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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A man for hanging, while apparently not too well known leaves one with a skin crawling feeling due to the very apt portrayal of a psychotic rapist murderer by peter brecht( a cowboy michael myers?) on a rampage in the very isolated areas of the old west, who happily rapes and murders his way toward the mexican border. offsetting his creepiness we find one of my favorite and oh too little seen actors, mr. david macklin , who once again gives it his all. mr. macklin , although not given top billing always keeps me rooted to the screen, whether romancing a young filly (wondering... will he kiss her?) or a "bad seed" type kid or even just bestowing his wonderful presence while others are speaking. kept in check by his older compadres, the hotheaded youth portrayed by mr. macklin also managed to not romance the heroine while making me think he would. a great ending, as brecht as the bogeyman outlaw even managed to do away with his partners in crime and as handsome as he is, was truly ugly to behold in this film.i almost jumped up and applauded at the finish when our heroes finally caught up with him and whilst argueing whether to hang brecht on the spot, in an escape attempt, brecht manages to hang himself! very symbolic. all in all a fine western in the "sierra madre" or "good, bad, ugly" tradition. even if one is not a fan of westerns, per se, check this one out if possible, as the great cast, headed by macklin and brecht will keep you glued to the set!
A Man for Hanging is an engrossing often gruesome Film Noir Western. The camera work and score are good. The cast of seasoned professionals is excellent, including Peter Breck as the monster killer, Michael Pataki as a scummy Mexican bandit and David Macklin as a hunky, hot headed but sensitive hero.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the rarest and obscure (70's) exploitation westerns and there is not a single reference to this film in any western book. Shown once in the UK (on TV in 1976) as part of 'The Savage West' season. A mad and disfigured cowboy murders and rapes his way through the wildest of west. I have been trying to hunt down this film for over thirty years and never even new it existed until I found a very rare, German video for sale on the internet. The cover of this particular video is quite bland and not the picture shown here (just a man riding a horse) but the blurb on the cover says it all 'A western with death and fear'! Exploitation movies are often overlooked (or considered dirty and cheap) by the critics but they sometimes have a gritty realism that most Hollywood productions hardly ever contain. Not a great film, just an ultra rare gemstone of a picture.
A posse pursue a disfigured, psychotic outlaw as he rapes and murders his way across the state. There's no denying just how cheap and hastily put together this western looks. Obviously an exploitative cash-in the plethora of cynically violent westerns that were served up during the seventies, yet one wonders what reliable professionals such as Breck, Macklin, Carr, and TV's Big Valley director Mazucca ever hoped to salvage from this glaringly half hearted project. At least Breck puts in a shift with some optimistic over acting as the oddly masked villain and his appearances partly justify the reason not to doze off completely through such 'thrilling' scenes as a shoot-out that is only slightly less dramatic than a children's pretend gunfight in a school playground or the endless treks across the same bit of sand by fatigued, demotivated looking actors and horses. Watchable for unintended reasons but I wondered what the death-or-glory hack Al Adamson might have come up with if the tumbleweed had rolled the pages of Joan Gardner's screenplay in his direction.
I found the movie supremely pointless. The camera work was uninteresting and there was very little character development. By the end of the movie I was still unable to tell the members of the posse apart. The only mildly interesting character was the bad guy played by Peter Breck, and the details of his personality, aside from enjoying killing lame horses, beating/raping young ladies, and having an insane laugh most of that was only hinted at.
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