Four of the Apocalypse / I quattro dell’apocalisse (Lucio Fulci, 1975)


(Stanton) #101

The mining town scenes are inspired by The Luck of Roaring Camp, the rest by The Outcasts of Poker Flat. Both are Bret Harte’s most famous stories, but FotA is only based on them. Harte’s sentimentality and Fulci’s gore scenes are hardly compatible.


(Pacificador) #102

There you go, then.

I’ve read The Luck of Roaring Camp but not The Outcasts of Poker Flat, I’ll definitely have to check that out.


(korano) #103

And I believe the Soviets made a Euro Western entitled Time and Heroes of Brett Harte. Or something like that.


(Dr. Menard) #104

Seeing this for the second time i can´t help but to feel somewhat dissapointed. Maybe it liked it better the first time cause of Fulci´s name or maybe cause i hadn´t seen that much spaghetti westerns yet at that time. But somehow i was less then impressed this time around.

The movie has it strong parts but the acting by Fabio Testi and Lynne Frederick was pretty crappy, although the cheesy dub track is partially to blame no doubt. Milian is great as the psychopathic Chaco character but his role is pretty limited and amounts to maybe 15 minutes of actual screentime. Way too little for a such a great character actor if you ask me. Harry Baird also did a great job as Bud, of all the characters he was the most likeable imo.

I do love Fulci´s nihilistic look on life though. He goes from utterly depressing (murder of the religious pilgrims) to beautiful sentimental moments (birth of Bunny´s child) in an eyewink and manages to pull it off without a problem. There is a healthy dose of violence and blood on display which to me is always a good thing. I sometimes get annoyed when people get shot in westerns but there are visible bullet holes or blood on screen. But Fulci pulls no punches and shows it all from bloody squibs to pieces of skin being cut off a man´s chest.

In the end i still enjoyed most of the movie but i wouldn´t rank as high as before anymore, matter of fact i doubt it would even make my top 20 anymore. The theme and the atmosphere of the movie are captivating but is somewhat undermined by the supbar performances of some actors.


(korano) #105

As far as acting in spaghetti westerns, it’s nearly impossible to judge 100% accuratley. Though you of course get an idea. But the post dubs do not really do any favors as far as acting. I look more to personas. I like Testi’s persona in a lot of his action roles. Sort of like an Italian Errol Flynn. I think? I thought he would come across much better here if it weren’t for the dubbing. But later scenes, he’s very good in I think.


(natos99) #106

This movie surprised me in many ways i wasnt sure what to make of it my dad said it was kind of a horror style western . it has horror elements but not really a horror movie… that aside I thought it was really interesting…

*With out this film there would be no jack sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) tomas millans outfit is very similar (surprised no one has mentioned this)

  • had some really interesting point of view shots when they were in the ghost town gave a great creepy feel made you not sure what was going to happen

  • the scene with the cannibalism was fantastic ( im pretty sure a few movies have stolen this also )

overall could of had a better ending I probably have to watch the film again but it at least was a stand alone film I enjoyed it for some of the unique camera angles and general erie feel of the film this movie also made me check out some of the directors Zombie films there worth a look similar to George A romeros stuff his best one is probably ZOMBIE 2 ( I’dd like to make a horror/western myself oneday)


(Reverend Danite) #107

(Trainspotter trivia alert)

There is actually a character called Jack Sparrow in Law Of Violence (but he don’t look like the later one tho’.)


(ENNIOO) #108

Keep the tit bits coming…I can add them into my spotter note pad :wink: .


(natos99) #109

[quote=“Reverend Danite, post:107, topic:507”](Trainspotter trivia alert)

There is actually a character called Jack Sparrow in Law Of Violence (but he don’t look like the later one tho’.)[/quote]

Sorry I should of been more clear “The Look of Jack Sparrow” was stolen from this film…


(Reverend Danite) #110

Not at all - I understood. I just fancied being a smart-ass. :wink:


(El Topo) #111

What can I say, a good film a good SW? I would say yes, but I would like it to be a bit different.
Most of those late spaghetti tried the “want to be different”, in a way to separate waters from the previous ones, and in the late years repetitive examples of the genre, what I think most directors missed it’s that the different card could have been played on others levels, and not only adding twist and other film genres to the plots. Fulci tries to make something new here, (more gore different score) but he was still attached with things from the past, the same old town, Millian.
The film it’s a bit uneven with the more violent scenes with some more dramatic one, to say the truth I liked more the dramatic part, it’s very well shot (the way the scene where they leave the ghost town it’s filmed is really brilliant from Fulci). Even liking more the dramatic stuff I would prefer that the film would have focused more in the revenge story and that Millian character would be given more screen time, that time and space of the film would be more the four plus Millian in a wild mad chase or something, and cutting all the other characters from the mining town, the priest and so on. This way the acting would have stayed with the best actors Pollard (perfect face for SW) Fabio Testi great performance here, Harry Bair also good as the mad off the bunch, Lynne Frederick of course did not know how to act, but she was quite a bird, too lovely for the part I think, Millian on the other hand could act but sincerely I don’t like his performance, his character obviously based in Charles Manson, in another version of his Mexican bandido typical roles, another actor for the part I think would be more challenging for the director.
But in any case not a bad film I wont give it a four cause of the score the Italian Pink Floyd band, have some nice tunes but for Zabriskie Point or something, not for a SW does not fit at all.
I think that to be different just by being different it’s wrong adding more gore, strange scores etc just misses the point, the real challenge to be different in SW was to take the usual man with no name characters, the Djangos, the Zapata histories and from that transforming it into something different, but starting with the genesis of the genre, something like Straight to Hell for instance a good example IMO for a start at least.


(The Stranger) #112

I agree, El Topo.
The music does not fit into a SW.
However, in a road movie. And it will be.
The film has not many SW elements. He is more of a film of this myth ended. There are no real anti-hero. Testi is not necessarily a SW-hero.

Then the pregnant woman, who dies. The child is adopted by a group of men who all live in a village. A village without women :o (a real nightmare. The men call probably sometime for Blindman: I want my 50 wives again :wink: ::)).

I liked the movie, but it is quite different from the others.


(Bawtyshouse) #113

Review: FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE (1975, Dir. Lucio Fulci)

A weird, ambitious western opus from Lucio Fulci, a veteran of the horror genre best known to western fans as the director of Franco Nero’s MASSACRE TIME. (His signature horror pic is probably 1979’s ZOMBIE.) Fulci here delivers an episodic, dreamy, somewhat languorous picture, marked by bursts of emotion and drama.

We find gambler Stubby (Fabio Testi) tossed in a jail cell with a hopeless drunk; a loopy, hallucination-prone black man; and a winsome prostitute. During a raid on the town, the four prisoners are set free to escape, and wander the desert to ponder their next move.

(Spoilers follow:) In a series of vignettes, the group discovers the prostitute’s pregnancy, meets up with a pack of religious settlers, is set upon by cruel bandit Tomas Milian, holes up in an abandoned town during a rainstorm, aid in the delivery of the baby, and eventually have a showdown with Milian. This might seem like a pretty straightforward checklist of events, but the presentation and mood of the picture make it all feel like a fevered, surreal dream.

The cast features some familiar faces in fine performances: Testi (A/K/A Stet Carson) is handsome and charismatic. We expect Stubby to be a cocky wisecracker, he turns out to be pensive and brooding: Testi’s wide-eyed good looks are perfect for the character. Michael Pollard (of BONNIE AND CLYDE) is appropriately pathetic as the town drunk; Harry Baird, who I know from TRINITY AND SARTANA, THOSE SONS OF… does a great job of being earnest and bright-eyed at the start and escalating into full-on freak-out. As the mysterious and evil bandit Chaco, Tomas Milian is mesmerizing as always, and brings a rock-star swagger to the part of a merciless thug.

The direction by Fulci is such that scenes shift from one setting to the next rather jarringly; we may go from a dusty, sun-drenched vista to a fog-heavy valley just like that. It helps to paint the story as a weird, disorienting dream. You can almost imagine that the four leads are being depicted making their way through the afterlife, or purgatory, or judgment of some kind. Not a straightforward narrative, but really engrossing.

There is not much action or western-style stunt-work in the picture; however, several scenes of violence are conveyed with the aid of very gory, bloody makeup effects, which are shocking but effective. The unusual song score also aids in the film’s impact. Several soft-rock-style narrative songs, whose lyrics mimic the action onscreen, are initially unexpected and off-putting but seem to fit well the more you hear them. The songs are done in English by what sounds like a typical mid-70s acoustic rock ensemble, led by composers Vince Tempera and Massimo DeLuca.

I would suggest this to Fulci fans first and foremost. But definitely not for newcomers to the Spaghetti West, you folks should see MASSACRE TIME by Fulci instead. Also, if you are a fan of dream-like, trippy western epics like KEOMA or of David Lynch-style weirdness, you might want to take a look.

B-/C+, 6.5 out of 10 stars.


(Frank Castle) #114

watched this last night on a recommend from a fellow member when I asked about 70’s Spag westerns that where good?

And all I can say is WTF ?!?!?!? Lol

Now I was thinking that maybe this being a 70’s spag it would be slightly left of field, wanting to be different, but holy shit, it was just mad, mad, MAD, the shift in tone in the movie is actually jarring to watch, and some actual great ideas and shocks in this movie, i think someone should remake this today, it really reminded of Cormac Mc carthys books,

not a spag western, but a horror one for sure…


(tomas) #115

nice comparison


(Frank Castle) #116

Thank you, i think this movie will stay with me for some time, lol.


(Keep Your Head Down) #117

Wasn’t crazy about this one…music seemed tame, didn’t fit my taste for a SW…end of the cycle though, maybe they were just trying something different…


(Silence) #118

[quote=“Frank Castle, post:114, topic:507”]watched this last night on a recommend from a fellow member when I asked about 70’s Spag westerns that where good?

And all I can say is WTF ?!?!?!? Lol

Now I was thinking that maybe this being a 70’s spag it would be slightly left of field, wanting to be different, but holy shit, it was just mad, mad, MAD, the shift in tone in the movie is actually jarring to watch, and some actual great ideas and shocks in this movie, i think someone should remake this today, it really reminded of Cormac Mc carthys books,

not a spag western, but a horror one for sure…[/quote]
Well, it’s Italian, so it is a Spagh.


(sartana1968) #119

the only thing i like from this movie is the gun-shots woods


(Frank Castle) #120

I know that, what I meant was it did not fit my idea of what a spag western usually is. It’s more a horror movie to me, than western.