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Mary Paz Pondal
A gang of robbers armed with a union army cannon rob the bank holding bounty Killer Acquasanta Joe's earnings to date. He pursues, crossing and double crossing along the way. Written by
TOM SELDON <email@example.com>
A gang of ex-civil war soldiers led by Colonel Donovan uses their prized weapon of a stolen cannon to rob a bank. Bounty hunter Acquasanta Joe happened to keep his life-savings there, and so when a reward pops up for one of their double-crossing men Charlie Bennett who took off with some of the money. Joe finds him and brings him to Donovan, only to hopefully cash-in on the reward the army has for Donovan and his men.
For most part Mario Gariazzo's "Acquasanta Joe" is a second rate, cut and dry spaghetti western with few unusual marks creeping in. The problem I had was that it felt extremely uneventful (very flabby midsection) and despite few effective sequences, the highly obscene comedic developments (which always tried to be goofy) had myself cringing. More often everything just seemed to sit there, lacking strong characters, action and script. Gariazzo's direction is very low scale, brutish and tight, but there's no flair or distinctive style brimming from it. Which was needed to make sure the energy levels stood up, and keep certain bizarre moments from falling down flat. There are some decent set pieces, when the cannon is in use, but the uneven blend has too much filler and bland air. The film looks cheap and low end. Like something made for TV. It can't seem to hide it or use it to its advantage. The material doesn't surprise and stays traditional in all aspects, but it holds a confident structure to it. Marcello Giombini's nippy music score is an uncanny assortment (some funky modern guitar riffs) that actually worked. Franco Villa's cinematography threw many swift, fast and odd camera angles amongst the grit. The performances are pretty forgettable, but tolerable. The hazy Lincoln Tate in the central turn as the protagonist Joe is kinda lacking, especially with his presence. Ty Hardin's turn as Donovan is mainly feeble, however he has some minor sparks. Richard Harrison was enjoyable enough, as the deserter Charlie. Silvia Monelli doesn't do nothing much but look all steely. Only spaghetti fans should bother, but nonetheless rather disappointing.
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