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Massacre Time (1966)
"Le colt cantarono la morte e fu... tempo di massacro" (original title)

M  |   |  Western  |  4 December 1968 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,092 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 16 critic

A prospector must fight a sadistic man and his son who have taken over his ranch.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Tom Corbett
George Hilton ...
Jeffrey Corbett
Linda Sini ...
Brady (as Lynn Shane)
Giuseppe Addobbati ...
Mr. Scott (as John M. Douglas)
Nino Castelnuovo ...
Jason 'Junior' Scott
Tom Felleghy ...
Murray
Franco Moruzzi ...
(as Franco Morici)
Rina Franchetti ...
Mercedes
Tchang Yu ...
Undertaker
Aysanoa Runachagua ...
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Storyline

In 1866 New Mexico, Tom Corbett is a prospector who is called back to his hometown in Laramie Town, Texas at the bequest of a old family friend. Tom arrives in the town to see it under the control of a ruthless and greedy gangster named Jason Scott, who's psychotic and murder-crazed son, Junior Scott, runs it with fear with a posse of thugs who kill anyone who protests their business tactics. Tom finds his brother Jeff, a drunkard looked after by their family maid Mercedes. Tom then tries to persuade Jeff to help him take down the sadistic Scotts so the town can rest easy in peace and harmony again. Written by Matt patay

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's Nothing Between Them But Hate...For Each Other! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 December 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Massacre Time  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Jeff Corbett: Excuse me, Gentlemen!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man Alone
(Come Back Home Someday)
Written by Coriolano Gori
Performed by Sergio Endrigo
Cetra SP1314 7" 45rpm single
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Excuse Me, Gentlemen!"
30 May 2007 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Lucio Fulci's MASSACRE TIME is quite simply one of the Spaghetti Western's finest hours. Fulci and scriptwriter Fernando Di Leo are of course better known for their Euro Horror outings & Italian police thrillers, but this is a fantastic film in any regards and one of the finest Westerns ever made regardless of country of origin. Even non-fans of the genre will find it an entertaining & worthy experience that will command multiple viewings.

I will let others describe the plot: Spaghetti idol Franco Nero gets top billing as a wrongly condemned man who returns to his home town for revenge, but George Hilton as his drunken, reckless, wise-cracking brother with a deathwish steals the show. Hilton shows off some trick riding and rather acrobatic stunt shooting that isn't being performed by a double. Hilton also gets big laughs with his character's habit of repeatedly proclaiming "EXCUSE ME, GENTLEMEN!" in a friendly salutation before opening fire on his quarry. It's as almost as if he is trying to give them a fighting chance, and his washed up drunk is easily the most deadly presence in the whole film, counterpointed nicely by Franco Nero's "straight man" brother, who scowls disapprovingly but still bands together with his brother to defeat the bad guys. Franco Nero is great as the protagonist but George Hilton is amazing as the sidekick; this is probably the film that cemented his reputation as an action hero.

All of the action is performed in a quick-edit upbeat manner, with judicious use of the widescreen picture format in an almost painterly manner that as with the best of the Spaghetti Westerns is more reminiscent of a big, violent cartoon than something like THE SEARCHERS or MY DARLING CLEMENTINE. Not that there's something wrong with those approaches either, but the novelty aspect of the Spaghetti genre is in full play here with the offbeat locations, bizarre set designs and oddball characterizations that Italian made Westerns are so famous for.

There's even a fantastic, snickering, twisted, psychotic villain in the white-suited lunatic son of the local land baron, who naturally prefers a whip when it comes to teaching his enemies a lesson. Fans of on screen lashings will want to check this movie out for an extended scene where the loon bullwhips Franco Nero within an inch of his life ... it isn't pretty and unlike most of the Brutal Beating Interludes from the Spaghetti Western formula there is a genuine sense of peril for the hero during his punishment.

Which of course makes the final showdown sequences all the more entertaining as not just plot denouement but a catharsis to get back at the dirtbags for all their evil. Watching George Hilton flippantly quip glib one-liners, ride his horse sideways and blow away the bad guys with a sort of ballet of choreographed stage movements is a joy to behold & makes some of the slower sections worth sitting through. 1966 and 1967 really do seem to be the peak years of creative experiment with the Spaghetti genre, this example is fast, funny, brutal, touching, invigorating, life-affirming, and makes you want to see more like it. There probably are, I've found it to be a pretty unique film and like most of the pre- ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST Spaghettis knew that it sort of had to prove itself by showing audiences something different.

Fulci did it in spades. I may not be a big fan of his horror movies but here's proof that he cut his teeth on film as an art form before devolving into the zombie slobber. Get yourself a region free DVD player & treat yourself to one of the nice widescreen Region 2 DVDs of this movie, though for my money the older Region 0 NTSC pressing from Asia sourced from a positive print with the correct colors is the way to go. In any event you won't regret it, I have a tendency to over-praise lower budgeted genre films in favor of high profile A list extravaganzas, but this genuinely is an instance that anyone can enjoy.

9/10: George Hilton really should have gotten some kind of best supporting actor nomination, he is wonderful.


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