A former Civil War soldier returns to take revenge from a Yaqui chief who killed his wife in the marriage night. Death plays with both men, plus gun-runners and gold-runners, as her emissaries on Earth, to do a large harvest of souls.
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John 'Bud' Cardos
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John 'Bud' Cardos
Lon Chaney Jr.,
Wandering across the desert landscape of Goblin Valley, Utah. Ben Thompson, a former lawman has been hunting down Yaqui Indians, after his wife was killed by the savage Yaqui Indian chieftain Santago. After saving a woman from two Yaqui Indians, Robert reunites with former girlfriend Nora Miller and saves her from a attack by Santago and his band of Yaqui Indians. But Nora's husband Dave Miller asks Ben to leave thinking Ben and Nora were having a affair while he was been away. After both Nora and Dave are slaughtered by Santago, Ben is joined by group of people from a wagon train who are stranded in the middle of nowhere and a group of gunrunners who sold their weapons to Santago and his band, Ben and his companions tries to get along with each other, if they are to survive Santago and his band's murderous rampage and Ben intends to get his vengeance on Santago.Written by
Filmed in 1966, not released until 1969. See more »
Six Indians attack an isolated farmhouse, but after three of them are killed, the remaining three apparently vanished into thin air, as nothing is seen or heard of them. See more »
The Voice of Death:
Ben Thompson, peace officer, who remains alive only because of his deadliness, rides on the trail of the Yaquis' chief called Satago - means Hot Overhate - as I rightly decided, as I do with all men, on my pale horse. I am Ben Thompson's close friend: Death - the physician who cures all pain. For the next five bloody days, I ride with my mortal messenger Ben Thompson collecting the debt all men must pay.
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The film was cut for TV (in 1970), eliminating some nudity and violence, and that was used for a wider theatrical release (namely in New York City, in 1971) and a VHS release in the USA and abroad (1982). The DVD version is based on the cut VHS version, which did not respect the widescreen original format. See more »
Five Bloody Graves is a western from the notorious director Al Adamson. Al was a maker of z-grade exploitation movies such as Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969) and Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970). Because of this I am rather fond of the man. Anyone who knocked out copious numbers of low budget psychotronic movies from the golden era of the b-movie sure can't be all that bad in my book. And from my admittedly limited exposure to his movies, I have to say that what I have seen has been entertaining enough. Five Bloody Graves is possibly the best of the bunch so far I reckon. It takes the form of a revenge western, with a lone cowboy seeking retribution against an Apache who killed his wife. Enter a stranded stagecoach of cannon fodder...I mean upright citizens, plus a duo of good-for-nothing gun runners and we have the bare bones of a story.
This one is unusual from the start in that it includes voice-over narration from Death himself. Some people hate voice-overs but I don't mind them as they allow us to just cut to the chase and get on with it, not relying on a host of tedious exposition scenes and in this example that is effectively what they achieve even if the device was most probably included for budgetary, rather than artistic, reasons. It would only be fair to say that despite a release year of 1970, this sure as hell is not a revisionist example of the western genre. It has a decidedly old-school presentation of the Indians as mindless killers, who aren't so much characters as they are dangerous obstacles for the white folks to deal with. This type of presentation was really out-of-date by the 60's, never mind the 70's! But I think it's partly on account of this completely unprogressive approach that makes this one kind of enjoyable as it gives it an even more exploitative approach which is always kind of fun even when you know it is wrong.
From an acting perspective we have the king of the low budget trash-fest himself, John Carradine, on hand in another role as a cranky old git. While the soundtrack was pleasingly inappropriate at times with a score made up of library music which bizarrely included the theme to the 'News at Ten', one of the most famous bits of TV music in the UK and so utterly strange sound-tracking a gun-fight in a low budget western! This musical insanity is only equalled by the later slasher movie Delirium (1979) which featured the theme music from 'Mastermind'! Anyway, the story plays out pretty much as you think it will with little in the way of surprises, although I have to award an extra point for a particularly evil character being sentenced to 'death by ant'. On the whole, this much maligned film really wasn't all that bad at all. I have been watching a fair few run-of-the-mill spaghetti westerns recently and I have to say that this one entertained me more than most of those on account of it being stranger. Good work Al...
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