Well this is another George Hilton Spaghetti Western and he again is very entertaining to watch here. In fact this is a very fast paced action packed film indeed. Its got a really good storyline too with some rather unexpected twists in it. The two main characters and Lord and Bull and they are very tricky gunslingers. They have a good friendship and are on the trail of soe hidden gold that has been missing for years. When the guy that sent for them is killed they start asking questions of a local gang.
They have just two clues, the name of a girl who is being kept hostage by a guy called Forester and a name of a book. There are elements to this movie that feel like a detective movie where our heroes must put the clues together. This makes it quite an interesting tale and a well written story.
The action is really well done and the film skips along at a really fast pace. I really enjoyed this one, and it had some really nice twists, especially the ending which was clever and bizarre at the same time.
So it seems I am back on a Spaghetti Western kick at the mo and its nice to be trying to catch up on the amount of them I have upstairs. This one is a rather entertaining one starring George Hilton. He plays Johnny King who lives with his friend Steve who is also a pastor. Some local thugs want the ranch that Steve lives on and they try to intimidate him for it. However Johnny is quite the tough guy and shoes them off.
He soon gets into a bar fight and is framed for murder. While in the jail cell he gets into another fight with his cell mate but soon they weirdly become friends and the other guy who is called Meredith. Meredith accepts Johnny into his gang and they perform a bank robbery with no killing. The first half of this movie is pretty much a Spaghetti Western comedy and it does feel rather strange. However when Johnny returns home and finds his friend has been murdered by the gang that wanted the land, the film then shifts into a dark revenge movie. Its really odd but to be honest somehow it worked for me and I really liked its uniqueness. In fact its one of those movies that feels better after you have let it “settle in.” Looking back on it I like it more than when I watched it. It is a rather odd one but is still very entertaining. Hilton is as good as ever and balances comedy with seriousness rather well.
This is the official sequel to “The Big Gundown” starring once again Tomas Milian as Cuchilio who is soon up to no good and is thrown in jail for theft. In there he meets Ramirez who is a revolutionary. He offers Cuchilio money if he will help him escape. After escaping they become friends as Ramirez reveals that he is going after 300,000 which he wants to use to finance the revolution. However they soon are captured and Ramirez is killed. But on his deathbed he asks Cuchilio to find the gold and help the people in the revolution as he hands him a newspaper.
Pretty soon though there are other people who want the gold and they will stop at nothing to get it. this leads Cuchilio on the run for most of the movie. Although entertaining enough this doesn’t hold a candle to “The Big Gundown.” It often feels like it doesn’t know whether it wants to be a comedy or a more serious movie.
I must admit that I am not a huge fan of the more whimsical elements in this or any other spaghetti western and I did feel like it was a bit strange in places. It did also feel kind of overlong as well and baggy, which is a real shame. Milian is still good as Cuchilio but doesnt really offer anything new. Dont get me wrong this is still a good spaghetti western, but being the sequel to one of the best the genre has to offer it falls short.
The fourth in the series of universal Frankenstein movies sees Ygor rescuing the monster from the sulphuric tomb as the villagers come to destroy Frankenstein’s castle. He flees with the monster, who is revived but not yet his full self. He decides to take him to the second son of Frankenstein Ludwig. Ludwig is a doctor himself and has a practice alongside his assistants Dr. Kettering and Dr. Theodore Bohmer. As Ygor and the monster arrive in the town of Vasaria they end up getting into trouble and the monster is captured.
The town prosecutor asks Ludwig to examine the monster and soon Ygor pays Ludwig a visit and bribes him into helping to heal the monsters sickness. When Ludwig meets the monster at the police station the monster appears to recognise him before breaking free and going berserk. Ygor helps lead the monster away. Ygor and the monster break into the Frankenstein home and the monster kills Dr Kettering. However Ludwig subdues and captures the monster and asks his assistant Bohmer to help in dissecting the monster to end its reign of terror. However Ludwig is soon visited by his fathers spirit who instructs him to perfect his creation and not destroy it. He decides that he will put Dr Ketterings brain into the monster to give it intelligence. Ygor has other plans though and tries to get Bohmer to help him with his quest for power.
I did enjoy this take on the story. It felt fresh and new and was entertaining enough. It doesnt quite match the first 3 but is still a really good film. Its the first one not to have Boris Karloff playing the monster. This time the role is given to Lon Chaney Jr. Legosi does another great job as the crazy Ygor as he gets more power hungry. I am looking forward to completing all these early classics, they are great fun.
This is the third entry into the universal “Frankenstein” series and its really entertaining. It follows the story of Frankenstein’s son Wolf who, years after the events in the last movie is returning to live in his fathers castle with his wife and child. He is however met with a bit of hostility from the locals who remember the monster and the chaos that his father had unleashed years ago. His only friend it seems is a local policeman Inspector Krogh. While searching his fathers castle he meets the demented Ygor who has survived a hanging and now has a deformed neck.
He soon shows Wolf that he has been hiding the monster and now he wants Wolf to revive the monster. He does so trying to restore his family name and prove the genius of his father in that he was a maker of men and not maker of monsters. However when the monster is revived it will only answer to Ygors demands and he uses this to exact revenge on the jury who sentenced him to death.
I really enjoyed this entry and particularly liked the character Ygor. He is completely insane and really well played by Bela Legosi. Really well written and nicely filmed, I am really enjoying this series so far.
Posted: March 6, 2014 in Film Review
Tags: action, Adventure, Akira Kurosawa, Epic, film, film review, japanese, Masterpiece, samurai, Seven Samurai
Well many people would have heard the name Akira Kurosawa, especially if you are into film. There is a good reason why, I mean this guy influenced cinema as we know it. He was a true visionary director who inspired so many other directors who came after him. This film here is an absolute masterpiece, and to me has everything in it that makes it so. You have deep and interesting characters, a fantastic story, great action sequences and even some humour. It is all balanced beautifully and for the whole 3 hours plus you just cant get bored. There so much going on! This is in my top 10 for a reason and since re watching it a couple of times it just seems to get stronger and stronger with every watch.
The story appears quite simple, yet woven into it is all sorts of history and depth of a 16th century life in Japan. Bandits meet on horseback outside a poor farming village and speak of how they will attack when the crop is ready. A villager overhears and brings news to the village. They are very poor and know that this attack could end up killing them all if their food is stolen. They debate about what to do and eventually decide that they will employ samurai to defend their village. They have nothing to offer the samurai apart from food. The film shows the sign of the times with the farmers being harshly treated because of their role within the country. We are soon introduced to the first samurai Kambei. He is seen cutting off his topknot to pose as a priest and save a kidnapped baby. He becomes the leader and master tactician as he and his new samurai apprentice employ the others.
To be honest I could write pages and pages on each samurai as they are recruited, but that would make a huge post. I will just echo what I said before in that each one is really deep and interesting. They soon find themselves harshly greeted in the village as the villagers are hiding from them. One villager wants to protect his daughter so much that he forces her to cut off her hair and pose as a boy. The film is divided into three sections really, first its the meeting of the samurai, then its life in the village as the samurai and farmers must overcome their differences as Kambei prepares them for the battle. Thirdly is the battle itself which is still epic even by today’s standards.
There’s even a sub-plot of a love story. Kurosawa gets so much done in this movie its incredible. You can tell you have watched a masterpiece when you can keep revisiting it and finding more things in it that you may have missed. I love this movie so much that even writing about it makes me want to watch it again. Its undoubtedly one of the best films I have ever watched and I am proud to have it in my top 10. I will actually be looking into doing a review of all of Kurosawa’s works, maybe even after I finish with David Cronenberg. Astounding cinema, a true timeless masterpiece!!
I have always been a big fan of revenge movies, so I was really interested in this film. The film stars Michael Caine in the lead role of Harry Brown. He is an ex royal marine and lives a quiet life in his London flat. Early on in the film we find out that his wife is seriously ill in hospital. Harry also has a best friend called Len and the two often meet up at the local pub to play chess together. Pretty soon into the film Harry’s wife passes away leaving him a widow. His only comfort it now seems is his best friend Len. However things go wrong for them both when Len reveals to Harry that he is being harassed by a local youth gang. He wants to sort it out himself and shows Harry a bayonet he is now carrying to defend himself. Harry warns against this and asks Len to inform the police, which Len says he has already done but they did nothing.
Pretty soon after this Len is murdered by the gang in an underpass. This leaves Harry really upset especially when he learns that the suspects are released due to lack of evidence. This sends Harry into a vigilante mission of revenge. Michael Caine is simply brilliant in this role. He is completely convincing and you really do side with him when you see some of the disgusting things the gang have done. In fact this is a very disturbing movie and I was actually shocked and appalled by some of it. It hits hard and is very realistic and brilliantly performed by all the actors in it.
The films realism is amazing and the direction is also very well done. This is a movie that will stay with you long after and is quite upsetting. You definitely side with Caines character and want him to win. I was so damn close to giving this a full 5 star, it is that good. I think I probably would on a second visit. If you are a fan of revenge movies like the Death Wish series or Vigilante then you will love this.