine here.

ACE HIGH-i totally agree with your assessment about this movie but i really don't care for God Forgives I Don't which is kinda draggy throughout its entirity but my appaling print doesn't help matters likewise for the truly awful Boot Hill.Have you seen Colizzi's All The Way Boys AC?My video tape version is missing 15 minutes but otherwise is very tedious though some of the Bud & Terence fight scenes excell.

Sorry to disagree but the original Sartana is the best in my opinion Wink

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« Reply #258 on: April 12, 2007, 06:16:13 AM »

BANDIDOS 1968-A gunfighter runs into a former student of his robbing the very train he is traveling on. He spares his cretinous disciple but shoots his hands. Years later the gunman meets up with a convict who was wrongly imprisoned for the train robbery. The gunfighter trains his new student to take out the previous acolyte as he is stirring up trouble again. I don’t remember a great deal about this one but I do remember aside from a laughably bad fist fight early on, the movie is quite good.

BEN & CHARLIE- 1972-Guiliano Gemma and the ANTHROPOPHAGUS himself, big George Eastman, aka Luigi Montifiore(who also scripted) do the TRINITY shtick in this western from Michele Lupo about a man released from prison who continues his conning ways. The film becomes serious towards the end when the duo are betrayed and must fight against a varied group of villains similar to those found in HK kung fu movies each with their own look and personality. Gemma is the Hill character and Eastman of course, is the big lummox that Spencer would portray in later films.

BEYOND THE LAW- 1968-Kind of forgettable LVC western with elements of comedy that just do not work most of the time. Bud Spencer is almost unrecognizable as the town mayor. Things pick up in the latter half when the black clad villain played by peplum star Gordon Mitchell enters the picture and the film becomes a serious affair.

BIG GUNDOWN, THE- 1966-Sergio Sollima’s classic political western about an honorable sheriff recruited to track down a Mexican peasant believed to have raped a young girl. The Big Gundown promised in the films title becomes the ‘big letdown’ although it’s still a highly recommended affair as Van Cleef chases his quarry Cuchillo played by Tomas Milian throughout the picture learning later that all is not as it seems. LVC plays probably his most complex western character of all his Italian entries and Tomas Milian is great to watch as always. He would reprise the Cuchillo role in the sequel RUN MAN, RUN also directed by Sollima. TBG was severely truncated for its US release some 20 minutes being removed. A fan made DVD has the cut footage reinstated.
 
BLACK KILLER 1970-Mildly entertaining low, low budget spaghetti western has Kinski as a hero but keeps him confined to a single set as he mills around looking through books most of the time. Much of the film appears to have been shot around a single set as well. A diversion is seen in the form of a beautiful Italian actress masquerading as an Indian who gets naked often. Other than that there is really nothing to recommend this one besides the large book with a gun hidden inside that Kinski carries around the length of the film.

BLINDMAN- 1971-Ferdinando Baldi’s highly entertaining spaghetti western stars Tony Anthony as a blind gunslinger clearly modeled after the mega popular ZATOICHI, THE BLIND SWORDSMAN series from Japan. Here, the Blindman must escort a clutch of mail order brides to their husbands to be only to run into trouble along the way when the brides are abducted by a vicious Mexican bandit. Ringo Starr plays the brother of the bandit leader. An exciting film that is slightly bogged down by a series of back to back dénouements. The comical final moments leave things open for a sequel. Baldi’s later western films feature outlandishly garish characters that would seem at home in the world of MAD MAX or the ROAD WARRIOR. They add a freshness to the by now tired traits of the genre and appear to be inspired by the similarly hippie trappings seen in Sergio Corbucci’s westerns of the time.

BOUNTY KILLER, THE 1966-Boring and redundant early western with Tomas Milian as a villain. Don’t remember much about it other than it allowed me some much needed sleep. In that it was an INSOMNIAC KILLER.

BLOOD AT SUNDOWN- 1967-Interesting Italo western starring Anthony Steffen and Gianni Garko as a villain, which didn’t happen often. He is Steffen’s psychotic brother who holds a town in a grip of terror until Steffen enters the picture to end his reign of tyranny. Garko plays a character named Sartana here but miles away from the magician gunslinger he later become. The villains base is a curious looking fort that resembles an Aztec temple. Still, it’s an average western that provides a mild diversion.

CALIFORNIA- 1977-Guiliano Gemma in his grittiest western about a soldier, who was once a bounty hunter, coming home from the war and finding things are no less violent. Some brutal hand to hand action (that’s well staged for a change) and some bloody shootouts enliven this rather depressing entry that along with a couple of other films, were an attempt to rekindle the spaghetti western genre which had been supplanted in Italy by the hundreds of Crime films that were flooding the theaters there at the time. The somber and depressing tone of this film signals the last gasps of the Italian western films.

COMPANEROS- 1972-Sergio Corbucci’s highly entertaining comedy western starring Franco Nero, Tomas Milian and a scene stealing Jack Palance as an eccentric, pot smoking, one handed villain with a hawk for a companion. In the Italian version Palance’s character is a descendant of Dracula(!) The film drags a bit in places but the combination of Nero, Milian and Palance is can’t miss entertainment. The score by the always reliable and diverse Ennio Morricone is very energetic.

BANDIDOS-i'm sure i saw LA rate this elsewhere as the best non-Leone sw and yes it really is approaching somewhere near that good.This was my introduction to Enrico Maria Salerno,the gunfighter/teacher and he's excelled in everything i've seen him in.

BEN & CHARLIE- i'm not too sure if Gemma and Eastman are as natural as the Trinity boys in the sw comedy field but this is still one of the very best in that genre.

BIG GUNDOWN-often said to be overated,i disagree-essential for LVC,Milian,Morricone, great story,great looking photography and an exhilarating finale.

BLACK KILLER-mediocre,Kinski irritates with that damn book.

BLINDMAN-used to be indifferent to abridged version but now LOVE the recently acquired full uncut version.Easily Anthonys best sw.

BOUNTY KILLER-hey someone who agrees with me here about that movie.Very boring with Milian the only positive thing about it.

BLOOD AT SUNDOWN-quite dull and disappointing considering it has both Garko and Steffen.The score was ok and wasn't there an aztec temple or something where the (nasty Shocked) Sartana hung out?

CALIFORNIA-yes a bit miserable but i really like this one even with my crappy dark and grainy print.I enjoyed the way Gemma plotted out his revenge against the murderer of his friend.

COMPANEROS-now you're talking!! Afro

 



 
 

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« Reply #259 on: April 12, 2007, 06:27:42 AM »

DAY OF ANGER- 1969-Another classic Gemma western although this one is low on action and high on dramatics which only enhances the action that much more. Here, Gemma plays a put upon errand boy who meets up with Lee Van Cleef. He teaches him how to defend himself and use a gun. Eventually Van Cleef is revealed to be the villain of the film and ends up dueling with him and his men at the finale. The final scene with Gemma and Van Cleef is quite cold and shocking. Contains an extraordinary duel on horseback similar to medieval jousting. One of the best. Another fine western from Tonino Valerii. The quirky score by Francesco De Masi can be heard in numerous independent kung fu pictures.

DEATH RIDES A HORSE- 1968-Quite possibly Van Cleef’s most enjoyable and violent western film. A gang of cutthroats massacre a family but one little boy survives to take revenge for their deaths. He grows up to be John Phillip Law who enjoys emptying his gun into his targets. Each villain has a discernable feature that Law remembers from the night his family was wiped out. LVC gets out of prison and takes up with Law, both with similar agendas involving lead villain Luigi Pistilli who gets a chance to shine here as the lead heavy. The torture scenes are a bit more creative this time as opposed to the usual and stale methods of simply punching the good guys up a bit. The violence level is stronger than usual for a western from this time period and the hauntingly baroque score from maestro Morricone offsets the violence quotient very well. The sophisticated training scenes where Law practices his gun skills appears influenced by HK adventures during this time wherein the heroes and villains display similar skills with knives, swords and what not. Both genres share much in common and traded on concepts for years. Directed with style by Guilio Petroni.

DJANGO- 1966-Massive hit in Europe, this film showcased a different kind of hero. One that was conniving and deceptive and not above being mutilated in some way. Django is a coffin toting mystery man who is after a nasty, racist named Major Jackson played with appropriate villainy by Eduardo Fajardo. In between his vendetta, Django helps a Mexican bandit gang rob a fort of its gold consignment. Before the gang can double cross him, Django attempts to do the same to them leading to a cruel scene where the gang renders Django nearly incapable of handling a gun shortly before he is to meet up with his nemesis, Major Jackson. When submitted to the BBFC, the level of violence made the film unreleasable. It also failed to snag US distribution. In Europe however, the film got some 50 sequels most in name only, others detailing Django’s adventures played by different actors each interpreting the character differently. The film made big stars out of Franco Nero and director Sergio Corbucci who was able to secure 1 million budgets for his films after DJANGO’s success. Several others behind the scenes would go on to fruitful careers as well. Assistant director Ruggero Deodato and cinematographer Enzo Barboni would both go on to hugely successful directorial careers. Luis Bacalov contributes a great score. A landmark in western cinema.

DJANGO, KILL- 1967-Odd ball and confusing art house western from Guilio Questi about Tomas Milian returning from the “dead” to avenge his death accompanied by two quirky Indians. The gunmen are traced to a town full of characters that are more barbaric than the films villains. The narrative is never straight forward and nearly all the characters are unhinged in some fashion. Some out of left field gore scenes only add to the nuttiness. Also on hand is a merry band of black clad faggot desperadoes who want to “initiate” Milian into their group. Another scene involves the torture of Milian tied like Christ on the cross complete with thorns. Considered by some to be a classic of the genre. But then, when a film has artsy touches or scenes that are viewed as symbolic of a higher meaning said film is put on a pedestal even if the film itself is not cohesive at all. Not recommended at all.

DJANGO THE BASTARD- 1973-Terrible Anthony Steffen vehicle in which he plays a gunslinger from beyond the grave who avenges himself on the traitorous soldiers who put him there. Some striking moments such as Steffen heralding his arrival with crosses adorned with his victims names carved on them. The final scene is quite spooky. Directed by Sergio Garrone who would later try his hand at the short lived Naziploitation genre that enjoyed a brief run in Italy after the popularity of the ILSA films.

DJANGO, GET A COFFIN READY- 1968-Comic book prequel to DJANGO has Terence Hill taking over for Franco Nero. However, Nero was supposed to star to finish out his three picture deal that included DJANGO and TEXAS ADIOS. Hill does a good job of it and seems more at home playing solo than his frequent collaborator Bud Spencer. Here, we learn what happened to Django’s wife and where he got the gatling gun. Director Ferdinando Baldi shoots the film at a rapid pace and none of the scenes have much impact when they should such as the fateful encounter with Django and the bad guys. Probably the best of all the sequels and one of a few that acknowledge the original film. Frequent script writer and actor George Eastman (Luigi Montefiore) would go on to an illustrious career in exploitation films.

DAY OF ANGER-yes another classic where it is absolutely essential to pick up the uncut version.

DEATH RIDES A HORSE,DJANGO-no argument BUY!,BUY! Afro

DJANGO KILL-glad i didn't have to fork out for this one as it was shown awhile ago on ITV4 .El Topo fans may like it-i can't stand it. Sad

DJANGO THE BASTARD-no i disagree how can a movie so influential be terrible?Steffen is perfect as the ghostly avenger.This film has several memorable scenes and the atmosphere's great.

VIVA DJANGO-for me the best Django sequel.Terence Hill is the ideal Nero substitute.The music is a real treat and the pace and action never let up-love the finale Smiley

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« Reply #260 on: April 12, 2007, 06:59:22 AM »


FAST HAND IS STILL MY NAME- 1972-Average Italo western starring former peplum star Alan Steel as a Union soldier left tortured and left for dead by William Berger and his gang of savages. By this point in the Italian western cycle, the comedy films had taken over but a few stragglers would imbue stronger than usual sex and violence to try and bring in theatergoers. The ending is a bit humorous with Berger firing what seems like 20 bullets before he is seen reloading and Steel’s gimmick during the final moments. What makes this one watchable is a truly sadistic villain who seems to enjoy various means of torture as opposed to simply killing a man.
FORGOTTEN PISTOLERO, THE- 1970-Ferdinando Baldi’s best western relies more on the dramatic elements lending the action scenes more punch. An operatic spaghetti oater with Shakespearean tragedy at its core sees a General returning from the war only to be brutally double crossed and murdered by his scheming wife who uses any man in the vicinity to accomplish her goals. Her son Sebastian disappears, the shock of the events that night causing him to forget much of what happened. Years later, a former childhood friend, Raffael, finds him and explains all leading to an ending of familial vengeance where everybody suffers. Composer Roberto Pregadio supplies one of the most beautiful spaghetti scores ever. The leads are all attractive especially the women. Luciana Paluzzi is exceptionally stunning as the deceiving matriarch. The many other Spanish bar women are also very seductive. One scene reveals through dialog, the horrifying reason why Raffael cannot enjoy a woman’s touch which is hinted at several times throughout the film. Again Baldi’s characters, as in the following years BLINDMAN, all seem to be dressed as post apocalyptic hippies which is refreshing lending the film a hip appearance. It’s brief running time of 81 minutes suggests some footage may have been removed although all known versions run this length.

FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE- 1975-Lucio Fulci’s second western is, like DJANGO KILL, an artsy styled oater with supposed hidden meanings beneath its western trappings. The alleged extreme violence is not as savage as the films reputation would lead you to believe. Along with MASSACRE TIME, it’s easy to see where Fulci’s career was heading in the coming years although his 1973 film DON’T TORTURE THE DUCKLING confirmed the horrors that lay ahead. Tomas Milian portrays the nasty villain and Fabio Testi is one of the good guys along with Michael J. Pollard more or less playing himself.

GENTLEMAN KILLER, THE 1968-A rare decent western for Steffen and another villainous turn for Eduardo Fajardo as a Mexican bandit leader. Steffen’s character is thought to have been killed but shows up and begins picking off the bad guys. The ending is unusual.

GRAND DUEL, THE 1972-Fine LVC western shot when comedies were the order of the day. A similar story to DAY OF ANGER but with more exploitable elements. Some extravagant action scenes enliven the film to take your mind from the fact that you’ve seen it all before. Neolithic actor Salvatore Baccaro has a role as an assassin. The Bacalov score is quite infectious. Giancarlo Santi, who directed Leone’s action scenes in DUCK, YOU SUCKER!, handles the directorial reigns just fine on his own aping Leone’s style during the standoffs. Reportedly, Leone was not a very good action director when it didn’t involve several guys standing around for 10 minutes preparing to shoot each other. Not a classic but well worth a look.

GOD FORGIVES, I DON’T- 1967-Guiseppi Collizi’s first western was a huge hit in Italy and starred Terence Hill and Bud Spencer together for the first time playing it straight save for a couple of scenes. Here, they lay the blueprint for the TRINITY films and their numerous numbskull comedies to follow. Frank Wolff is noteworthy as the maniacal Bill San Antonio. Quite a bit of violence and shortly thereafter, Hill would forsake violent movies forever focusing his career doing family friendly movies. Unlike Spencer however, Hill could carry a movie on his own. Followed by two lesser sequels.
FACE TO FACE,GBU,GREAT SILENCE,FAFDM i don't really need to say are all MUSTS Afro

FASTHAND-yes Berger's sadistic villain makes this watchable.The violence is unneccesary and the jazzrock soundtrack annoying.

FORGOTtEN PISTOLERO-in retropect this is possibly talked up too much.Leonard Mann is such an uncharasmatic "hero" and the storyline a little too predictable so maybe i've been slighly intoxicated by the absolutely wonderful musical score that could make Django Kill likeable even Grin Anyway its a very polished looking sw with the inferno end scene being particularly memorable.

FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE-the 15 minutes you get of Milian as the evil Chaco is great but the rest of the movie is DIRE!! Sad

GENTLEMAN KILLER-watched once,can't remember very well but i'm certain it was excellent.

GRAND DUEL-on the plus side it has an extremely cool LVC character,Horst Frank horribly good as the Saxon patriarch and a hilariously camp/nutty/spotty younger brother Saxon. But otherwise this movie just doesn't do it for me.The extremely dull first half of the movie with LVC/Saxons henchman in repetative pursuit of (annoyingly bland bearded bloke hellbent on finding out who killed his father-YAWN !!)Phillip Vemeer just makes me want to fast forward on the remote.Half the musics ok but the bluegrass stuff gets on your nerves.The 2nd half of LVC et al going through motions in this so very very predictable movie just does'nt make it stand up for repeated viewings.Very average.

GOD FORGIVES I DON'T-this did hugely well in Italy i understand which makes it all the more disappointing for me that i didn't think much of it.Very slow paced,dull,overlong.Frank Wolf doesn't do a good Indio impression.Anyone coming across this on the strength of the Trinity films could be very disappointment.ACE HIGH is head and tails above anything else i've seen by Colizzi.About the numbskull comedies-Watch Out We're Mad is one of the funniest family comedies ever made.Crimebusters is also great but yes the majority of the others pale in comparison.

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« Reply #261 on: April 12, 2007, 07:02:09 AM »


I rate this one highly. The silly comedy stuff gets out of hand during the 2nd act but the brutally violent 3rd act makes it worth the wait.
I'm with you there for And For A Roof,A Skyful Of Stars Afro

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« Reply #262 on: April 12, 2007, 01:20:05 PM »

Yeah, I just like the 5th SARTANA best because of its intriguingly playful atmosphere and WILD, WILD WEST antics.

I liked some parts of DJANGO THE BASTARD but it didn't do anything for me but then I did fall asleep through much of it so I'll give it another go.

I think BIG GUNDOWN is a fine film and probably LVCs best character role, just the title leads you to assume there's going to be a "Big Gundown" somewhere in the movie and it never happens. I prefer the other 2 Sollima westerns to this.

When I called CALIFORNIA 'depressing' it was a compliment. I like movies that have a foreboding sense of dread and also ones where the heroes don't always make it out alive. Probably why I like Chang Cheh's movies so much as you never know if his heroes will make it to the end or not.

Banjo, I thought you liked the score in FAST HAND? I thought it was out of place in the film IMO.

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« Reply #263 on: April 13, 2007, 06:46:30 AM »

Banjo, I thought you liked the score in FAST HAND? I thought it was out of place in the film IMO.
Did i say that? Embarrassed
I'm gonna have to retread my steps carefully Grin
Yes i normally like those sort of hippy rock doodlings from that late 60/early 70's  period so i suppose on 2nd viewing when i was duplicating it for trading reasons i found the score a bit wearing-it is rather samey and like Four Of The Apocalypse's  Byrds influenced soundtrack doesn't really work in a sw.But it might just be a case of one needing to be in the right mood.

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« Reply #264 on: April 27, 2007, 12:35:42 AM »

When are you continuing your mini reviews AC? Banjo and I are eager to comment on them.

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« Reply #265 on: April 27, 2007, 12:08:18 PM »

When I get time. I've been working and writing two scripts at once.

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« Reply #266 on: April 28, 2007, 02:37:13 PM »

I've skipped around my catalog as I don't remember a great deal about some of these as I've only seen most of them only once, but here's some I typed reviews for last night...

HELLBENDERS, THE 1966-Excellent Sergio Corbucci Italo western that is very different from his usual style of no holds barred action and frequent bursts of violence. Here, he opts for a more subdued, suspenseful approach that is not without its fair share of violence. Joseph Cotten and his sons have stolen a cache of Union gold that they are carrying inside a coffin. The film deals with their struggle to avoid capture and get away by use of stealth and trickery. Of course, greed and deceit rear their ugly heads leading to a shocker conclusion and a downbeat ending. Corbucci keeps the twists coming and builds the suspense nicely. Highly recommended on the basis that Corbucci went for a different approach and succeeds admirably.

HERE WE GO AGAIN, EH PROVIDENCE? 1973-Even more oddball and cartoonish sequel to Petroni’s original. More Looney Tunes style comic theatrics starring Tomas Milian as the Chaplinesque Providenza. This one has less spaghetti trappings than its predecessor. The jokes, sight gags and pratfalls are non-stop and I can’t even tell you what it’s all about. It’s still more polished than any of Carnimeo’s out-of-control “comedies”. There appears to have been a bigger budget this time out as well. The opening is about the only western element present in the whole picture and it’s pretty funny. If you like AIRPLANE! style humor, you may have the patience for this. The first film is better, though. Alberto de Martino directs.

HIS NAME WAS HOLY GHOST 1972-Fun Gianni Garko western is obviously lacking in budget but makes up for this in its inventiveness. Garko is an “angelic” avenger during a revolution freeing Mexican peasants from the Federales. It’s all played for comedy, and the influence of TRINITY hovers over the production as Holy Ghost is given a “partner” in the form of rotund and robust Chris Huerta. The jokes wear painfully thin by the conclusion as it appears Carnimeo is struggling for laughs. There’s only so many times you can hit someone over the head with a balsa table or chair and it continue to be funny. The first hour and ten minutes are memorable although you may find yourself struggling to push the eject button during the final ten minutes or so.

JOHNNY ORO- 1966-Sergio Corbucci violence-laden Italo Oater shot after DJANGO but released first. Here, Hollywood heartthrob Mark Damon plays a black clad bounty hunter with a golden gun. A Mexican bandit swears revenge on Oro for gunning his brother down on his wedding day no less. The brother sides with Apaches(?) and massacre anyone that gets in their way to get at Oro. The finale is very well done with lots of explosions and theirs more of a mean streak here than in DJANGO. Women and children are gunned down, dead bodies are used as shields as they’re ripped apart by gunfire and one bloody scene where a guy has a hatchet buried into his skull. Damon plays Oro with much panache and a swaggering disposition that is most fun to watch. Lots of entertainment value found here.

KEOMA- 1976-Of his westerns I’ve seen this is Castellari’s best. A gothic western with an ambience of horror surrounding the proceedings. Keoma is a half breed avenger who has come to settle accounts with his “brothers” who were responsible for their fathers death. Lots of slow motion and Franco Nero isn’t completely wooden here, at least not all the time. Some nice touches with the camera are utilized and the use of the soundtrack to tell the story by projecting the characters thoughts is most innovative. An old witch that follows Keoma around represents death. Everything she touches dies, save for Keoma himself. A fine achievement by Castellari who more times than not, was satisfied with conventional action storytelling. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Castellari shows here that he is capable of something else. Castellari’s favorite of all his films.

LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE 1966-Very good and involving Guiliano Gemma Italian western about a man (Gemma) escaping a labor camp to avenge the wrongs done to him. Gemma’s hero is much different here from his portrayal of Ringo and others. In this film, humor is kept to a minimum and Gemma is a thinking mans gunslinger as he uses trickery to get himself out of sticky situations. The barber scene near the beginning is masterfully done. The remainder of the film is just as good. There is much story and dialog but the film is the better for it. The action scenes are well done with an unusual (for the time) finale where things aren’t going quite to plan for the hero. Some complain the film drags but I found no problem with it as I was drawn into the story mechanics. There’s more going on than standard good guy-gets-revenge-on-the-bad-guys scenario. This version contains a 120 minute Italian version, a 90 minute Spanish version that oddly enough, has much better picture quality and is correctly framed at 2:35:1. An English track is included but during the bits where there was no english dubbing, no english subs are provided either. The longer cut is best as it fleshes out scenes and characters even more. It’s not hard to follow though. If you’re a Gemma fan, you’ll want to see it regardless.

LONG ROAD TO HELL- 1965-Surprisingly good Italian western starring former Hercules Steve Reeves. The usual story of revenge but has enough lively set pieces to be a nice obscure distraction for 90 minutes. Reeves, for his size, is very agile and athletic in the action scenes.

NAVAJO JOE- 1966-Burt Reynolds stars in his sole Italian western film as an Indian getting his revenge on a sadistic Mexican bandit leader of scalp hunters that hates everybody. One of the most downright violent movies ever made, period, regardless of genre. Aldo Sambrell plays one of the nastiest villains who fears nothing. Sambrell had murdered Joe’s people including his woman. He goes about cutting down his gang and saving a town that has no great love of Indians either. The ending is very well done and reveals a touching scene between Joe and his horse. Corbucci’s most violent western was a massive hit in Italy but a failure in the USA much to the chagrin of Mr. Reynolds. Some have complained of the inaccuracies of the Indian dress but this film is not interested in being a historical re-enactment. It’s interested in action and lots of it. If you want a western with a popcorn mentality and heavy doses of violent comic book savagery than look no further. For spaghetti escapist entertainment, they don’t get much better than NAVAJO JOE.

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« Reply #267 on: April 28, 2007, 04:13:51 PM »

Navajo Joe is a cool flick. It's entertaining, that's all.

I have a rare widescreen copy I taped off some satellite channel a few years back. I still need to send Firecracker a copy but I've been very busy this past month.


Anyway, I want to get some more SWs. I only have about 15 or so.

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« Reply #268 on: April 29, 2007, 01:01:56 AM »



HELLBENDERS, THE 1966-Excellent Sergio Corbucci Italo western that is very different from his usual style of no holds barred action and frequent bursts of violence. Here, he opts for a more subdued, suspenseful approach that is not without its fair share of violence. Joseph Cotten and his sons have stolen a cache of Union gold that they are carrying inside a coffin. The film deals with their struggle to avoid capture and get away by use of stealth and trickery. Of course, greed and deceit rear their ugly heads leading to a shocker conclusion and a downbeat ending. Corbucci keeps the twists coming and builds the suspense nicely. Highly recommended on the basis that Corbucci went for a different approach and succeeds admirably.

HERE WE GO AGAIN, EH PROVIDENCE? 1973-Even more oddball and cartoonish sequel to Petroni’s original. More Looney Tunes style comic theatrics starring Tomas Milian as the Chaplinesque Providenza. This one has less spaghetti trappings than its predecessor. The jokes, sight gags and pratfalls are non-stop and I can’t even tell you what it’s all about. It’s still more polished than any of Carnimeo’s out-of-control “comedies”. There appears to have been a bigger budget this time out as well. The opening is about the only western element present in the whole picture and it’s pretty funny. If you like AIRPLANE! style humor, you may have the patience for this. The first film is better, though. Alberto de Martino directs.

HIS NAME WAS HOLY GHOST 1972-Fun Gianni Garko western is obviously lacking in budget but makes up for this in its inventiveness. Garko is an “angelic” avenger during a revolution freeing Mexican peasants from the Federales. It’s all played for comedy, and the influence of TRINITY hovers over the production as Holy Ghost is given a “partner” in the form of rotund and robust Chris Huerta. The jokes wear painfully thin by the conclusion as it appears Carnimeo is struggling for laughs. There’s only so many times you can hit someone over the head with a balsa table or chair and it continue to be funny. The first hour and ten minutes are memorable although you may find yourself struggling to push the eject button during the final ten minutes or so.

JOHNNY ORO- 1966-Sergio Corbucci violence-laden Italo Oater shot after DJANGO but released first. Here, Hollywood heartthrob Mark Damon plays a black clad bounty hunter with a golden gun. A Mexican bandit swears revenge on Oro for gunning his brother down on his wedding day no less. The brother sides with Apaches(?) and massacre anyone that gets in their way to get at Oro. The finale is very well done with lots of explosions and theirs more of a mean streak here than in DJANGO. Women and children are gunned down, dead bodies are used as shields as they’re ripped apart by gunfire and one bloody scene where a guy has a hatchet buried into his skull. Damon plays Oro with much panache and a swaggering disposition that is most fun to watch. Lots of entertainment value found here.

KEOMA- 1976-Of his westerns I’ve seen this is Castellari’s best. A gothic western with an ambience of horror surrounding the proceedings. Keoma is a half breed avenger who has come to settle accounts with his “brothers” who were responsible for their fathers death. Lots of slow motion and Franco Nero isn’t completely wooden here, at least not all the time. Some nice touches with the camera are utilized and the use of the soundtrack to tell the story by projecting the characters thoughts is most innovative. An old witch that follows Keoma around represents death. Everything she touches dies, save for Keoma himself. A fine achievement by Castellari who more times than not, was satisfied with conventional action storytelling. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Castellari shows here that he is capable of something else. Castellari’s favorite of all his films.

LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE 1966-Very good and involving Guiliano Gemma Italian western about a man (Gemma) escaping a labor camp to avenge the wrongs done to him. Gemma’s hero is much different here from his portrayal of Ringo and others. In this film, humor is kept to a minimum and Gemma is a thinking mans gunslinger as he uses trickery to get himself out of sticky situations. The barber scene near the beginning is masterfully done. The remainder of the film is just as good. There is much story and dialog but the film is the better for it. The action scenes are well done with an unusual (for the time) finale where things aren’t going quite to plan for the hero. Some complain the film drags but I found no problem with it as I was drawn into the story mechanics. There’s more going on than standard good guy-gets-revenge-on-the-bad-guys scenario. This version contains a 120 minute Italian version, a 90 minute Spanish version that oddly enough, has much better picture quality and is correctly framed at 2:35:1. An English track is included but during the bits where there was no english dubbing, no english subs are provided either. The longer cut is best as it fleshes out scenes and characters even more. It’s not hard to follow though. If you’re a Gemma fan, you’ll want to see it regardless.

LONG ROAD TO HELL- 1965-Surprisingly good Italian western starring former Hercules Steve Reeves. The usual story of revenge but has enough lively set pieces to be a nice obscure distraction for 90 minutes. Reeves, for his size, is very agile and athletic in the action scenes.

NAVAJO JOE- 1966-Burt Reynolds stars in his sole Italian western film as an Indian getting his revenge on a sadistic Mexican bandit leader of scalp hunters that hates everybody. One of the most downright violent movies ever made, period, regardless of genre. Aldo Sambrell plays one of the nastiest villains who fears nothing. Sambrell had murdered Joe’s people including his woman. He goes about cutting down his gang and saving a town that has no great love of Indians either. The ending is very well done and reveals a touching scene between Joe and his horse. Corbucci’s most violent western was a massive hit in Italy but a failure in the USA much to the chagrin of Mr. Reynolds. Some have complained of the inaccuracies of the Indian dress but this film is not interested in being a historical re-enactment. It’s interested in action and lots of it. If you want a western with a popcorn mentality and heavy doses of violent comic book savagery than look no further. For spaghetti escapist entertainment, they don’t get much better than NAVAJO JOE.



THE HELLBENDERS: Agreed. excellent picture! Arguably Corbucci's best entry in the genre. I must admit the shock ending is pretty guessable but it doesn't deter from the enjoyment of the film. 100%


HERE WE GO AGAIN EH, PROVIDENCE?: A much sillier sequel (yes it's possible!) than the original (LIFE IS TOUGH, RIGHT PROVIDENCE?) off the wall western comedy starring Milian as a Chaplin esq. bounty hunter.
I like the pop culture references ("Ah! The Red Baron! Say hello to snoopy for me") and the cameos by popular literature/television characters like Zorro!
It's all in good fun. However the Kung-Fu finale and the ice skating derby ,featuring Milian in drag, was probably best left out of the picture. Embarrassed
The soundtrack is certainly not as good as the original's fantastic score but it still has a good main theme. The rest is filler. Like the original, the film throws everything at it's disposal to try and get you to laugh. The result is...some gags work and some don't. 80%

HIS NAME WAS HOLY GHOST: Agree with pretty much all of that. I too grew annoyed of the awful sight gags during the final gunfight (if it could be called that). I'm also not a fan of the Chris Huerta boxing match in the middle of the movie either. It's dull and overlong. Other than that we have a good spaghetti here that mixes action with very silly humor (exploding chicken eggs!?).
It seems that star Gianni Garko was very underwhelmed with the finished product and decided not to participate in the planned sequel. As a result Carnimeo dropped the "would-be" series all together. 80%


JOHNNY ORO: Agree with every bit of that! Here is a more elaborate review by me...
http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=3802.105
(scroll down)


KEOMA: Masterful! Every shot is so dynamic. Castellari really went out of his way to make this movie look very unique. Unfortunatly more time should have been spent on making a more original storyline. We get the same "trouble with the evil town boss" theme going on here. But that's okay. The visuals and action make up for it. Star Franco Nero has said this was his favorite of all the films he has made. The Leonard Cohen type score is a matter of taste. I like it a great deal! Afro 90%


LONG DAYS OF VENGEANCE: I'd have to take another look at this again AC because my memories of it weren't fond Sad
50%


LONG ROAD TO HELL: Haven't seen this.


NAVAJO JOE: I like this film a good deal as well but I have to disagree on some of your points. "Most violent film ever made"? I honestly doubt that. Yes it has it's brutal scenes (especially the final 10 minutes where Joe kills Duncan's men using some very creative kill methods) but this isn't even Corbucci's most violent western (that title goes to "WHAT AM I DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE REVOLUTION") much less the most violent film of all time! Shocked.
The plot has some problems and characters tend to make stupid decisions in order to advance the story but who cares? This is good popcorn fun.
I don't care if it has historical inaccuracies either.
This is the best film Reynolds ever made. He wouldn't agree of course.
I think Reynolds was just a little steamed that this film didn't make him a superstar, like what FOD did for Eastwood's career, and he takes it out on the movie.   88%

« Last Edit: April 29, 2007, 01:09:44 AM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #269 on: April 29, 2007, 10:24:15 AM »

I didn't say it was the most violent film ever made, but ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT EVER MADE. Haven't seen WHAT AM I DOING... but I agree with Howard Hughes that it's Corbucci's most violent, at least the most violent of the one's I've seen from him. I mean really, Sambrell was murdering infants for crying out loud and scalping hordes of women and children. Implied or even the aftermath of violence can be just as strong if not more so than violence that is seen.

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