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spider89119

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76 reviews in total 
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a solid, entertaining shoot-em-up, 19 July 2014
8/10

Gunfight At Red Sands is an excellent early spaghetti western. It is probably the best pre-1965 eurowestern I have seen.

I wouldn't be surprised if this spaghetti was the one that started it all, as far as the style goes. The other early examples of the genre I have seen seem to be lacking in the defining characteristics that make these films so great, but this movie has all of the stylistic elements in place. The ultra-bleak depiction of life in the west, a couple of oddball off-kilter characters, a great music score (by the master, Morricone, no less), some great suspense-building camera work, a dramatic showdown, and lots of rousing action really make this one stand out.

The acting in the film is very good, and definitely above-average for a eurowestern. Richard Harrison is great in the role of "Gringo." Giacomo Rossi-Stuart also does an excellent job in the role of Sheriff Corbett. All of the other players are great as well. The character "Lisa," played by Sara Lezana, is one of the strongest female characters I have seen in a western. She's every bit as tough, and can shoot as well as any other character in the story, and she has a very prominent role in the most important action scenes of the film.

The story is a very engaging one, and it moves along at a really good pace. There are no slow parts or fillers in this movie. There is also a strong element of mystery, as Gringo has to do a fair amount of detective work to figure out who murdered his father.

All in all, this is a great movie that no spaghetti western fan should overlook.

a gem among the lesser-known eurowesterns, 6 July 2014
8/10

This spaghetti western was better than I was expecting it to be. It has a very engaging storyline. The protagonist has lost his memory due to a gunshot wound to the head, and he has to unravel the mystery of who murdered his wife and destroyed his family. The movie is very well played out, with suspense building gradually to a showdown at the end.

The acting from all of the players in this film is very good, and definitely above average for the genre. Klaus Kinski is, of course, the standout in this category. He is always great to watch, and this is one of his finest eurowestern performances.

The music score is rather minimalist, but well-suited to the film. The small bursts of guitar, and the organ part really add to the mood and tension of the movie.

This is one of those rather dark and brutal portrayals of the west served up spaghetti style. There is not a shred of comedy in this movie, and that turns out to be a good thing here.

Spaghetti western lovers should definitely take notice of this one.

an amusing eurowestern, 4 July 2014
6/10

This is a comedy western, but it isn't one of those totally awful ones that are more annoying than funny. This one genuinely provides some good laughs. Some of the slapstick in this film even reminds me of The Three Stooges. Especially one particular fight scene in a flooded hotel room.

I would probably have given this movie seven or eight stars if the music score was better. It isn't terrible or anything, but it just isn't spaghetti western style music. What we have here instead is the kind of music one would expect from a Hollywood western, with some vocals thrown in here and there. To me, the musical style is a very important component in the spaghetti western genre, and it can definitely make or break these films.

The acting is above average, and the quality of this film is decent. Giuliano Gemma always delivers a fine performance. The action scenes are well done, and the film features what would have been a very fancy and unique looking early automobile. I don't know what make it was.

Overall I found this movie to be quite entertaining. It is worth watching for fans of the genre.

This one is a lot of fun., 1 July 2014
8/10

This is a very entertaining spaghetti western. It is funny, cool, and ridiculously over-the-top.

Shanghai Joe has inhuman physical abilities, so if you like all of your characters to be realistic, this one might not be for you. The over-the top fight scenes are priceless, and wildly entertaining. This movie blends the spaghetti western and martial arts genres seamlessly. It is a cheesy blend for sure, and that is a big part of the film's charm and entertainment value. Besides spaghetti western lovers, I think this movie would also appeal to fans of Tarantino or Jackie Chan movies.

Bruno Nicolai's music score is awesome, and it has one of the coolest and most memorable theme songs of the genre.

As is the case in a lot of other great spaghetti westerns, the west is depicted as a godforsaken, unforgiving hell-hole full of psychopaths and bastards. Gotta love it. One of those psychopathic bastards is played by Klaus Kinski, and his portrayal is marvelous. Kinski is one of those actors that was born to be in spaghetti westerns. He is second only to Lee Van Cleef, in my opinion.

I have no complaints or criticisms regarding this western. I highly recommend sitting back, relaxing with a few beers and enjoying this crazy flick.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Kinski is the high point of this film., 13 June 2014
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Shoot the Living and Pray for the Dead is an average-at-best spaghetti western that has its entertaining moments, though it has many faults.

The acting is very dry and somewhat wooden, except for Klaus Kinski in the role of Dan Hogan, the leader of an outlaw gang. Hogan is an over-the-top, ruthless character who is very entertaining to watch due to Kinski's mannerisms and acting style. Kinski is the only reason this movie merits a rating of 6, rather than a 4 or 5.

The storyline isn't all that interesting. It starts off as one of those "everyone's a bad-guy and we're all after the gold" flicks, then, near the end of the movie, we learn it is really a revenge story. The problem is, a good revenge story needs build-up. We see nothing of how the protagonist was wronged, nor do we see any anger or emotion of any kind from him. We only learn of his motivations when a Texas ranger matter-of-factly tells them to someone. As a result, we can't become all that drawn into the story, and are only mildly interested in seeing the revenge played out.

There is lots of sitting in a room, and walking through the desert in this movie. It would have helped if there was more action.

The music score is pretty decent, and there is some good camera work, especially during some of the close-ups of the characters' faces.

If you are an avid spaghetti western fan, there is enough here to make this worth a watch, mostly thanks to Kinski.

a riveting and entertaining revenge tale, 11 June 2014
7/10

"A Taste of Death" aka "Cost of Dying" is a solid eurowestern with a great story for those who like a gritty, dark, yet redemptive tale told in typical spaghetti western fashion.

John Ireland is great as El (I love the names they give to some of the characters in these movies). His presence is strong, and he gives the best acting performance in the film. Bruno Corazzari does an excellent job of portraying the main villain, Scaife. This is a role that seems like it was written for Klaus Kinski, and Corazzari does indeed remind me of Kinski when playing this part. Scaife is a very dark, over the top, and ruthless character. He is the kind of antagonist that suits the genre so well.

The music is also just what one would expect from a film of this type, and although nothing about it makes it stand out from other spaghetti western scores, it fits the movie and the genre well, and it shouldn't disappoint the hardcore spaghetti western fan. It begins and ends with one of those wonderful over-the-top cheesy theme songs with vocals, and has plenty of short spaghetti-sounding guitar bits in between.

The movie also has plenty of action, violence, and a great showdown at the end. This one definitely gets an overall thumbs-up.

Wanted (1967)
a solid spaghetti western, 9 June 2014
7/10

It seems you can't go wrong with a Giuliano Gemma movie. This western, like all of the others I have seen him in, is a fine example of the spaghetti western genre.

It has a great score with a haunting title track that recurs at several points in the film. The score leaves no doubt that you are watching a eurowestern from the late 60's, and to me that is a very good thing.

The action scenes are very well done, and they really draw you in. I especially enjoyed the first one, in which Gemma's character and two deputies are in a wagon hauling gold, and they have to fend off an army of about 100 bandits.

This is a very compelling story that holds your interest from start to finish. I highly recommend this film to anyone who enjoys a good spaghetti western.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
a solid, well-made euro-western, 14 December 2008
7/10

"A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die" is a quality spaghetti western with a solid cast and an interesting storyline. It is filmed beautifully, with a relatively high production value for a film in this genre.

Alex Cord does a terrific job portraying Clay McCord, an outlaw who is suffering from increasingly debilitating seizures. He is seeking amnesty before his enemies close in on him, but is being too cocky for his own good when he asks for it. Robert Ryan delivers the best performance in the film as the governor of New Mexico. Mario Brega and Arthur Kennedy are also great here.

This movie is very good, but it doesn't stand out to me as being one of the best spaghetti westerns out there. It's lacking too much in style to be in the same league as any of the great ones. It does have some cool spaghetti overtones, but overall it's a bit too much like an American western. This is especially evident in the music score, which is OK as movies go in general, but pretty dull by euro-western standards. The soundtrack kind of reminds me of the music from "The Unforgiven." Although there is an interesting story here, it is told in a manner which is a bit too conventional for my tastes. If a spaghetti western fan and a Hollywood western fan had to watch a movie together, this one would be the perfect compromise.

All of this is not to say that anyone should avoid this film. I did enjoy watching it very much. As I said, it is a very well-done film and I recommend it to anyone who likes westerns, spaghetti or otherwise.

8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
an excellent, well-made spaghetti western, 6 December 2008
8/10

This is a very good eurowestern that will have you in its grip from start to finish.

It is beautifully filmed with lots of desolate wide open desert, and impressive mountain scenery. The film has a feeling of loneliness as much of it takes place in a deserted ghost town which has apparently become the home of the protagonist.

The movie is populated with bitter characters that are primarily motivated by revenge. There are no happy endings here. This definitely wasn't "the feel good movie of the year," which is a good thing. The female lead is a beautiful woman in black with little left to live for other than seeing her husband's killers pay for his death. Her relationship with Manuel, the man she goes to for help with her plan, is a very intriguing one. This is because we are left to wonder what their history is until close to the end of the film when it is finally revealed.

The music score is excellent. The opening/closing theme is a great spaghetti western ballad with vocals. The music during the film is mostly guitar designed to create feelings of suspense and sadness. There's also a touch of organ thrown in for good measure. It all works wonderfully with the film.

This is a high-quality spaghetti western that is riveting and entertaining. I highly recommend this one. If you get the chance to see it, don't pass it up.

Keoma (1976)
5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
a spaghetti tour de force!, 29 November 2008
9/10

This is one of the great spaghetti westerns. Franco Nero puts in what is perhaps his best performance ever, and it's great to see that his voice is not dubbed by someone else here. This is an action packed, gut wrenching, on the edge of your seat western from start to finish. It also has all the style, symbolism, and violence one could ask for from a spaghetti western, and then some.

This film has been criticized for a few different reasons, and I feel compelled to address a couple of those comments. The number one topic for discussion seems to be the soundtrack. Yes the soundtrack is a bit strange, but so is the movie, so in a way it's fitting. Personally, I think it's kind of hit and miss, but it works for the most part. I really like the female vocals. Her voice has a creepy, melancholy, and otherworldly quality to it that matches the film perfectly. The male vocals, on the other hand, sounded like an Italian muppet to me at first. Perhaps the cookie monster. I do have to say though that I just watched the film for the third time and the guy doesn't sound nearly as bad to me as he did the first time. This is a damn good movie anyway, regardless of whether or not one likes the soundtrack.

Another criticism I've heard is that Franco Nero plays an Indian with an Italian accent. First of all, this kind of thing is very common in films. Think of all the Romans, Greeks, Martians, etc. that have had English or American accents in the movies. This is no different except that in this movie it actually adds to the characterization of Keoma. He is an outsider, and the fact that his accent is so unique to the setting just adds to the effect.

Keoma's flashbacks to his boyhood are extremely well done, and the children they picked to play him and his half-brothers are very realistically matched to their adult counterparts. There are some cool slow-motion action scenes, and the action scenes in general are top-notch. I also like the character of the old woman who seems to have some kind of supernatural link to Keoma. We're never quite sure what her relationship is to him, or even whether she is real or not. The acting from all of the main players is also very well done, and the cinematography is beautiful.

This is one of those spaghetti westerns that stands out from the crowd. It's a must-see if you are at all interested in the genre. I would recommend it to anyone who likes westerns, action flicks, or movies that are not made with a cookie-cutter.


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