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|133 reviews in total|
To which our hero replies, "You must have been looking in a mirror
then," to one of the villain's henchmen. Tex Ritter is probably best
know for singing the theme song to classic western 'High Noon.' But he
made quite a few westerns of his own, none,sadly in the same class as
the aforementioned High Noon and all of them distinctly very
low-budget.I suspect that a lot of the action scenes involving indians
on the rampage are stock footage from other westerns.
Just the same,Ritter is an amiable hero with his trademark soft Texas drawl which underlies a quick temper when trouble rears it's head.Here it's in the form of crooked trader wanting to stop wagon trains settling in his area.
There's action along the way,a bit of romance,a couple of songs from Tex and it all ends well in less than an hour. Nothing startling but it passed the time quite nicely on a sunny summer evening.
The mystery is why this ever got made,I've seen many low-budget films
but this is a no-budget at all film. It's filmed in an old western
ghost town and all the action (what there is) takes place in the
street. In fact the characters even sleep out on the street. I assume
the buildings were too unstable to film in or perhaps they had no
lighting equipment to film indoor scenes.
It bills itself as the movie debuts of Jack Elam (actually his second film appearance) and Grace Lee Whitney, better known as Yeoman Rand from the Star Trek TV series. While Jack does his best as a simple minded cowpoke, he's fresh faced and young looking, not the usual grizzled, unshaven character we're more used to from his later appearances.
As for Grace Lee, even mentioned by IMDb as her first appearance, it isn't her at all. Instead it's another actress called Ruth Whitney, who looks and sounds nothing like Grace Lee. But according to information on the DVD back cover, even IMDb has bought into this urban myth.
And that's about the most interesting thing about this film. Running for nearly an hour, it seems a lot longer with endless talking and a couple of songs to fill the time. The plot concerns a circuit judge finding the real killer of a accused man's brother. Which is as nowhere as interesting as it might sound.
There are countless other westerns far, far better than this and unless you are desperate to see Jack Elam as a fresh faced youth, I would recommend watching something else.
Really just a poor man's 'The Devil Rejects' as the plot mimics
aforementioned film,deranged murderous family are tracked down by
deranged murderous avenger. This is a competent film that is let down
by it's low budget origins.And as with every horror film made
nowadays,everything is in place for a hoped for sequel. Though I can't
see it happening in this case as the DVD has ended up in the chain of
Britain's 'Poundland' discount stores.
The majority of the unknown cast do well,no Oscar winners but a level above the usual amateur hour players these films attract. The gore effects are well done and the sets are adequate. Basic story is family of misfits run a travelling circus that happens to actually kill people during the magician's act,thus setting up the vengeful pursuer of one of the victims.
The father apparently kills because he likes it and the rest of his family just help him. But they have their problems too,brother and sister sibling rivalry,the son who plays the clown longs for true love though he is disfigured,the ventriloquist brother who is in two minds with his dummy. The same as all vents in films from 'Dead of Night' to 'Magic' amongst others.
So,therefore not a bad film but I was left rather unmoved because as in the 'The Devil's Rejects' I found all the characters unpleasant and unlikeable. Bad things happen to bad people,so they say, but in this case I just didn't care one way or the other.
The only real point of interest in this bland film is the presence of
Burt Ward who played Robin in the camp Batman series of the sixties.
He's the manager of a block of apartments where our hero rents one.
Small town farm boy who has moved to the big city (LA)to find fame and
fortune,etc.Most of the film is taken up with his trials and errors as
he tries to find a job,loses his wallet,runs out of money,etc. He
befriends his good looking neighbour and her controlling boyfriend and
starts to hear noises from the room above which is supposed to be
empty. Finally after what seems an eternity,he finds out there is
actually a devil worshipping cult using the flat,there are inserts
during the film where they kill and do rituals but it's all random and
doesn't make a great deal of sense really.
Cue our hero getting it off with the neighbour before she is abducted by the cult to be used in one of their nonsensical rituals. There is a grand finale but to be honest I'd forgotten the denouncement about half an hour after the film had finished...
Burt Ward is really the only professional actor and that's stretching it a bit too. I always think when there is a lot of topless women and full nudity all the way through a supposed horror film that the filmmakers know their product is rubbish and have to include that to keep viewers (i.e.men) interest.
This type of devil cult stuff has been so many times before and so much better too.
Buck Jones is elected town Marshall even though he is a wanted man
elsewhere,some old cronies are also in town with intent to rob the
Wells Fargo office, Buck must somehow stop them in the 48 hours he has
given them and clear his name.
That basically is the plot,not that original of course but still workable, Jones is a amiable leading man who's strong voice and large stature adds character to his role of tough guy cowboy. A nasty bad guy who eventually turns on his gang adds strength to the story. But it's the leading lady role which really complements the film,a short feisty firebrand who plays the sheriff's daughter. It is her who off camera persuades Buck to become town Marshall,as her father remarks,"it's no good arguing with her." Sally is in the thick of the action,even riding off to save her man,she's already put her brand on him by this time. Actress Celica Parker does a good shift as Sally,who Jones towers over but is just putty in her hands when she puts her mind to it. As the final dialogue goes as Jones says he doesn't like plum sandwiches,she replies: "You'll eat it and like it." No screaming hostage or wallflower is this girl!
Therefore a pretty ordinary oater rises above it's humble origins to become an enjoyable time passer.
At this time of writing,there was only one review of this film
here,now,I always like to see a few reviews to get a good
balance.Therefore I thought I would add another one as the lone
reviewer could be wrong in his opinion of the movie.
I have to tell you,they were not...it is an awful film.A horror film can be good,bad,silly,stupid but it should never be dull and boring.Some of the worst horror films are still watchable for their sheer badness and stupidity but dull films are just tedious. This film is one of those.Poor acting from the cast,it should come as no surprise that most of them never appeared in any other films.A muddled story which didn't make much sense,mind numbing direction,at times it seemed to be more a 'how to go camping' training video.
The only faintly entertaining part is the French Canadian guide who has taken accent lessons from Inspector Clouseau.Like the inspector,who says 'reum' for room,the guide pronounces moose as 'moouse.' But even this gets tedious after a time.
One definitely to miss and as with a ultra low budget film like this,we never actually get to see the wendigo.
Really just your standard oater,nothing special but nothing too awful
either. Plot is the same,Glenn Strange is the villain pitting the
stagecoach against the railroad to line his pockets. Cue Bob Livingston
as the Lone Rider to stroll along to put things right,actually not that
alone as perennial sidekick, Al St.John is on hand as Fuzzy and even
more help from his other mate.
And that's it really,even at a short under an hour running time, it feels padded out,they could have ended it fifteen minutes earlier when our hero could have told the sheriff what was happening when trapped in a barn. Instead he just escapes to keep the story boiling over to the end.
As mentioned,it's okay and worth a watch if you've nothing much else to do but it's just been done before and since and much better, i.e. in any of the long running Hopalong Cassidy or Lone Ranger series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yes,thank the powers that be for 'fast-forward!' The best thing about
this alleged film is the DVD cover picture,which fools you into
thinking you are going to see a throwback to the old Italian
post-apocalyptic holocaust type videos of the 1980's. They at least
were low budget but fun,this is only low budget and no fun.
A lot of the time when not fast forwarding,I thought I might as well be watching the graphics of any new Xbox 360 game. Apart from the cgi monsters,our heroes just spend most the time running through woods,either away from the creatures or towards them. Characterization takes the form of low speaking in a gruff voice which shows that the hero is out for revenge. The Warlords death squad of female warriors don't speak at all,which is unusual for a woman...I'm joking! Though their leader breaks her silence to declare love for freedom and also one of the other men. When she's not running through the woods with the rest.
The monsters are duly found and dispensed,oh,hum and all ends well,apart for our hero who was so boring that nobody really cares. At least his days of running through the woods are over.
Did I mention there was a lot of running in this?
All in all a pitiful mess and waste of your time and if you picked this up thinking it was the recent Batman blockbuster...well,more fool you.
One of the common reoccurring themes in the Saint stories, where he is
framed for a crime he didn't commit. Here jewel thieves learn to their
cost that it's not a wise move. A fairly standard episode with enough
twists and turns to keep it interesting but with such a small cast,it's
pretty easy to figure out who the mystery villain turns out to be. As
it's set on the Riviera, there's a lot of 'azzents of ze 'Allo,Allo
kind,' and with a young Ronnie Barker as a bumbling police sergeant,it
does get somewhat Inspector Clouseau at times.
As a added bonus, there is the absolutely drop dead gorgeous Alexandra Stewart as Simon's confidante and love interest.
Take all the action film clichés that were in the original A-Team TV
series and then double it and you have Command 5. This is an obvious
pilot film for a TV series to cash in on the success of the A-Team
which was running at the time. But it fails so spectacularly,it's hard
to begin where but it makes the A-Team look like a masterwork on a par
with any Shakespheare epic!
The story,I use the word lightly,concerns an action junkie ex-soldier who on request by the American government,forms a crime fighting unit to stem the work of criminals that the ordinary police forces cannot. So,there's a stunt driver,an explosives expert,a police psychologist(?)and a alcoholic cop,who of course all have agendas and don't go by the book,etc,etc.
In order to take on all of America's crime,they go to an assault course in the desert and shoot lots of guns,climb over walls and hop in and out of tyres on the ground. After that they are ready to take on all comers!
A battle bus turns up that is bullet proof which looks like one of those machines from Mad Max or probably more like one from those low budget Italian post nuclear holocaust films from the late 1970's. It looks suitably pathetic..
Then for no apparent reason, a known terrorist/madman and his gang of bikers free two convicted killers from a courtroom,taking them to a small town near a prison and demanding the release of two inmates. The town's inhabitants are rounded up and put in the local jail as hostages. Lots of shouting and firing of guns by Delgado,the gang leader who earlier eluded our heroes by use of some other hostages. Hostages play a big part in this...
Not to be outdone,Command 5 board their bus and go to take down the bad guys,blowing up bridges,buildings,shooting people off rooftops,riding around on their own motorbikes (did I mention they had their own bikes in the bus?) and just been generally really hard.
It all ends with the hostages freed and the villains brought to justice as the five conquering heroes stride down the main street to their next glorious adventure, which thankfully for the long suffering television viewing public never happened.
Absolutely awful in every aspect,Wings Hauser as the milk and alcohol drinking cop probably wins the scenery chewing and over-acting honours but not by much as it's a free for all in the ham it up stakes. While watching this,I did wonder if the writer and director plus the cast were maybe just been post ironic and sending the action genre up but then realised they were all just really, really bad...
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