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Richard C. Sarafian
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SHALAKO is a movie that often appears in peoples least favourite western lists and looking at this page many people have said how much they dislike it but as someone who doesn't like the genre all that much I can't say it's all that bad First of all the premise is fairly simple without being threadbare which while not being a guarantee you'll be watching a great movie is often a guarantee you won't be watching an awful one: A bunch of European toffs on a hunting trip arrogantly wander into an Indian reservation and after being warned to leave by former army scout Shalako decide to ignore his expert advice which leads to some nasty consequences .
It's not a great story but it does allow for some character conflict and some serious violence . It might seem tame today but this movie was produced in 1968 when audiences were still being treated to war films where when people were shot they give a pained expression , clutched their wound and slowly sank to the ground like a dying swan . The somewhat sadistic violence is probably the main talking point of SHALAKO especially the scene with the sand and the necklace , you'll know the scene when you see it
Yeah it's flawed film . One point is the many accents used which makes it rather difficult to understand the dialoguein some scenes which probably annoyed an American audience while many of the characters remain somewhat underwritten , I kept forgetting senator Henry Clarke was in the story until he appeared on screen in an infrequent manner . As for the casting Eric Sykes seems to be doing his comedy routine while Apache chiefs shouldn't be played by African Americans
But all in all SHALAKO isn't as bad as some people would have you believe
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