Half-breed Keoma returns to his border hometown after service in the Civil War and finds it under the control of Caldwell, an ex-Confederate raider, and his vicious gang of thugs. To make ... See full summary »
In a desolate section of the Sahara once ruled by the French, two thirsty men stumble into the camp of a Tuareg warrior where they're given water and shelter. Soldiers from the new Arab ... See full summary »
Three young people - Roy, Linda and José - who become pirates because they end up involved in the drug traffic. Out of need and greed, they find themselves caught up in something much ... See full summary »
Enzo G. Castellari
Vik C. Ryan,
Maximiliano Hernando Bruno
Christian Biton is a skiing instructor in the Italian Alps. He has a wealthy girlfriend, Monica Scotti, and expensive tastes. To be able to live in style he has a plan : to lay hands on the... See full summary »
Inspector Tellini investigates serial crimes where victims are paralyzed while having their bellies ripped open with a sharp knife, much in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black ... See full summary »
An American narcotics agent is murdered in Italy. The head of the department decides to hire Larry Stanziani, 'The Cobra'. Larry, a former agent and now a third-rate private detective, uses... See full summary »
Enzo G. Castellari
HECTOR THE MIGHTY (Enzo G. Castellari, 1972) **1/2
I happened to notice, by chance, that this was being shown on late-night Italian TV recently; I checked out its entry on the "Stracult" book where I learned that it was an "extremely vulgar" modernization of the perennial Helen Of Troy story and, hence, would make for an interesting addition to my current Epic/Historical Film challenge!
Apart from that, I was highly intrigued by the credits including cult director Castellari and co-writer Lucio Fulci, a master film-maker in his own right as, in fact, were a couple of members from its cast namely Vittorio De Sica and Luciano Salce. The rest of the acting ensemble (despite the title, no one character takes center-stage throughout) includes Giancarlo Giannini (as Ulysses), Philippe Leroy (Hector the "Lo Fusto" of the original title translating not to "The Mighty" as above but rather "The Stud"), Rosanna Schiaffino (Helen depicted as a nymphomaniac, but a curiously unglamorous one), Vittorio Caprioli (Menelaus) and Orchidea De Santis (as a slut brought in especially with her companion from Perugia and who also ends up being contended by the two gangs).
The Greek setting of the original tale has been transposed to the criminal underworld in Rome with the warring factions involved being a big-time prostitution racket and a more modest rival establishment (the updating also sees the usually stoic warrior Achilles now as a gay "Hell's Angel" though, thankfully, not a stereotype). In this respect, too, the prose of Homer's epic poem "The Illiad" is here replaced by the slang typically found in Italian films of the 1970s while a shiny new Rolls-Royce (with the much reduced invading army concealed with great difficulty within its boot) acting as the all-important Trojan Horse! Similarly, the famed duel of champions takes place at night with flick-knives and motorbikes as opposed to javelins and chariots respectively.
In the long run, then, the general style is all over the place and the film may seem slightly overlong for its purpose; nonetheless, it's kept going by the enthusiastic performances and a lively score by the prolific and versatile Francesco De Masi. Incidentally, I'd seen three personalities involved with the film in the flesh at the 2004 Venice Film Festival: Giannini (still a star after all these years), Castellari (invited for the Italian B-movie retrospective) and De Santis (ditto she was present to introduce the excellent but little-known political satire COLPO DI STATO , coincidentally directed by her co-star from this film Luciano Salce!).
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