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

(chameleon) #141

I’ve tried to watch it twice within the last two years and never finished. Maybe with some liqueur will help , but I doubt it. It’s a semi-turkey for me.

Silver Sadle on the other hand was better IMO.

(John Welles) #142

@ Sherpshutter:

I found the scenes you think are “schmalzy” actually quite moving, helping round out the characters and make them more believable. Yes, some of it is quite sadistic, but it is a Spaghetti Western! What do you hope for in a Spaghetti Western then?

(scherpschutter) #143

Never made up a real list of ingredients, I never like these things like ‘definitions of a genre’, etc. You can make a list, but then somebody inevitably comes up with this or that movie (which lacks the so-called necessary ingredients). But okay, I guess a spaghetti western should have at least: shootouts, a gritty atmosphere, a sense of style, and a great score. But I think it’s more about feeling than about ingredients. This one didn’t feel like a spaghetti western. That wouldn’t be a problem if it were anything else I like, but to me it had few redeeming qualities. It is ‘different’, yes, and that might be a point of interest, but then again it might not. In itself, being ‘different’ is neutral, I suppose.

(RamonRed) #144

I have a soft spot in my heart for this film. It was the first non Leone Spag I watched. I was interested in watching it after seeing the trailer on a dvd of one of Fulci’s horror movies from Anchor bay ( can’t remember which one).
Being a Fulci fan, I wanted to check it out because the trailer made it look very cool.

I bought Anchor Bay’s “Once Upon A Time In Italy” box set, mainly for 4 of the Apocalypse. It’s flawed, but it has memorable characters, atmosphere, and Tomas Milian in one of his best roles, IMHO. 4 stars for me.

(scherpschutter) #145

Let’s agree to disgree.

It’s very unusual for a spagh, so it’s no wonder that it devides fans of the genre.

(Silence) #146

As far as I remember, I liked this film, but I can see why it’s not for everyone.

(TucoBene) #147

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:143, topic:507”]This one didn’t feel like a spaghetti western.

Let’s agree to disgree.

It’s very unusual for a spagh, so it’s no wonder that it devides fans of the genre.[/quote]

Scherp, you put it in a nutshell - I totally agree!

(Mickey13) #148

Just watched this one I enjoyed it quite a bit.

A pretty untypical spaghetti western appears to be closer to twilight spaghetti westerns like Keoma and Mannaja than to traditional genre works. I wasn’t expecting anything remarkable and maybe this is why I liked it. On the whole, the movie is uneven in terms of quality and it has its stronger and weaker points (just like every flick ever made I guess). In the world of the Italian Western, in which were many splendid opening scenes, unfortunately this one cannot boast about it. It all starts out in a very schematic way - a gambler gets arrested and imprisoned with a whore, a madman and a drunk. Apart from this, it hasn’t got any clichés typical for a spaghetti western and it remains something absolutely different. The first half is crafted in a decent way, there is nothing peculiar to take delight in. If a viewer isn’t looking for a chemistry among four characters, one will be bitterly disappointed. Action sequences are few and far between, the direction mostly focuses on relationships amid protagonists. In the middle, it get more interesting and has a moments of imposing cinematic beauty - like Clem’s death scene and a journey through a desert. The lighting is impressive and its dazzling white color gives it an oneiric climax. However, the rendition isn’t devoid of flaws. Fulci frequently endeavors to include as much sentimentality as possible which results in slowing the flick down. The action drags in Altaville and seems to go nowhere, there are also other unnecessarily longish places, fortunately the pace doesn’t disturb too much, it flows steadily, never feels rushed or languorous. The ending is executed perfectly, in a classic, grand-guignol Fulci’s style. Fabio Testi disfigures Milian’s face with his razor and having avenged Bunny, he rides away.

The cast is very strong and there are good performances all around, maybe except for Lynne Frederick’s one. In spite of being stunningly pretty, she often acts on the screen in a very hysterical way. Milian is by far the best, Testi is also pretty good and with this role he shows his acting skills. Loads of other familiar faces, i.e. Bruno Corazzari, Lorenzo Robledo, Alfredo Lastretti.

With regard to a soundtrack, I thought it wasn’t too bad or at least not as cheesy as I expected it to be. Actually, those soft rock ballads are fit for the movie’s outlandish, psychedelic atmosphere. Sure, there is some cheese in it, but it never puts me off from liking it.

No wonder why it’s such a divisive entry. It has totally different relish and is supposed to be something entirely alternative. Overall, despite implicating a great deal of engaging concepts, it never manages to achieve the aim, even though Fulci succeeds in introducing some nice directional maneuvers. It’s more a curio than a hidden masterpiece for me. 6/10

(I love you M.E. Kay) #149

I read a couple of pages of this thread to get a sense of the film’s standing among SW fans and I’m disappointed to see it’s so polarizing, some have even said it’s one of the worst spaghetti western they’ve seen! I couldn’t disagree more, in fact I think it’s among the best. I keep seeing the word uneven thrown around and while I do agree it applies to one element or two of the film (the music and the English dub - I’ll stick with Italian next time), I don’t think it applies to either the pacing or the tone. Frankly, I thought the pacing was pretty much perfect, it never missed a beat and my attention never faltered - I even wish it was longer. If you gave me a pair of scissors, I don’t think I could cut a frame of it (ok, maybe the rape scene as it was unnecessary, but at least it wasn’t too graphic or exploitative compared to other genre films of the time). As for the tone, I can understand why people would think the film’s sentimentality wouldn’t quite gel with Fulci’s darker sensibility, but I thought the film balanced both aspect quite well and that they complimented each other beautifully as the best and worst humanity has to offer. I was particularly surprised at how well executed the sentimental scenes were considering Fulci is such a grim fella, but it seem he really gave his best. I found the sequence in Altaville to be the film’s best, really touching. Maybe I’m just too sentimental (but then again I thought the sentimentality in California was “ugh”, so who knows).

Overall I liked the soundtrack, all the instrumental tracks were good (and this track is just fantastic : ) and while I didn’t care for any of the ones with vocals aside from Movin’ On (which is still stuck in my head) they didn’t bother me too much either.

At least the acting seem to have garnered more positive reactions. To me Fabio Testi gave one of the best performance of the entire genre and the supporting cast was top-notch, particularly Milian and Pollard who were fantastic. Baird was also quite good and despite her so-so dub I thought Frederick was fine. Special mention to Donald O’Brien who never really impressed me before, but played the asshole sheriff as perfectly as I could imagine. Of course, it couldn’t have hurt Testi’s performance that he played one of the most interesting character in the genre, has there been a SW character who had such a journey as Stubby Preston’s? The film’s villain is a lot less interesting as a character, but Milian was great and Chaco is probably the most sinister looking villain in all of SW-land.

What can I say? I love it!

(Spaghetti Monkey) #150

^ couldn’t agree more. Excellent film, even better because of it’s differences. If all SW’s were Leone clones, what a boring world it would be.

(titoli) #151

This one is definitely different than the rest, and is interesting to see for that alone.

But having good ideas and execution of those ideas is not the same thing, and although I find nothing wrong with the story of the movie, the movie itself was little bit boring for me to watch, especially in the second part.
That said, I think Testi’s screen presence and acting were great, one of the best lead roles in SWs. And it was interesting to see Jack Sparow’s predecessor :slight_smile:

(Mickey13) #152

I understand what you mean. Yes, the movie slows down in the second part very much, it almost becomes self-indulgent which is something unusual for Fulci. ???
But overall it is a really good spagh.

(Spaghetti Monkey) #153

Heh.heh… definitely can’t argue that it’s not slow in spots, that just didn’t bother me. I like road movies and this is a road movie that just happens to be set in the west, so it’s really no wonder so many don’t care for it. It either works for you or it doesn’t. At least you enjoyed Testi, personally i really enjoy Pollard and Milian in this one. The Jack Sparrow connection is a good one :wink:

(Sanchez) #154

It’s no suprise to me that this film is pretty divisive among SW fans. I’ve watched it twice and it got better with the second viewing, knowing what I will be getting is something no other Spaghetti Western really offers. It’s exceedingly dark, it’s horrifying and viseral, and quite psychedelic at times, but is punctuated with moments of true beauty. Here’s my review I wrote for rotten tomatoes:

“A very challenging film. Moments of supreme beauty juxtaposed with moments of extreme horror make this movie such a unique and uncompromising journey. The movie is often called a Spaghetti Western but its only similarities to the genre are the setting, the Italian production, and the actors, with stand-out Spaghetti stars Fabio Testi and Tomas Milian. People expecting action will be disappointed, as this is really much more of a drama and character study told in the style of a “Road Movie”. Fulci sends his characters in to scenes of unimaginable hell, and there are some truly disturbing moments, even by today’s standards. But to Fulci’s credit, the film has some very touching moments that rise above even the most terrifying sequences, particularly the entire scene based in the mining town. Overall, a fantastic movie about downtrodden outcasts triumphing over unimaginable adversity. The beautiful 70s soft-rock score is very effective and Fulci provides the best direction of his career. Highly recommended.”

(Bad Lieutenant) #155

Watched it again, for the third time. Still a lovely little film. 7,5/10

(Asa) #156

Strange stew of contradictions, this film. IMO, like. Slow, a little disjointed, but incredibly violent and with an all-time great villain in an almost unrecognisable Thomas Milian, although said villain, as brilliant as he was, was a) frustratingly underused and b) a shade too close to a modern(ish) era Charlie Manson-type villain who might’ve been more at home in a Dirty Harry pic than wandering the badlands of a century past. Still, I have to doff my cap to anything attempting a bit of different. F*ckawful score, though. Really, horrible.

(Keep Your Head Down) #157

There’s the problem in a nutshell! Couldn’t agree more…

(gringo_bastardo) #158

Have to go for 2 stars. It starts well but gets quite boring, and showdown is bit disappointing. Music score is terrible. Certainly different from mainstream spaghettis. I might chance opinion when view next time. I did not read any comments about this so I was expecting action western like silver saddle and massacre time…

On the other hand this is closer to fulcis non-sw movies when it comes to atmosphere and gore…


Hello everybody just started contributing to this forum here’s my review for Four of the Apocalypse

(scherpschutter) #160

Very interesting read. Personally I do not like this film (well, I like the first twenty minutes or so, not the rest).

Bonnie & Clyde an overrated film school chore? Surprises me a little. If you like it or not, I always thought that it’s a well-made, entertaining movie.