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Django spara per primo (1966)
a solid, entertaining example of the genre
This spaghetti western has a great story-line that grabs you from the get-go, and keeps you interested til the end.
The performances from the actors are about average for the genre. The most recognizable euro-western actor in the film, Fernando Sancho, is OK in this movie, but not as good as he usually is. Of course, one always has to keep in mind that the portrayal is not his alone, since the voice in English is done by someone else.
The movie has a very good spaghetti-style music score, nice camera work, some riveting scenes, and a great revenge plot with some unique elements and a couple of twists. The end was a real kick. I was going to give it a 7 out of 10, but then the ending made me want to push it up a notch.
If you are a fan of spaghetti westerns, and not just the well-known ones, you will most likely really enjoy this one.
Arizona Colt (1966)
another very good Giuliano Gemma western
The Man From Nowhere aka Arizona Colt is a spaghetti western with solid performances from a great cast. The main players are Giuliano Gemma and Fernando Sancho, both of whom are great in this film, as always. Sancho, always the villain, is even more ruthless than usual in this outing. The lovely Rosalba Neri, another familiar spaghetti western face, also makes an appearance in the movie.
Gemma, as Arizona Colt, can be likened to Bugs Bunny having some fun being the foil to Fernando Sancho and his gang of Elmer Fudds, but that doesn't make this a comedy western by any means. While there are many amusing parts, the body count is high, and there is a strong element of revenge.
The music score is very good, with lots of spaghetti style, and the movie is filmed and directed well. The story takes some time to pull you in, but it does, and it is a good one.
I am giving this one 7 stars mainly because I don't think it is as good as Gemma's Ringo movies, but that having been said, I still highly recommend this film. It has a lot going for it.
Duello nel Texas (1963)
a solid, entertaining shoot-em-up
Gunfight At Red Sands is an excellent early spaghetti western. It is probably the best pre-1964 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.
Due volte Giuda (1968)
a gem among the lesser-known eurowesterns
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.
Vivi o preferibilmente morti (1969)
an amusing eurowestern
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.
Il mio nome è Shangai Joe (1973)
This one is a lot of fun.
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.
Kinski is the high point of this film.
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.
Quanto costa morire (1968)
a riveting and entertaining revenge tale
"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.
a solid spaghetti western
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.
a solid, well-made euro-western
"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.
Une corde un Colt... (1969)
an excellent, well-made spaghetti western
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.
a spaghetti tour de force!
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.
Réquiem para el gringo (1968)
a terrific example of the spaghetti western genre from Spain!
This movie is a lot of fun to watch. It's a riveting story with a touch of peculiarity, some great characters, and an amazing music score.
The film is a tale of justice and revenge, as a man returns home to his ranch after some sort of military service, and discovers that his brother has been killed by a gang of outlaws. The basic plot is typical spaghetti western fare, but what makes this movie stand out is its style.
The main character has kind of a mystical aura about him because of his uncanny ability to predict the weather, and use it to his advantage. He also has a knack for seeming to appear out of nowhere to surprise his targets. Lang Jeffries's acting in the film is a bit wooden for the role of such an interesting character, but the fantastic performances by Carlo Gaddi as the slimy, menacing outlaw Ted Corbin, and the always great Fernando Sancho as Porfirio, the gang leader who is losing his grip, make up for it.
There is a very odd implementation of zoom shots in the camera work during one particular scene as the film approaches its climax. Rather than the usual sustained, intensity-building close-ups that Sergio Leone was so fond of, the director here uses a rapidly zooming in and out camera for a more unsettling effect. This turns out to be one of the most memorable parts of the movie.
The music score is perhaps the best part of this film. The opening theme is one of my favorites, and is one of those unforgettable tunes that will play in your mind over and over long after the movie is done. The soundtrack contributes tremendously to the atmosphere of the film, especially the organ parts.
This one is a must-see for fans of the spaghetti-western genre.
Il giorno del giudizio (1971)
entertaining revenge-themed euro-western
Unfortunately, the version of this movie that I have suffers from very poor editing. There are a couple of scenes that are so badly chopped that you just kind of have to figure out for yourself what just happened! Confirming my suspicion that this movie was grossly hacked up is the fact that, according to the IMDb, the Italian version of the film runs for 99 minutes. My English language DVD is only 73 minutes long!
What's left of the movie is actually very enjoyable. It's a decent B-grade revenge story with all the requisite cool action scenes and cheesy emotional flashbacks that make these movies so much fun to watch.
The music score is decent, but it borrows some parts from another, more well-known, spaghetti western called "The Hellbenders" (I Crudeli). I wouldn't be surprised if the borrowed parts of the music score are unique to the English language version. Perhaps the editing wreaked so much havoc with the original score that some moron in the chopping room said "let's just stick that Hellbenders song in there to fill in those parts." Who knows?
The version that I have probably really deserves a 5 out of ten rating at best, but I can tell that the movie would be considerably better in its complete, original form, so I am giving it an extra point. I hope a good print of the film in its entirety gets released some day, because I would love to see it and rewrite this review. I wouldn't be surprised if it turned out to be a 7 or an 8. At any rate, I liked it anyway, so if you're a spaghetti western fanatic, you may find it to be worth watching, even in its current chopped up form.
somewhat bewildering, but very entertaining
This is a fun movie with interesting characters, and lots of spaghetti western style. I found it very entertaining, although it has some story elements that don't seem to make a lot of sense.
George Hilton does a fine job of portraying "Sartana," the bounty hunter/detective/vigilante more often played by Gianni Garko. Hilton's style is slightly different, but he plays the part equally as well as Garko. The real show-stealer here is Charles Southwood as "Sabbath," a bounty hunter who dresses in all-white, carries a white parasol, and lives by the values taught to him by his mother. Sartana and Sabbath are both oddballs, each in his own way, but Sabbath is so eccentric he makes Sartana look normal. One of the many amusing parts of the film is when Sabbath comes riding into town with his parasol, and one of the townsfolk sees him and says "what's the west coming to?" Sartana and Sabbath play off of each other quite well, and their interactions are fun to watch, especially when they square off near the end of the film.
A great music score by Francesco DeMasi, along with some excellent camera work, help make this euro-western above average in the style department, but the somewhat muddy plot doesn't do it justice. It's basically about how a crooked town boss is taking gold from the local mines and replacing it with sand before it is shipped. Then he hires Mexican bandits to "rob" the shipments so that nobody will know that they were ever replaced with sand. In comes Sartana to save the day, though his motives for wanting to find the gold are selfish. A little while later, Sabbath shows up, supposedly for the same reason. That much is pretty cut and dry, but the problem is with the details. While the basic idea of the scam going on with the gold is easy to understand, some of the actions of the characters in the story don't make any sense, or perhaps aren't explained very well. Maybe the American version is poorly edited. That would explain a lot, but I don't know if it's the case.
The best way to watch it is to sit back, relax and enjoy the cool characters and style of this spaghetti western without trying to make sense out of everything that happens. When viewed with that attitude, it's actually one of the more memorable and entertaining films of the genre.
Dio perdona... Io no! (1967)
not bad for a Hill/Spencer flick
I've never really appreciated the whole Terence Hill and Bud Spencer phenomenon the way that some people apparently do. I don't think they are any better as a duo than any other two random actors that could have been thrown together at that time, and as far as comedy goes, let's just say they are no Laurel and Hardy. I see no good reason for them ever having been teamed up for more than just one film. In fact, I think they've done better work when they haven't been together, especially in the case of Hill.
One saving grace for this film is that it is not one of their irritating attempts at comedy. It is a serious story with bloody violence, double-crosses, revenge, and gold. And it's told in good spaghetti western fashion. This film keeps the viewer intrigued from beginning to end, and it is accompanied by an interesting music score from Angel Oliver Pina.
The highlight of this movie is the performance of Frank Wolff, as Bill San Antonio. Wolff has appeared in a lot of spaghetti westerns playing all sorts of characters, and is one of the finest supporting actors of the genre. He really outdoes himself in this movie as the cunning, wisecracking, sadistic, backstabbing bandit who fakes his own death to make it easier for him to continue his crimes. San Antonio is one of those funny, over-the-top characters that make these movies so much fun to watch. Frank Wolff is so great in this role that he steals the show completely, and makes this movie way more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise.
Overall, this is a pretty decent spaghetti western that is worth watching for fans of the genre.
Il ritorno di Ringo (1965)
an excellent euro-western
This movie is the follow-up to "A Pistol For Ringo"(Una Pistola per Ringo), but it is not a sequel. All of the main actors return for this story, but they play completely different characters, and while Giuliano Gemma portrays another character called Ringo, this protagonist has nothing in common with the first "Ringo." It may seem unusual to those who haven't watched a lot of these movies, but that kind of thing is quite common in the spaghetti western genre.
This Ringo is not an outlaw like the one in the previous movie, yet he is much more serious and deadly, because he has been wronged on a very personal level, and is seeking justice and revenge. This gives the movie a much more somber tone than the previous film. It's a gripping story without a single boring moment.
All of the main actors are at the top of their game in this one. Antonio Casas is especially good as the dysfunctional sheriff who pulls himself together with the help of Ringo. Giuliano Gemma is even better in this movie than in the previous film, and I can't say enough about Nieves Navarro. Not only does she do a wonderful job portraying "Rosita," she looks even more incredible in this film than in the last one, which is a feat I would not have thought possible. She is quite possibly the most amazingly beautiful woman to ever appear in a western.
Morricone's music score is also an improvement over the one he wrote for the first Ringo movie. There is more music in this film, and the tunes are more memorable. I especially like the theme song.
Although "A Pistol For Ringo" wasn't bad, it was apparently just a warm-up for the filming of this movie, because "The Return of Ringo" is a much better film on all levels. It's not completely without flaws, but the imperfections here just add to the movie's charm and appeal. I consider this one to be a must-see for spaghetti western fans.
Una pistola per Ringo (1965)
A yuletide spaghetti western!
This euro-western takes place during the Christmas holiday season. While not really a Christmas-themed movie per se, the backdrop for the film is laden with people acknowledging and celebrating the holiday, complete with decorations and a Christmas tree, which makes this the closest thing to a Christmas western that I've seen. As such, for the spaghetti western fan, it is a welcome seasonal alternative to watching "It's a Wonderful Life," or the latest Moron Clause movie on your local big screen or cable movie channel.
Giuliano Gemma does a fine job, as usual, portraying the protagonist of the film, and Fernando Sancho is even better as "Sancho," the Mexican bandit. Nieves Navarro is breathtaking as "Dolores," the female bandit who becomes romantically involved with one of her hostages.
The production is above-average for a euro-western, and the film has an engaging storyline with lots of action and suspense. Add to that a great music score by Ennio Morricone, and you definitely have a winning combination that spaghetti fans will be sure to enjoy.
A Man Called Sledge (1970)
Definitely worth watching.
"A Man Called Sledge" is unique among the spaghetti westerns I have seen so far because it is the only one directed by an American. Vic Morrow must have been a big fan of spaghetti westerns himself, because he really got it right. It must have been a lot of fun for an American director to go to Spain and Italy to shoot an authentic spaghetti western back when the genre was still being pumped out.
I wasn't expecting much spaghetti style from this film because I knew it was by an American director with mainly American actors, but the movie really surprised me. It's nowhere near the very top of the spaghetti meter, but on the other hand you would never mistake this one for a Hollywood western. It's got Italian written all over it. The music score by Gianni Ferrio is quite good. A couple of parts sound a little too much like jazz for me, but most of it is well-suited for the genre, especially the tunes with vocals and over-the-top cheesy lyrics.
Don't let the fact that this movie is one of the later-era spaghetti westerns and has James Garner in it fool you into thinking it's one of those goofy comedy type of Euro-westerns. There are a couple of funny lines in the film, but overall it's very serious and tragic with plenty of violence and action. This is not a happy film at all, which is definitely a good thing in this case.
The production values and acting are above-average for a Eurowestern. James Garner and Dennis Weaver, both of whom have usually portrayed happy/funny do-gooders in American films and television shows, do an excellent job here in their roles as seriously bad people. Casting them for those parts was probably done for effect. It reminds me of how Leone used Henry Fonda as the evil character in Once Upon a Time in the West.
This is one that is definitely worth seeing if you are into Euro-westerns.
a solid spaghetti western
"Bandidos" is a great, action-packed revenge story that is set up by a very dramatic opening scene that has a rogue gunfighter meet up with the man who taught him to shoot. The gunfighter shoots his former friend in both hands, and then tells him to try to get revenge if he's able to hold a gun. The stage is set, and the film doesn't let up until the very end.
All the elements of a great spaghetti western are here. There is a cool music score, an engaging story, suspenseful gunfights, cheesy acting, a couple of great one-liners, and it is all done way over-the-top, like a good western should be. This movie is loaded with style, and style is the reason why the Italian westerns are so much more fun to watch than the ones made in the U.S.
There is a lot of great camera work in this movie. The interesting use of camera angles here gives the film a distinct character in much the same way that the use of close-ups marks the Leone westerns.
My favorite scenes in the movie are the ones that take place in saloons. There is one especially amusing one in which a man who has just lost a gunfight is sitting at a table drinking and harassing customers and saloon girls while he waits to die from his bullet wound. This old woman tells him to "hurry up and die," and he decides he wants to shoot one of the saloon girls so that he can take her to hell with him.
"Bandidos" is a must-see for anyone who likes their westerns Italian style.
Il pistolero dell'Ave Maria (1969)
This Spaghetti western is an incredible hour and a half of cinema. The amazing music score pulls you in right away. It is beautiful and at the same time expresses a feeling of melancholy and impending doom. From the very beginning you know that the ending of this film is going to be one of those grandiose, emotional, over-the-top finales, and when you get there it doesn't disappoint.
This is a great revenge story that, in some ways, can be likened to a Shakespearian tragedy. It's a tale of a wealthy family in which marital deception, betrayal, and murder brings on guilt, misery, fear, and ultimately death and destruction. It's also a great action story with lots of gun play, suspense, and some twists and turns.
The movie is a quality production with decent acting, and most likely a higher than average budget for a eurowestern.
This is a thoroughly enjoyable film from start to finish. Ferdinando Baldi's great direction, Roberto Pregadio's awesome music score, a riveting story, and solid acting performances make this a film that I would recommend to anyone.
Un fiume di dollari (1966)
spaghetti with a vengeance
This movie is a very good revenge tale told in great spaghetti western fashion. There's plenty of action, violence, over-the-top emotion, and some great music from Ennio Morricone.
The best performance in the movie comes from Henry Silva as uber-creep Mendez. You can almost see the slime oozing out of him. As an added bonus Thomas Hunter has a few funny lines thanks to some strange bad dubbing, and his facial expressions go along with it very well, adding to the unintentional humor. Nicoletta Machiavelli is hauntingly beautiful as Mary Ann.
The ending is a great action packed "against all odds" showdown with lots of suspense, bullets, and dynamite.
Overall, this is a very engaging and entertaining film which I wholeheartedly recommend to all hardcore fans of Italian westerns.
Get Mean (1975)
Not your average spaghetti western
This movie is a lot of fun, and deserves more credit than it gets. It is quite unique among westerns, or even spaghetti westerns. It's so odd, in fact, that it really defies categorization.
Though it is without question a gloriously over-the-top spaghetti western, it actually relates more closely to "Army of Darkness." In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Sam Raimi was influenced by this film before he directed that great third installment in the "Evil Dead" series. In this film, Tony Anthony plays his usual role of "the stranger" (kind of a "man-with-no-name' type of character). We learn right away that there is something supernatural going on here as the movie opens with the stranger being dragged by his horse into a ghost town. On the way there, they pass a strange silver orb, then when they get there, the horse has a heart attack and dies as the town bell tolls unexplainedly. Anthony walks into a building where he meets a witch who has the same silver orb at the table where she sits. He finds out he's been summoned to escort a Spanish princess back to Spain and help her regain her throne from "barbarian" invaders who appear to be from another time. This all happens in the first five minutes! I don't want to give away too much of the story, so I'll just say that the stranger's tasks are to deal with the barbarians, rescue the princess, find a treasure that is guarded by ghosts, and collect money that was promised to him by the witch. The movie is quite comical and full of slapstick, and just like Ash in "Army of Darkness," the stranger unloads a huge can of whoop-ass on an army of foes. I would love to see the plot of this movie "borrowed" for a sequel to the Evil Dead series. Ash could once again be sent back in time, but this time to the old west where he would be the stranger. Change the treasure to the Necronomicon, have it guarded by Deadites, and bam you've got Evil Dead 5! They wouldn't even have to change much of the dialog as most of the stranger's lines would be perfect for Bruce Campbell as Ash.
Tony Anthony is great, as usual, in this one. He's like the Rodney Dangerfield of spaghetti westerns in that he doesn't get the respect he deserves. Eastwood's "man-with-no-name" may be the king of "cool," but Tony Anthony's "stranger" is more of a character, and just as tough. The other actors and actresses in the film do an excellent job also. I especially liked the character of "Sambra," a crazy Hunchback who thinks he's the reincarnation of Richard III.
This movie isn't for everyone. If you go into it thinking it is just a wacky late-era spaghetti western, and try to fit it into that mold, you will think it is trying too hard, and will probably find it to be just slightly amusing and nothing more. But if you can understand and appreciate the film for what it really is, and especially if you've enjoyed "Army of Darkness," you should definitely enjoy this one.
average, entertaining Eurowestern with an excellent music score
This is a fairly decent spaghetti western that is elevated by having a fantastic music score.
Fidenco's score is definitely one of the better Eurowestern soundtracks, and one I'd like to find on a CD if it is available. It's got spaghetti style in spades, is very catchy, and is sure to please anyone who loves spaghetti western music.
The movie has plenty of action, but lacks the operatic drama of the great revenge/showdown Eurowesterns. It's about 3 soldiers and a bounty hunter working together to bring down a large gang of Mexican outlaws headed by an insane fool who calls himself El Supremo. He is little more than a clown, and it makes you wonder why his gang doesn't just do away with him and pick a new leader. He is kind of amusing though, and definitely better than the usual type of comic relief characters one sometimes sees in these films.
The story is nothing groundbreaking, but is entertaining enough to keep one interested from start to finish. It's got lots of action, explosions, machine gunning, and some humorous moments.
There is one part of this that just didn't work for me. It is when Johnny Garko has a gun hidden under an umbrella, and it turns out to be a machine gun that is way too small and light for the era in which the story takes place. This type of gun wouldn't exist for at least another 50 years! I can understand poetic license, but this really didn't add anything to the movie. They should have just made it a rifle.
The acting from Garko and the rest of the cast is pretty solid for this type of film. No real complaints there.
Overall, it's a fun film worth watching for spaghetti western fans. Just relax with a cold beer, a bowl of popcorn, and don't take it too seriously.
Black Killer (1971)
a fairly good spaghetti western
This spaghetti western has a very good music score and a great performance by Klaus Kinski as a strange lawyer who kills with books that have guns inside of them. He's really a natural for the role. His look and mannerisms fit the character perfectly.
Not only does this western have Kinski, it also has a family of Mexican thugs named O'Hara! There's definitely nothing like a good old Italian western.
This is one of those movies that will have you scratching your head a lot if you try to make perfect sense of everything that happens. It's best not to think about it too hard. Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is. It's got style, action, violence, weirdness, and an interesting though somewhat vague storyline.
All in all, it's pretty good stuff for the spaghetti western fan.