Fighting Fist of Shanghai Joe (1972)- A kung fu spaghetti
Western! This movie is interesting on a lot of levels. It's
as much an Asian martial arts spectacular as it is an American Western
movie. However, this movie was filmed in Italy. And the
entire movie views more like a modern action movie than a traditional,
slow-moving Western. This movie is action packed; just one big
action sequence after another.
to America and encounters one racist cowboy
after another! Each encounter usually results in a big fight
where Shanghai Joe wins. In the beginning of the movie, Joe is
very reluctant to fight, let alone kill anyone. Throughout the
movie, however, the forces of evil lean harder on our hero and he's
forced to kill. The more Joe kills, the bloodier things get. This
is definitely an R-rated film.
plays a likable and very competent hero in this
film. This is his first of only four movies! What became of
this guy? If you know anything, please CONTACT ME.
lovely leading lady Cristina, who becomes the
love interest for our hero. First of all, it's unique to have a
Chinese character be the hero in a Western. The fact that his
love interest is a Mexican girl is showing an inter-racial romance that
certainly wouldn't have been seen in most cinema a decade
earlier. This is ground-breaking story material.
Sam, one of the four assassins sent out
for Shanghai Joe. Mitchell is best-known for his many roles in
sword-and-sandal movies of the 1960s. He turns in a good
performance in this movie, even though his role is brief.
the movie, Shanghai Joe returns Cristina to her
village. He leaves her behind, saying that he must fight against
the racist injustice running rampant through the land.
Personally, I don't see why Joe had to go. Why couldn't he stay
with Cristina? I suppose Joe felt he had to take out the bad
cowboy trash, but the ending of this movie leaves me a little
unsatisfied. I could see this being made into a series of
films. This movie did spawn one sequel, "The Return of Shanghai
Joe" (1975), but that was it.
entertaining. There might be a lot of
things that butthead critics say to pick it apart, but no one can
say it's boring. Very recommended.
Chen Lee as
Carla Romanelli as Cristina
Piero Lulli as Spencer, the Crooked Lawyer
Claudio Undari as Pedro, the Cannibal [credited as Robert Hundar]
Gordon Mitchell as Burying Sam
Giacomo Rossi-Stuart as Tricky
Klaus Kinski as Scalper Jack
Katsutoshi Mikuriya as Mikuja
Writers- Carlo Alberto Alfieri, Mario Caiano, Fabrizio Trifone Trecca (credited as T.F. Karter)
God's Gun (1976)- A spaghetti Western, filmed in Israel! This was an Italian/Israeli co-production that just happened to feature a lot of American actors. I was truly surprised when I first saw this film, and found it to be very good! This is a Western movie that definitely views like a modern action movie. It's very easy to follow with an infectious story that just pulls you in. The plot is not at all complicated, but the performances of most of the cast, and the action, makes this an entertaining viewing experience.
role. One is Father John, a preacher
shot down by the gang of Sam Clayton (Jack Palance) after defending the
town of Juno City. The other is Lewis, a reformed gunslinger
living in Mexico with his half-Mexican daughter, Juanita. Van
Cleef is amazingly likable as both characters. After seeing him
play so many bad guys in movies over the years, it's great to see him
as an honorable hero, twice over.
was actually good as a child
actor. I never cared for Leif's music in the 70s. I think
the corporate, pop icon takeover of Leif robbed him of the credit that
he DID deserve as an actor. Leif got typecast as a "teenybopper"
and it prevented him from doing a lot of great things when he got a
little older. He did a great job in this movie, and in TV shows
like "Wonder Woman", and later movies like "Dickie Roberts: Former
Child Star". Leif plays Johnny, the son of saloon owner Jenny
(Sybil Danning) and (we later find out) Sam Clayton. Father John
practically raised Johnny like a son. Upon seeing John's death,
the shock makes Johnny lose his voice. Newly mute, he travels to
Mexico to find John's brother Lewis in order to save Juno City.
Johnny regains his voice near the end of the movie when the battle is
over. It's one thing to do dialogue well, but Leif gives great
expression and communication as a mute.
gives a solid performance as
Jenny, owner of Jenny's Saloon. We later discover that her son
Johnny is the product of a rape-induced pregnancy by bandit Sam
Clayton. Jack Palance plays a cool bad guy as Sam Clayton, leader
of a ruthless gang that consists largely of his nephews. Palance
is both funny and convincingly evil.
Rosenblum, credited here as
Pnina Golan, plays Chesty, the aptly-named leader of Jenny's
showgirls. She's hot, hot, HOT! I was surprised to learn
that Ms. Rosenblum is Israeli (half German, half Iraqi), because she
certainly could pass for American. Pnina is a very busty redhead
beauty. Her appeal goes beyond just looks. Chesty is a
bubbly, fun character who smartens up when Clayton's gang starts
killing people in her town, and nearly rapes her and the other
showgirls. Chesty's maturity comes into full swing after she
shoots a bad man dead. Rosenblum, herself, began as an
actress/model/singer and later developed as a businesswoman and
performance as the Sheriff of
Juno City. I wasn't impressed, but at least he played a good
guy. I did like Heinz Bernard as the elderly Judge Barrett and,
for as little as we saw her, Zila Carni as Lewis' daughter,
Juanita. Carni didn't do much in acting. It's a shame,
because she played a likable character in this movie.
It may not always have the
best moments of dialogue, but the acting, story, and action will hold
up for many years to come. I recommend this movie.
Cleef as Father John/Lewis
Jack Palance as Sam Clayton
Leif Garrett as Johnny
Sybil Danning as Jenny
Pnina Rosenblum as Chesty [credited as Pnina Golan]
Robert Lipton as Jess Clayton
Richard Boone as Sheriff
Heinz Bernard as Judge Barrett
Zila Carni as Juanita
Gianfranco Parolini [credited as Frank Kramer]
Writers- John Fonseca, Gianfranco Parolini
Hard Bounty (1995)- The story idea is good, but it's got about as much character depth as a triple-X movie. The acting is not terrible, but it definitely isn't something where the actors had to stretch. Dialogue is pretty simple, sometimes non-existent, but usually cheesy. So how come I recommend it?
is different for
westerns. A head hooker and her two hooker compatriots become
gunslingers to avenge the death of her sister. The murderer, by
the way, is a ruthless gun for hire who was kicked out of the Texas
Rangers. Interesting enough, the lead hooker's boyfriend, a
quick-draw bounty hunter, is also an ex-Texas Ranger and the villain's
former partner. The bounty hunter follows the trio of buxom
gunslinging lovelies and helps them as they go to take out the trash.
This is not
a bad movie, but it
could be done so much better. First of all, for the type of story
they're trying to do the movie is too short. It's 90 minutes, but
needs at least 2 hours to sufficiently explain things and establish a
plot. The girls spend most of the movie doing whore things, which
they could have cut down, then when it came time to be avengers, they
just saddled up in kinky cowgirl clothes, did their business, and the
movie was over.
Lebrock is the leading
lady, and she does good, but it seems like the other three women in the
show are just accessories. Besides Kelly's character of Donnie,
the woman we get to know best is her sister Rachel, and she dies!
The other two women that become Donnie's saddle tramps (pun intended)
are not given much time to speak nor can we really see their
personalities. They do look good in (and out of) their outfits,
though, which I think is the basic point of the whole picture, anyway.
who plays Kanning
the bounty hunter, is playing the character cool enough, but he forces
the gravelly voice too much. You can tell it sounds fakey.
Plus he almost always has a cigar in his mouth. That's kind of
tacky. But I think the character is overall cool and he has an
important function in this movie. You can tell he was not a
simple add-in for the film.
So what can
you gain from
watching this movie? Lots of shoot-em-up action and hot, bosomy
women. Fun for any age of man. Not so ideal for women or