3 items from 2009
"... They call him Silence, because wherever he goes, the silence of Death follows."
A gang of ruthless bounty hunters, for whom the "Alive" in "Dead or Alive" is mere filler, terrorise a snowbound mountain community, sanctioned by the town's corrupt Justice of the Peace, Pollicut (Luigi Pistilli) – who disposes of those he doesn't like by placing a price on their head.
Following the needless slaughter of her husband at the hands of the sadistic bounty killer, Loco (Klaus Kinski), Pauline (Vonetta McGee) enlists the aid of a wandering gunslinger, Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant), to avenge his death. The presence of Silence in the desolate town of Snow Hill brings events to a head between the besieged inhabitants and the bounty hunters, and as the black-clad, mute gunman seeks retribution; he can do nothing to halt the massacre that is on its way.
Sergio Corbucci brought a manically fresh perspective to the »
Lee Van Cleef has a long and respected standing in the Spaghetti Western industry. His career in Italian cinema has seen him feature in some of the best (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), some of the more mediocre (The Grand Duel), and some of the absolute worst (God's Gun) that the genre has to offer. But with films such as The Big Gundown and For a Few Dollars More on the CV, the duds are easily forgiven.
Another film that exonerates the horrendous wig sported by the man with the gunsight eyes in God's Gun, is Giulio Petroni's 1967 epic, Death Rides a Horse. It may be a simple, bog-standard tale of revenge, but it's one that's told with the style and visual appeal unique to the very best examples of Spaghetti Westdom.
The somewhat mundanely named Bill (John Phillip Law), a man who drew the short straw »
Jeffman from Head Full Of Snow recommends five Spaghetti Westerns not directed by Sergio Leone.
A bruised and battered stalwart of the late night cinema circuit, the Spaghetti Western held a bastardised, custom-job revolver to the head of its inferior American cousin and relieved it of both its basic premise and last shred of decency; joyously blurring the line between right and wrong and leaving morality swinging from a ragged noose in the hot, desert sun.
The Spaghetti Western was an Italian phenomenon, mostly financed by Rome's famous Cinecitta Studios, although there were plenty of co-productions with other Euro countries like Spain and Germany, even stretching as far afield as Israel if you count the soul-sapping awfulness that is God's Gun. One man is responsible for popularising the Spaghetti Western, Sergio Leone. If you're a follower of LateMag's frequent forays into the weird and wonderful worlds of cult cinema you'll probably know his films already. »
3 items from 2009
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