Condemned gunman Clayton is given a last minute reprieve on condition he murders rancher Matthew for a railway company. Visiting Matthew's ranch, Clayton is unable to bring himself to kill ... See full summary »
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Royce D. Applegate
The Ricky Caldwell, the "Santa Claus Killer," once thought dead, has been brought back to life by a crazed scientist. A blind woman finds that she is somehow psychically connected to the reanimated serial killer.
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Condemned gunman Clayton is given a last minute reprieve on condition he murders rancher Matthew for a railway company. Visiting Matthew's ranch, Clayton is unable to bring himself to kill Matthew and leaves, but Matthew's wife, Catherine, believing she has killed Matthew during an argument joins Clayton. Matthew, still alive, and mad as hell joins Clayton's equally angered employers to hunt down the pair Written by
Tom Seldon <elpuro.msn.com>
The English title of the film (China 9, Liberty 37) comes from a signpost seen at the start of the movie which shows the distances to the two nearest towns:- China being 9 miles in one direction and Liberty 37 miles in the other. See more »
When Catherine initially stabs Mathew, she stabs him on his left side, the blade is horizontal. After the cut, the blade is vertical sticking out of the center of Mathew's upper back. See more »
Pretty sight, no more Japanese.
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This 1978 Italian-Spanish Western was directed by the enigmatic American Monte Hellman, who has made few features during his 50-year career. Its recent airing on the Western Channel confirmed its cult status, as it stars Warren Oates, that fine underrated actor frequently used by Hellman, this being their final collaboration before Oates' untimely death at age 53 in 1982. Not having seen it since the early 1980s, and perusing the other 11 reviews on IMDb, I can attest that this is the full, uncut 102 minute version, with all the nudity and some of the most frank, shocking lines you're likely to hear in a Western. The other comments gripe about the poor quality of all available prints, and the accent of leading man Fabio Testi. I have two major complaints myself, in that the film seems much longer due to its meandering script, but what is unforgivable is that the soundtrack, from the footsteps to the chickens, even the music, simply drowns out much of the dialogue. The photography is excellent, the acting is good, and Hellman works wonders with his material, I just couldn't recommend it to anyone hard of hearing. The frustration is eased by Warren Oates, who manages to gain sympathy as the wronged husband, and the lovely Jenny Agutter, who supplies the film's bold nude scenes as the supposedly shy wife who becomes a whore. As the gunman who falls in love, Fabio Testi's accent makes his line readings a real chore to decipher, while small cameos are provided by Sidney Lassick and Sam Peckinpah, the latter playing a wealthy author manufacturing tales of the Old West. There is also an extremely brief appearance by European cult beauty Helga Line as a hotel proprietor. The 15-year heyday of the Spaghetti Western (1964-1979) was nearing its end, and this frank and occasionally bloody example continues to wallow in obscurity, but isn't that a typical fate for any movie directed by Monte Hellman? My favorite Hellman feature remains his first, "Beast from Haunted Cave," a 1959 collaboration with Gene and Roger Corman.
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