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Fulci delivers an excellent western
spider8911925 July 2005
I have loved Fulci's Zombie films and his other horror films since long before I became interested in spaghetti westerns, so I was naturally very curious about this movie when I discovered that Fulci directed it. After viewing the film, I am very pleased to say that Fulci has directed an excellent western as well.

The music is a perfect example of a great non-Morricone score. Lallo Gori shows that he can have a style of his own and still create a score that is unmistakeably spaghetti western flavored. The theme song is fantastic, and you hear very different variations of it throughout the movie. This gives a feeling of continuity throughout the film without sounding redundant.

Nero and Hilton are both great, as usual. Hilton plays a funny character- a drunk who can shoot faster and straighter than anyone no matter how much he drinks! He can also fight several men at once even though he can't walk a straight line. The other actors are very good also. Nino Castelnuovo gets to play the most interesting part in the film. His character is truly weird and sadistic, and his preoccupation with playing the organ adds a nice hint of the macabre.

If you are a fan of spaghetti westerns or euro-films in general, do yourself a favor and see this movie.
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Fulci + Western + Nero equals good fun
K_Todorov26 April 2007
The idea of a Lucio Fulci western is compelling to say the least. Known for making some of the most gory, brutal and sadistic horror movies during the eighties, Fulci's first western "Tempo Di Massacro" is an early sign of his coming transition to the splatter genre. It lacks the gore but it certainly does not lack on the brutal and sadistic trademarks which have made Fulci famous around horror circles. Alright so there were some things that were basically copied from other Italian westerns it was still a fun movie to watch and it's not like that's a big revelation considering the whole commercialized nature of the genre.

The movie begins with a shot of a man being chased by a hunting party. The kind that usually hunts animals for sport only this time they're hunting people. Needless to say what happened when they caught him. Did I mention that this movie was sadistic and this is not the only proof there's more further along? Anyways "Tempo Di Massacro" stars Franco Nero as Tom Corbett a prospector whom after receiving a mysterious letter about his family, returns home. But things have changed a lot since he's been gone and Corbett realizes this as soon as he arrives. His family's ranch has been taken over by a rich landowner and his demented son (the guy that was leading the hunting party earlier). One might say that story is a slow mover, I disagree. I found it's pace to be very precise setting up the outline for the final confrontation. The story is coherent enough so that it makes sense. There are a few twists here and there so as not to get too boring when waiting for the showdown.

In a movie that supposedly starred Franco Nero, his character Tom wasn't all that impressive, gone was that cynical attitude with which he portrayed the titular character in "Django" and his clothing, well it's obvious where they were taken from (small hint: an Italian western movie with Clint Eastwood). Instead more focus was put on Tom's brother Jeff played by George Hilton, a drunkard with a bit of a temper and the sadistic son of the landowner played by Nino Castelnuovo. Both these men were the highlights of the movie. Respectively performances are well done considering that this is a spaghetti western. The score by Lallo Gorri is good, very catchy song in the beginning.

Now what really makes "Tempo Di Massacro" fun is it's finale. There Fulci demonstrates that he is more than capable of directing action. With commendable choreography, masterful synchronization between the shooting and victims's death. It's a hard task to create a long entertaining action scene, most of the times everything wears out after a couple of minutes not here though. Variety is the key to success in such sequences and Fulci packs the scene with outdoor, indoor shootouts making it an entertainingly diverse gunfight. The film ends with a symbolic white dove flying away, possible this is from where John Woo got his dove gimmick from.

Anyways "Tempo Di Massacro" is one of the better Italian westerns out there. It's a good movie on all accounts, worth the look from fans of the genre or even horror fans intrigued with Lucio Fulci's pre-horror work.
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Rare Western From the Godfather of Gore
marquis de cinema25 February 2000
Lucio Fulci would direct only three Westerns in his career and this is one of them. Tempo Di Massacro/Massacre Time(1966) came out three years before his first prosperous period in the early 70's. Although the Fulci touch is not fully developed, there are still scenes which contains mannerisms that would later become his trademark. It is about friendship and the lack of woman in a family structure. This film is also about the greedy and sadistic nature of the rich.

Massacre Time exhibits the fact that Lucio Fulci was not a hack as many people believe. It also shows that he was a talented film-maker who was capable of making great feature films. One reason to watch Massacre Time(1966) is the appearence of Franco Nero as this was done before he worked with Sergio Corbucci to do Django(1966). The story starts out slow, but ends in a awesome gun battle that foreshadows the famous shootouts of the Hong Kong Action films of the 80's and early 90's. The best way to view this film is via widescreen and hopefully in the Italian language as dubbing would gives this film little justice.
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"Hey Gentlemen!"
filmchap4 July 2005
What a truly wonderful discovery and surprise. Lucio Fulci is best know in the genre of horror, I must admit to not being one of his biggest fans, his movies lack consistency, his earlier work outweighs, by far, his later work. But even the films regarded by his fans, The Beyond, Zombie Flesh Eaters etc. are severely overrated. Before I saw his Spaghetti Western Tempo di massacro (Massacre Time) I was impressed more by his earlier work, Don't Torture a Duckling for a perfect example of Giallo cinema. It all changed when I caught this truly outstanding cinematic experience...Tempo di massacro. From the excellent original Morricone' esquire score by Coriolano Gori to fantastic action sequences that obviously inspired John Woo's narrative traits (complete with flying 'slow mo' doves) The consistently great Franco Nero here gives an adequate performance (mirroring Eastwood's on screen presence) pairing perfectly with his on screen brother George Hilton who steals many of the films greatest lines from him. But the highlight of the film, by far, is the absolutely fantastic and mesmerising performance of Nino Castelnuovo playing the sinister whip brandishing Junior. Castelnuovo's performance lights up the screen here in a way rarely has been seen in cinema (for me Castlenuovo is one of the best character actors in Italian cinema with career defining leaps in so many genres ranging from comedy, horror, romance, erotica, western, sci-fi and drama) From the fantastic 'whipping' scene to the organ-playing scene... Nino Castelnuovo steals every moment on screen... and considering Franco Nero is in this that is by no means an easy achievement!

Just check this cinematic classic out...I have no doubt in saying that in a few more years, this will be seen as a true classic of the genre and will finally be given the respect and audience it so rightly deserves. Lucio Fulci's finest work! A MUST SEE!

Much more than just sixties exploitation cinema. I don't use this word lightly... it's a masterpiece of sixties cinema.
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Very remarkable Western
AS-6929 November 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Minor spoilers

As probably most of us, I started to learn Fulci's work "backwards", i.e., the first movies I saw of him were his gory masterpieces of the 70's and early 80's. Only afterwards, I became interested in his whole work. Although I am not a great fan of Westerns, I really like "Massacre Time" and would rate it as one of Fulci's masterpieces and one of the best Spaghetti Westerns. Knowing his later work, you will easily recognize that he employed several shots, camera tricks, and so on, already in this early stage of his career.

For instance, the opening sequence sets the tone: We see Scott's demented son and by the way he is sitting on his horse, we immediately notice that something is wrong with him. And then a man is chased to death by dogs. What follows is an atmospheric, very well shot movie which builds a more and more intense feeling of terror and madness, creating at times almost unreal settings. A highlight is Franco Nero being whipped by his half brother at a party. All this culminates in an bullet laden shoot out. The movie is also graced with an excellent musical score.

As Fulci stated himself, the story has been reduced to a minimum, namely the conflict between three half brothers: one totally demented, the other a drunkard, and only Nero is a superhero.

On the other hand, you can tell that Fulci has not yet developed full maturity. There are some clumsy cuts and Fulci often sticks to the stereotypes of a Western. For example, Franco Nero is the just a little too much the undistinguished hero.

This excellent movie deserves to be more widely known and should help everybody to reevaluate Fulci's work. With "Massacre Time", "Don't torture a duckling" and "The Beyond", he has delivered at least three outstanding movies in totally different genres.
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"Excuse Me, Gentlemen!"
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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Excuse me, Gentlemen! I just massacre time with watching this movie. Was it worth it? Yes!
ironhorse_iv7 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
If you are a fan of Spaghetti Western films, the 92 minutes will go pretty fast. The movie is pretty entertaining. This film also known by the titles of tempo di massacro, The Brute and the Beast, Colt Concert is the first spaghetti western directed by Horror legend Lucio Fulci. It was meant to be an Italian-Spanish co-production, and Spanish actor George Martin was originally cast as the film's protagonist. But the Spaniards withdrew, Franco Nero was given the role of Tom Corbett. The movie story by Ferdinando Di Leo is similar to the 1965's film Return of Ringo. The director was inspired by Raoul Walsh's 1947 film 'Pursued' to make a western with very some very strong Freudian overtones. Tom Corbett (Nero) is a prospector who is contacted by an old friend of the family, who asks him to come home immediately. Nero was really trying to be a Clint Eastwood 'Man with no name' character with this, even to the point of wearing No Name's outfit for Fistful of Dollars minus the poncho. Rather than trying to establish the character as an original character, the film producers are trying to ride on the high of the much more popular 'Dollar Trilogy" by Sergio Leone. When that didn't work, the film producers try to say that this was a Django (1966) movie, to try to ride off the fame of that movie. Franco Nero is not at his very best here, but he works as a mediocre character. He return home to find that the Corbett ranch is now property of the Scott family. Not only that, Mr. Scott (Giuseppe Addobbati) also took control of the town where a bullwhip-wielding maniacal killer, Jason Scott Junior (Nino Castelnuovo), shielded by his father's wealth control it with terror. Nino Castelnuovo is truly a character, unlike the underdeveloped Tom Corbett. In my opinion, he has two of the greatest scenes in the movie. One is the bullwhip fight with Tom at the party which is amazing to watch. The other is the opening of the film, where he forced a man to run away from killer dogs. Too bad, the dogs don't look like killers. They look more confused than vicious. Nino Castelnuovo looks like a Colonel Sanders mixed with Jerry Lewis lookalike psychopath. While Jason controls the town, Tom's brother Jeffrey Corbett (George Hilton) has become the town's drunk, who only lives for his bottle. While Tom is investigating the case, several of the people around him are murdered, but remarkably, the hired killers never try to kill him. According to his brother, they don't want to. Puzzled by all this, Tom decides to pay a visit to the Scott ranch, and talk to the family's old patriarch. This is where the melodramatic plot-twist similar to Texas, Addio, Nero's third spaghetti western of '66 come into play. It is here, where Tom learns the truth, and seek the final showdown between him and Jason Scott. The film was a very important film for the career of at least three people. If Massacre Time was a failure, Director Fulci career might have been over. For actor Franco Nero, if the movie is success. It would catapult him to the position of most popular Italian action star at the time. To Uruguayan actor, George Hilton it was the beginning of a very successful career in the Italian film industry. George Hilton makes the film watchable. 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, Gentleman' in a friendly salutation before shooting his enemies. The movie has some pretty cool stunts and shooting sequences. I just didn't like the one shot kills, it makes the movie look cheap and humorous. The death scenes are laughable. Today the violence of Massacre Time is no longer an issue, but at the time of its release, it certainly was. The Italian censors ordered Fulci to make cuts in both the opening sequence where a man devoured by dogs and the bullwhip sequence, and to remove a close-up of the two murdered Carradine girls. This cut version, with a length of 86 minutes, is called the Prima edizione. So if you got this version, you might be missing these scenes. In 1970 the cut scenes were restored, but not completely: some originally cut fragments are still missing, but there's a lot of debate about their content. The restored version, with a length of little over 88 minutes, is called the Seconda versione, and actually the longest available. In 1977 a special 83 minutes version was presented, probably for television showings. It has no name, not even a number, and people are usually advised to avoid it. So don't watch that one. The movie was billed as ultra-violent bloodbath, but it's far from it. There was barely any blood. No gore, and for a movie call Massacre Time. The death toll was 46. Tom kill 20, while Jeff kill 22. I believe Jason's gang killed 4. The action scenes probably inspired John Woo with some trademarks clichés such as flipping while firing, the emptying of guns into a single person at close range, birds flying through the air, etc. It's silly, but fun to watch. The dialogue, at least in Italian, sounds a bit theatrical. The English dubbing is just awful. It doesn't even match their mouths. The film is beautifully shot, but there isn't anything to look at in the background. Last, the soundtrack by Lallo Gori is lovely, with a infectious theme song called A Man Alone (Back Home some Day) performed by Sergio Endrigo that has several variations on it throughout the movie. This song is pure gold. Overall: The movie is a must watch for any Spaghetti Western fan. So leave some time for Massacre Time.
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Rather mediocre Spaghetti Western...
Samoan Bob5 March 2002
...Lucio Fulci's "Massacre Time" is a typical Spaghetti Western with a few things that seperate it from the pack. First, the presence of schlock horror-maestro Lucio Fulci makes it worth a try for devotees of the king of Italian gore. Second, the shootout at the end (while nothing compared to the action scenes of Sergio Corbucci, the best action director of Spaghetti Westerns) is quite interesting especially considering the many John Woo trademarks throughout (flipping while firing, the emptying of guns into a single person at close range, birds flying through the air, etc.). Whether this is coincidence or outright theft is up in the air. Third, the wonderful score. You'll be humming the theme song for the rest of the day.

To sum it up, this flick is interesting, but more or less typical for the genre.
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Fulci's AWESOME Django cash-in!
Coventry6 November 2006
Lucio Fulci was an awesome human being and still pretty much a deity in my crazy little world! Mainly for his gore flicks and giallos, but here he proves that even westerns can be a specialty of his. "Four of the Apocalypse" isn't really that impressive, but his unofficial contribution/cash-in to the Django series is fantastic entertainment, with a solid story, exhilarating music and several truly cool gunfights. Franco Nero, the number one male symbol of Italian Westerns, stars as a Texan gold digger who's called back to this hometown by his old friend. It seems like the entire town has been monopolized by a certain Mr. Scott and his men can get away free with randomly killing everyone they please, including women, children and elderly folks. Even Tom Corbett's parental farm has been taken over by Scott and his brother Jeff became a low-keyed alcoholic...even more than he already was. It's up to Django (although he's not called Django) to reinstate law & order and to revive his brother's desire to kill. "Massacre Time" is actually a rather unusual western. No matter how cool and charismatic Franco Nero is, he's really getting his butt whooped by George Hilton, who plays his hard-drinking yet straight-shooting brother Jeff. It's a fast-paced genre-highlight, with a delightful 'shoot-first-ask-questions-later' mentality as well as a handful of ingenious twists in the plot. No nonsense, just hard boiled macho-action, particularly during the last half hour. The song "Back Home Someday" sung by Sergio Endrigo is easily the best western song I ever heard. Highly recommended, if you're fortunate enough to stumble across a decent copy.

*Note: user-comment dedicated to Dario_2nd! The man with the largest collection of films imaginable.
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Essential Spaghetti Western from Lucio Fulci.
"Massacre Time" is one of the most awesome Italian Western films I've seen. It's more violent than the usual fare, as you might expect from the one and only Fulci. He delivers with this one! The plot is simple enough: Franco Nero is a man who is wronged by a ruthless gang. He seeks revenge. Does he get it? Well, you'll have to see to find out. Trust me, you'll be rooting for this dude! It's awesome.

The only thing that sucks about this flick is how hard it is to find. I wonder why they haven't released this one Anchor Bay or something like they did "Four of the Apocalypse." The only version I could find is a Japanese import that is just so-so. The one thing I have to say is that this film must be seen in Italian with English subtitles. The dubbing is not the best.

If you can find it, buy it. As a Spaghetti Western fan, you will not regret it. "Massacre Time" is a must! 8 out of 10, kids.
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