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This one doesn't seem too well rated on the IMDb, but it has
cinematography by Stelvio Massi, has George Hilton in it, has a scene
set in a creepy mansion just like the old Italian Gothic horror films,
also has a couple of Giallo like twists at the end, and features Horst
Frank as a sadistic homosexual sharp shooter. And the ending takes
place in a slaughterhouse! That's real meat in there - don't tell
Hilton is Lord, his mate is Bull. Them are two tough guys who travel to a town to track down their mate, Judge Warren. However, the judge is missing, his daughter has been kidnapped, and no one is talking. The town is ruled by some douche called Forester and his campy son Horst Frank, and they might have kidnapped the girl because there's half a million dollars in gold missing and they want. It.
Isn't that always the case though? You just want a pint and a decent place to sleep and all of a sudden folks are surrounding you and laughing and spitting in your water and getting annoyed when you gun them down. It must have been a hard life, being a gunslinger.
Then the usual happens - double crosses, beatings, attempted rape, shootings, big gunfight in the end. What makes this one stand out a bit more than the usual is Stelvio Massi's endlessly inventive cinematography (people looking at others through the barrels of a shotgun, multiple Hiltons looking at a corpse via shattered mirror fragments - He's very good, Massi). Then you've Horst's character as a sadistic, but frustrated, sharpshooter. And a hidden bad guy we don't see until near the end. Plus, the lead bad guy gets dispatched in a manner I don't think I've seen in a Western before.
The film becomes rather violent in the last half hour too, and that's when Carnimeo throws in the Giallo twists. Good on you sir. Carnimeo would go on to make on of my favourite Giallo films ever - the Edwige-Fenech-With-Her-Clothes-Just-Painted-On film The Case Of The Bloody Iris.
Gravy, baby! Or whatever it is that these annoying Summer of Love types
say to each other while dancing to funky music in a rather awkward
fashion. I guess my tolerance to these free living types strutting
about underneath pop art and ridiculous clothing depends on the story.
Luckily, the Sweet-Sweet-Sweetsweetsweet Body of Deborah is one of
those Gialli that is all about confusing the viewer with people's
motives, rather than racking up the body count.
Deborah (Baker) and Marcel (Sorel), are newlyweds heading back to Geneva from the USA to visit Marcel's home town, if they can stop shagging for two minutes in order to do so. There's trouble in paradise however as Philippe (Pistilli) appears and accuses Marcel of causing the death of his last lover, Susan, by abandoning her for some reason.
I liked how they managed to fit in the old Italian standard of the creepy mansion in this one as Deborah and Marcel visit Susan's house and Debs as she probably liked to be called gets death threats through a phone that doesn't work. Plus someone keeps playing a creepy theme tune in other rooms.
The couple scarper for a nice non-creepy villa in Nice, only to find neighbour Robert (Hilton) has his eyes on Deborah and is hilariously frank about his Peeping Tom fetish! The rest of the film is the usual viewer fooling barrage of twists right until the last second, but I don't mind films like that as I don't have a clue what it is going on and things are nicely tied up in the end.
Strangely, I'm finding that these non-formulaic gialli are more prevalent in the sixties than in the seventies - is it Dario Argento's fault. Also - check out the cheesy dance the couple do before having a game of Twister! This film has a nice jazz soundtrack too and plenty of style - I guess it's not so well known as the body count is real low (one!) and although you kind of see Baker naked, she don't float my boat.
Because she's blonde. Is that racist?
Massimo Dallamano made the great Bandidos and the also great What Have
You Done To You Daughters, but here takes things a bit too laid back
and therefore we end up with an okay giallo that could have used a nice
kick in the arse plot wise.
It's still interesting enough, mind you. You have a detective (the almost immortal John Mills) who is investigating a series of knife murders in Hamburg (this is where the black gloved killer comes in and this isn't the last giallo set in Hamburg either). The problem is, the detective has this young, hot, young, hot, sexy, young, mysterious, hot, young, tepid, young, hot, young wife who had possible links to a criminal past but the detective's totally over that and he's only phoning her a hundred times a day to see if she needs milk, right?
So we move from the giallo that has the 'who is the gloved killer?' plot to that other kind of giallo - the kind where you have no idea what everyone is up to until the last ten minutes. Most of the time those turn out to be the more entertaining giallo but we have just a bit too much in the old dialogue stakes here and less on the actual action.
Still, Dallamano's skills as a cinematographer shine through nice and bright, but for some reason the sleaze that sticks to his other films is missing here. It's still worth tracking down but isn't any lost classic or anything.
The main character in this one seems to stem from another Spaghetti
Western I haven't seen, so that's that. What I do know however is that
Tomas Milian plays a low-down dirty peasant called 'Knife' who goes
around stealing and grifting and being a fanny rat. Somehow he becomes
the only guy who knows where three million in gold has been set aside
for the Mexican revolution, and there's many a folk want that gold. To
quote Pink Floyd - the Gold it's in the...
Come on my friends lets make for the hills. They say there's gold but I'm looking for thrills. You can get your hands on whatever we find, Because I'm only coming along for the ride. Milian is great as the pretending to be innocent but really sneaky Mexican knife guy who never uses a gun, even during a duel! He also joins the Salvation Army and gets tied to a windmill's blades.
Donald O'Brian would turn out to be a mainstay for Italian cinema as a whole, right up to the bitter end, and he's great here as basically the Lee Van Cleef guy. I also got a laugh from big Nello Pazzafini losing the rag as his pregnant wife was about to drop his kid on Texan soil.
This is much lighter in tone that Sergio Sollima's Face to Face, but then again there's plenty of violence and all the bad guys are taken care of by the end. Milian may have had a very inflated sense of his talent but he is really good when let loose in these films. He somehow especially excels when running about screaming in his pants.
The utterly astonishing Primo Zelgio has surpassed all previous efforts
of directors of bad Italian sci-fi movies by making his the most boring
of all, and how does he do that? By setting most of it on Earth in the
sixties of course! I would have never thought of that.
A bunch of astronauts head off for the moon for precious metals only to find a crashed alien ship there with an old dying man and an extremely smug woman who initially appears to be wearing two brillo pads on her chest. This smug alien thinks mankind are morons even though they have a ship that works and can cure the old man's disease, and therefore we are dragged kicking and screaming through another 'battle of the sexes' plot.
To make things worse, everyone head back to Earth to cure the old man, but the local government are trying to attack the ship and there's some rich (and gay, it's suggest?) guy who wants the ship or something. I'm so glad Star Wars came along and gave the Italian film industry something decent to rip off, because these early sci-fi films are boring beyond belief.
There are only two good aspects to this film: The terrible effects and the rubbery faced-alien robot guys who shoot lasers from their eyes. Of course to keep the film as boring as possible the director waits until the last fifteen minutes to start the action going, but by that point you'll be totally nodding off.
A different kind of Spag Western that tries to mix in a bit of
light-hearted drama that draws the film out a lot longer than it
should, but is ultimately saved by the charisma of the actors involved.
Actually, it plays out more like one of those Western Westerns that are
made in the West, with John Wayne in them!
Lee Van Cleef is a stinking, thieving homeless bastard with a heart, drifting through America with his equally smelly but much more wonky eyed sidekicks Lionel Stander and the other guy. Between them, they steal a bunch of miner's wages from under the nose of Czech immigrant Antonio Sabato, which gets him into stick with the mine's owner, Bud Spencer without a beard!
Thing is, Lee's ended up striking up a huge Bromance with the naïve but resourceful Sabato and feels kind of guilty for robbing him, but not enough to try and rob him again. Somehow he ends up fending off some much more violent would be robbers, and ends up sheriff of the town (and mine) (!). This doesn't bode well with his mates, who are in two minds, and four different eye directions, about whether to steal all that lovely silver that's being dug out of the mine.
Throw in big-faced evil bad guy Gordon Mitchell (with sidekick Romano Puppo) who also want the silver and are willing to kill kids and women for it, and also throw in the romance with the girl who makes Van Cleef take a bath and put some decent clothes on. He's so scummy he doesn't know how to dunk a rich tea biscuit in some tea!
That's a lot of plot up there, and that doesn't leave time for gun fights and what not. There's a fairly big one at the end, but we're talking at the end of a nearly two hour long film. Luckily Van Cleef's conflicted personality carries the film whenever he's around, as he's torn between a life of being poor and free or being settled with a roof over his head. I guess the ending is kind of sad when I think about it.
Nice looking film too, I guess if you're looking for more character development this film might be for you. If you want endless shoot outs, you might want to try something else.
You know what's worse than having to defend your gold mine from a bunch
of bandits? Having your wife right by your side during the gun battle,
nagging on about what a mess you've made of things and how it's all
your fault and how life was better back East. Sure, this mine guy kills
all the bandits, but I got the feeling that when he blew himself up and
got trapped under a pile of crap it wasn't totally by accident.
It gave him an opportunity to give his wife the old 'I'm trapped under here - better go and get some help from that town - you know, the one that's two days away, and before you go can you fetch me that huge bottle of whiskey, my Razzle collection, and a box of Kleenex? Cheers Love,' spiel that we've all used many a time.
I'm trying to write this review, but my six year old son has implemented a new torture device in order to prolong the 'going to bed' ceremony. Now he complains that his arse is incredibly itchy. It doesn't itch when he's watching television, DVDs, or playing video games. It doesn't itch when he's out playing, or swimming. It only itches when it's time for bed. I think this may be some sort of unique medical condition. It doesn't itch in the morning either. I'm going mad.
So the wife and her itchy arse hightails it over to the town of Itchy Con Arso, where a drunken soldier agrees to help wife once he hears the words 'Gold' 'Mine' and 'Itchy'. He needs some other guys to pad out the running time however, so we also end up with the potential rapist, the other potential racist, the guy who might rape wife lady, and the other guy who has an itchy arse and no time for such shenanigans.
Also there's a bandit in the area who wants to kill them all, and then we get all the usual stuff with the double crosses, gunfights, attempted rapes and itchy arses. There's no dusty town in this one - the backgrounds are all crumbling hills, rotten old houses and such like. Find Arse Place to Scratch is good enough for me!
I'm guessing if Quentin Tarantino were to direct a giallo, it would end
up being something like this - A bunch of folks in one location,
spouting endless dialogue. I'd imagine however if Quentin were to
direct it, he would neglect to add in all the bizarre camera-work and
camera angles and perhaps insert a monologue by Samuel L Jackson about
how someone was racist to him and then he had to bum the racists son,
or whatever crap he said in the Hateful Eight.
The set up of this one is very different from your usual sixties Italian film (if you discount the fact it's set in a big mansion) - A bunch of criminals gather together to split to haul nicked from a bank in Amsterdam. It's kept in a huge tank on the grounds of the mansion and each of the criminals have a key - except for one who seems to have lost it! That means they are all stuck there until the key is found.
This is one of those films where nothing is as it seems - to begin with, the owner of the house is dead and a strange lady has taken his place, one other criminal has been replaced by a sleazy Spanish guy, and some guy called the boss keeps hovering about in a helicopter screaming about his half of the money! Plus someone is watching everyone on a camera rig (never figured out who!) and someone else is watching folk from the house owner's grave!
Add in the hyperactive camera-work, the amount of mascara these women had to wear, and the groovy music, and you've got an out there giallo that's as groovy as all those folks partying outside of the mansion (nope, never figured out why they were doing that either).
crap fact: one of the characters was played by the son of famous writer Vladimir Nabokov - that's all the fun facts this week folks! Tune in next week for another edition of Why Are You Wasting Your Life Doing Something So Utterly Pointless?
Good film that starts off like some sort of 'reading of the will' film,
then heads straight into Giallo territory by the wasting of the cast,
then seems to wrap up business early before throwing every twist in the
book at you while also giving you a loving kiss of rich cinematography,
Italian babes and crappy dubbing.
Some rich railroad worker guy gets killed when someone switches the tracks and causes him to be run over by a train. His horrible kids gather together for the reading of the will and are horrified to find that no one will get anything until the handicapped, peeping Tom adopted son comes of age in three years.
Obviously that's not going to happen so when that son falls under a train, the cops are brought in and everyone's a suspect. Throw in loads of deaths (but just a little gore, this being 1968, but there's also a little bit of boob, this being the summer of love and all), and an avalanche of twists, some sixties fashions and some groovy music and everyone's happy.
Apart from the railway theme running through the film, I also liked how various characters seemed to interact with the soundtrack (like the first murder victim turning the music 'off' via his earpiece) - I'd never heard of this one and it was a nice surprise. I also burst out laughing at some of the really crappy dancing done in the night club.
Notable Actors: William Shatner! Joseph Cotton! Victor Isreal! William
I leave reservation and travel many miles on my BMX to see this film many moons ago. Me heap excited to see Comanche people on film as me feel tribe under-represented in the cinematic medium. Um Squaw 'couldn't be arsed' so me go on lonesome.
Me not know who William Shatner is but me not remember many ginger folk in tribe. And he two brothers? One of which take Peyote? We not takers of such drugs. Our um only weakness is Steakbake from Greggs on reservation. I see recent picture of William Shatner and he look like he like Steakbake too. Quite a lot.
So there's one Shatner who bad (and he Indian one! Not good!) and one who boring cowboy type who I guess is Indian too). Indian Shatner want kill white man for boom-stick and horses and cowboy Shatner want stick peace pipe in Rosanna Yanni's Happy Hunting Ground.
Also, grumpy old Bastard Joseph Cotton got problems with white ranch men fighting but they seem to kill each other without Shatner getting involved too much, although this meant big gun fight happen too soon. Grumpy old Bastard Joseph Cotton good here, but better in Lady Frankenstien (which good because you see Rosalba Neri's Teepees! And in Slaughter Hotel you see her under scalp!).
Shatner then fight Shatner in end. This a bit bloodier than usual film but crappy too due to cheapness and Shatner crapness. How!
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