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A newly arrived governor finds his province under the control of the corrupt Colonel Huerta. To avoid assassination by Huerta, he pretends to be weak and indecisive so Huerta will believe he poses no threat. But secretly he masquerades as Zorro, and joins the monk Francisco and the beautiful aristocrat Hortensia in their fight for justice against Huerta and his soldiers. Written by
Mark Hettler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Falling in between Guy Williams' and Antonio Banderas' renditions of the legendary masked figure is this oddball, campy, yet somehow still watchable Spanish-made entry. Delon wears the cape and the mask this time around and does an admirable job for the most part. He disguises his way into the role of governor to a South American province which is riddled with corruption, much of it at the hands of slimy colonel Baker. While Delon (who, in his prime, was one of the most gorgeous men ever created) does well as Zorro and looks dashing in his costume--his blue eyes jutting from behind the mask, he wildly overplays the foppish role of the governor. It's meant to be funny, but it falls short of humorous and winds up rather annoying. In fact, a lot of the humor doesn't seem to translate from what the Spanish consider funny to what American audiences will enjoy. For example, the film offers up a goofy, dim-witted mute, a rotund, hairy guard whose pants rip open and a little "Buckwheat"-style kid for comic relief. None of these is remotely amusing. The strength of the film lies in the animosity and rivalry of Delon and Baker (put to good use as the villain.) The movie is helped immeasurably by some gorgeous locations and a lot of authentic and regal settings. The costumes tend to be pretty decent as well. Also, there are several elaborate stunt sequences. These aspects cover up some of the lack of budget in the picture. Piccolo, as the heroine resembles Linda Blair, excepting that Piccolo can actually act. She makes a lovely damsel in distress. The story is really a duel between the two men. First it's a battle of wits and then an extended, well-executed and staged battle of swords. This creative, elongated battle is the highlight of the film. Unfortunately, the very, very end of the film is choppy, disjointed and unsatisfying. The theme song (heard over and over) is sung by Oliver Onions (!) and should be used in CIA interrogations. It's hellacious lyrics, vocals and music attack the brain and cling on for hours and hours after the film has been viewed.
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