I always get nervous when I see Stanton commenting on a film I like
Don’t worry 3/10 is quite accurate for such a messy film. But you must know that a mediocre film gets a 2/10 from me.
Recorded this one off of Movies4Men last night and I figured it’s worth a go even though I don’t like it’s sister film Seven… Watching a brief bit made it seem like an improvement over Cardone’s earlier effort so I’ll give it a whirl tonight if I don’t fall asleep when I get home from work.
I know I saw a brief bit of this last night, (hopefully all of it tonight) and I was shocked at how good it looked for a M4M print.
Finally got around to watching this one and it left me with mixed feelings. I liked Garko, the surreal imagery like the fort, the music and even Steffen, while I’m in the camp that doesn’t like him that much I think he worked well here in contrast to Garko. But it had a fair share of problems that brought it down a few pegs from the repetitive fistfights to the constant obvious continuity errors that just became silly, like the guy who gets the axe thrown at him head on only for it to end up in his back in the next shot. I can see why Cox and people here like it but I can see why others don’t. I think I’m somewhere between the two.
I’ve only seen this once, and slipped it into my top 20 for some reason. I’ll be gladly kicking it out when I repost my list.
Been viewing and re-watching a lot of spags lately and I’ve finally gotten around to watching this one for the first time. Was it worth it? Fuck no. This has to be one of the most insipid and the most disjointed SW efforts I’ve ever seen. (FYI, I haven’t seen any Crea’s masterpieces so far, so…) I’ve barely managed to sit through this piece of crap. Sometimes, Fidani looks here like Sam fucking Peckinpah by comparison. Not that his movies are that good, but they’re at least enjoyable on some level as opposed to this reeking heap of vaporous turd.
The kind of crassness this movie achieves in terms of its unbridled narrative disarray or its inchoate, sophomoric staging is something to behold. It’s too bad the movie lasts for roughly 100 minutes because what could constitute a fairly intriguing curio of a motion picture becomes a cinematic equivalent of waterboarding. To my way of thinking, the movie has a moderately gripping premise and some good starting points for a compelling drama, yet it completely squanders all of its thematic assets by recounting the whole tale in the most vapid and uninspired way possible. Garko stands out as the psychotic gang leader, but all characters, including his, aren’t fleshed out in any way, shape or form, none of the story’s components are unfolded in a satisfactory manner and most of the material feels exceedingly inert and slapdash. The relationship between the mother and her sons mostly falls through the cracks by virtue of some out-of-focus narration as well as introducing too many irrelevant characters, such as the one of Jerry, which takes some of the precious running time. Instead of elaborating on the main characters, the director delves into these narrative cul-de-sacs and ultimately never really substantiates the core of the story, concentrating on irrelevant shit.
Storytelling? Forget it. The thing is that in order to discuss storytelling, there has to be one, but there is virtually nothing of this sort to be found here. Cardone has absolutely no sense of flow, no sense of any kind of rhythm and there is hardly any scintilla of order in the way he presents the tale to the audience. None. Whatsoever. It’s like the narration is chaos incarnate that is kept within the boundaries of fairly conventional filmmaking only because the flick follows all events described in its script in a passably straightforward fashion, any narrative smoothness be damned.
Action sequences are done in a flabbergastingly paltry fashion. You basically get a kind of MTV-style shaky camera with all of its redundant close-ups, but minus ultra-fast editing which results in something a lot less dynamic, but just as incomprehensible. Some shots are there just for the hell of it, probably to make these sequences more lively, but to no avail. Action is handled in a genuinely haphazard fashion with little regard for how it is all spliced together. A lot of spags suffer from averagely directed action sequences, but this one takes the cake.
Likewise, most of the action devolves into these endless fistfights, which are sleep-inducing in most situations, but in this case, the motion picture attains the next level of ineptitude, really pushes the envelope of how obnoxious a fistfight can become with bad editing and humdrum staging (haven’t seen too many spaghetti comedies, so…) Oh yeah, and the final fistfight with the ax spinning on the rope was my favorite one. The instant the ax slips off the rope, the bad guy gets stabbed in the back despite facing the rope in question. Must’ve been a boomerang of some sort and I missed it. The music is wretched as well, most of it sounds as though it was lifted from some obscure neorealist drama, except for some trumpet passages which were abysmal anyhow. Overall, I expected it to be at least average (it’s supposed to fall under the ‘good spags’ category after all), but at the end of the day, it turned out to be insufferably boring and asinine. Genuinely disappointed. 2/10
Very nicely written negative review … perhaps you are new to the SW world of Anthony Steffen, or there was no beer in your fridge when you popped this one on ?
I found it mediocre, but I didn’t let it upset me … there are much much worse SWs awaiting you
The funny thing is that I wasn’t planning on writing a full-length review, but well… there you go.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s that bad, technically speaking. If I were to quantify the entertainment factor, I’d say it’s either a 1/10 or a 0/10. Technically though, it’s a strong 3 or 4/10. Therefore, once you take into consideration both its entertainment and technical value, you basically get a 2/10. I can’t remember when was the last time that I watched a movie this tedious. It’s really effing boring.
I’ve seen some stuff with Steffen, so not really. He isn’t the main issue here, although he isn’t much of an attraction either unless you’re into 50 shades of wood.
No doubt about it.
That’s a good one ! … R.I.P. ‘Woody’ LOL
I kind of enjoyed the stupidity of the film … you notice that all scenes filmed in the Almeria desert are 2nd unit, and not with the actual main cast. Plus the matte painting of Garko’s lair is really shoddy.
The sad thing is that Steffen’s lost love, who’s taken up with Garko is not exactly too attractive, ( which is the driving force behind the brothers feud )… well certainly not 1960s Italian bombshell standard, so the producers/ director probably didn’t put a lot of love into this effort.
At least historically it’s interesting to see Gianni Garko in his first western … but I agree that otherwise it’s fairly poor .
I think it’s the crux of the matter… that aspect of the film was completely missing for me and this is probably why I found the experience painful to this extent.
I thought this was an excellent western. Not what one usually expects of a classic Spaghetti, but then this one actually had a tense plot, rather than rambling about like some Spaghs do. Jesse and Lester, anyone?
Cardone was a good action director.
Each to their own.
Can’t really decide if I like Garko’s performance or not. Sometimes he is just overacting and getting on my nerves with that stupid grin. Steffen is just Steffen, but he imo doesn’t fit this movie, I mean, wouldn’t it be better without him? I did relate more to the Jerry character (the mute) than Stiffen and would be more interesting if he was the main opponent to Garko.
Anyway, you get your usual portion of boring fistfights here and there just to be surprised by good imaginatively staged fistfight between Jerry and Garko’s henchman in the end. I also liked how is filmed Garko’s death.
I quite liked it, despite not being a Steff fan … but watching with low expectations, it turned out more enjoyable than predicted. Garko’s character was a little too insane and over the top, but that’s perhaps down to poor direction, as he never played anything so hammy again.
One thing I noticed was all the real desert footage in Almeria, was shot by a 2nd unit crew and used doubles for the riding scenes - none of the principle cast were on location - it’s quite smartly edited to disguise this.
I’d give it a 5 out of 10 for routine entertainment.
Isn’t that what makes a good villain in Italian films? I remember Robert Woods saying that Baldanello wanted him to “Italianise the madness” in Black Jack. He was reluctant because that meant being over the top but that’s exactly what they seemed to love.
“Mamma mia … I’m a gonna crazy!” LOL
Imagine Sentenza and Frank going on like that
Exactly, less is more, when it’s done right. But then you have Kinski, which wasn’t so much acting, rather a recorded temper tantrum.
I absolutely love watching Kinski get mad, especially with Herzog. Dreadful to hear about him raping his daughter. It would have been nice to assume he was a nice guy and it was all just a persona for the cameras but the eyes don’t lie. He was an extremely sick individual.
ugh, wasn’t aware of this. I generally don’t keep track of the personal lives of actors… always sucks to find this kind of thing and then have dissonance when watching them on screen