|Index||4 reviews in total|
Entertaining and low-budgeted African adventure with several comic
touches . It deals with John Baxter (Giuliano Gemma) , an adventurer in
Africa with a chimp (Biba) , he wishes save a lot of cash to get his
dream : a gas station in city of Detroit. Madeleine Cooper (Ursula
Andress ) is a secret agent posing as a nun as she flees from a train
when is attacked by the nasties . Madeleine is looking for a war
criminal named Robert Preston(Jack Palance), nowadays he's a smuggler
of animals and ivory . Preston is supported by his hoodlums (Nello
Pazzafini, Romano Puppo, among others).
This amusing , engaging movie is crammed of fist-fights, punches , kicks, moving stunt-work , colorful African outdoors and lots of humor. Giuliano Gemma is top-notch as sympathetic freewheeling trader of goods with a dream , to save enough money to buy a gas station, meanwhile taking on a group of smugglers .Strong performance of Jack Palance as pipe-smoking big game hunter who dedicates to illegal smuggling and chase John Baxter . Special mention to pet chimp called Biba that steals the show , getting into mischief , pranks and antics , including a surprising ending . The lighting-paced storyline slows down at times , but frenetic fight-sequences and fun make up for it . It's an entertaining romp plenty of brawls , including amusing bounds and leaps . This is a nice and funny juvenile story for Giuliano Gemma fans , as he's delight and likable . It packs action, fist-play, slapdash, humor with tongue-in-cheek and is quite bemusing . This release has some cool and several hilarious moments , adding a wonderful Ursula Andress as lady in mystery . The film isn't always good , sometimes is fresh and diverting and on a couple of memorable occasions , it's frankly delicious. The movie displays innumerable laughters , jokes and slapstick . In the picture appears usual secondaries from B Italian series seen in several genres as Spaghetti Western and Peplum as Nello Pazzafini , Roberto Dell'Acqua and Romano Puppo. And master of arms and stunts by Nazzareno Zamperla , also usual secondary of the Italian genres . Catching and commercial musical score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis -Spaghetti Western's ordinaries- and composed by synthesizer, as always , including some beautiful songs . It's followed by ¨Safari Express¨ by Duccio Tessari with similar artist and technician team . The motion picture written by Mario Amendola and Bruno Corbucci is middlingly directed by Michele Lupo who directed various Bud Spencer vehicles as ¨Bulldozer¨ ¨The Supersheriff¨, ¨Buddy go west¨, and ¨E.T. and the Supersheriff¨ . Lupo directed Giuliano Gemma , his fetish actor , in several films as ¨Master touch¨ with Kirk Douglas , ¨Stay away¨ with Amidou , ¨Arizona Colt¨ with Fernando Sancho and Nello Pazzafini and ¨California ¨ with William Berger and Romano Puppo. This is a passable entertaining juvenile that will appeal to Italian comedy buffs. Rating : Average , only for Giuliano Gemma and Ursula Andress fans.
Although the three leads are well-cast (Giuliano Gemma as the good-hearted hero who is also good with his fists, Ursula Andress as the supposed "nun" who is actually a spy on a mission, Jack Palance as the pipe-smoking villain), and Gemma's alternately helpful and troublemaking pet chimp is impressively trained, "Africa Express" is just a mildly amusing action comedy, about on the level of a lesser Bud Spencer - Terence Hill movie. And although it's always nice to see an actress like Ursula, who has been used in her career mainly as "just" a sex symbol, taking on a more empowered role, there is just too much padding between the moments where she springs into action (don't expect too much flesh-exposure either, this is basically family stuff). OK for one viewing but that's about it. (**)
This is a lot of fun to watch, I've seen it quite a few times, own the
soundtrack (am playing it now - has the cool "Maeba" african song) and am a
big fan of Biba the Chimp! ;-)
Giuliano Gemma gets a chance to play a comic role tailored specifically for
him, Ursula Andress is very sexy and Jack Palance chew up the scenery at
every turn. This film had a sequel called Safari Express with the same cast
as the original, but is harder to find. To add to the confusion, some
distributors released both this movie and the sequel as "Tropical
I still recommend this as a great family film. Kids will love the animals
and parents will appreciate the intelligent humour. Then the parents might
kill the kids if they don't stop saying "Maeba" around the
Too bad there were only two in this series. Maybe it's not too late for a reunion? :o)
Several of the locals were used in bit parts in the film. One of these
locals was Fanie Pretorius, who was a top hunter in the 70's. He is now
retired, but remains something of a legend in the Victoria Falls region
(more so for his knowledge of the African bush than his role in the
In the film, he does a scene with Ursula Andress and plays (co-incidentally) a hunter. He even had a few lines of dialogue!
Definitely a great film that captures the essence of Africa in the 70's.
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