Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Sundowners A.K.A, Thunder in the Dust (1950)

An American western directed by George Templeton.
Assholes argue with eachother over land and murder.
I got to 56 minutes and had to turn it off for lacking plot. Seriously, who wants to watch arguments for an hour and 23 minutes? There is another Sundowners movie from 1960 that was nominated for a plethora of Academy Awards. This is obviously not that film. I rate this shit because I had to turn it off. DO NOT WATCH!

The Proud and the Damned A.K.A. Proud, Damned and Dead (1972)

An American Columbian western directed by Ferde Grofe Jr. starring Chuck Connors and Cesar Romero.
A group of cowboys are on a mission in mexico from one general, run afoul of another and when the 3rd lets them stay in his town, they piss him off too. While in the town, 2 of the cowboys fall in love with women who they are forbidden to engage with. Then battles happen.
The plot was pretty epic and had identifiable and memorable characters. There were some relatively dry and boring sections, but the forbidden love and fighting made up for those. The audio and video had no problems, but I was glad that I know some Spanish because there were sections in which the language was spoken without subtitles. Although technically sound and relatively interesting, something rubbed me the wrong way about the style. I didn't really like the camera-work and there was too much soundtrack music that did not add to the film as a whole. Overall, worth watching. I rate it adequate.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Hanged Man (1974)

An American made for TV western directed by Ken Trevey, starring Steve Forrest, Dean Jagger and Will Geer.
A man who killed another man (possibly in self defense) is hanged, dies and comes back to life. He then protects the widowed wife of the man he killed from outlaws who want to shut down her mine.
This wasn't bad, but it wasn't good. The plot and characters were presented relatively clearly and there were no audio/video problems. The plot was a little vague and boring in some parts and only the main character was developed. overall, it was a regular western. I rate it o.k.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Gun and the Pulpit (1974)

An American made for TV western directed by Daniel Petrie.
A gunfighter narrowly escapes a hanging, finds a dead preacher and impersonates him in the next town. Outlaws run the town and the gunfighting preacher encounters conflict with them.
This was pretty standard and mediocre. The plot and characters were presented clearly and there were no audio or video problems. Just a regular western. I rate it o.k.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Belle Starr Story (1968)

An Italian spaghetti western directed by Lina Wertmuller and Piero Cristofani, starring Elsa Martinelli and George Eastman.
A woman outlaw falls in love with a man outlaw. She shares her back-story with him before they plan and execute a robbery.
This was pretty cool. The video was a little grainy, as expected from the date and the audio was slightly muffled. There were also some underexposed scenes. These imperfections did not distract from the film though. The plot was clearly presented with the main characters being well-acted and memorable. The pacing was just right: slow enough to let you enjoy what is currently happening, but fast enough to keep things moving. I think that the best part was the overall style that was relatively common in these late '60s and early '70s spaghetti westerns. I didn't notice amazing camera-work, but neither did I notice that it was bad. It blended seemlessly into the film as a whole, which is what is supposed to happen anyway. Overall, this is a very good western and one of a very rare few with a female main character. I give it one of those nice, solid green ratings that I wish I could give more frequently.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Texas to Bataan A.K.A. The Long, Long Trail (1942)

An American Range Busters western directed by Robert Emmett Tansey.
The group of cowboys finds a truckload of Japanese rifles, helps to load horses and go to the Philippines.
This was very, very standard. I've reviewed so many westerns. Please refer to my other posts for descriptions of what makes a standard western. I rate it tolerable.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Stanley A.K.A. O Réptil Maligno, Slangerne angriber, slangerne dræber, Ormarna (1972)

An American horror directed by William Grefe, starring Chris Robinson.
A young snake handler runs afoul of a fashion designer and a go-go girl's pimp. He uses his snakes to get even when conflicts arise.
This was pretty lo-fi and underground, but that's why I liked it. It came in a set of some massive number of horror movies 4 to a disc from Walmart. The main character's affinity with reptiles played ever so nicely into the sleazy '70s style of the film. They were doing the right type of low budget horror flick at the right time and accidentally got it right. The production quality was horrible and it generally looked a little on the sloppy side, but sometimes that's what is needed. This film has what multi-billion dollar CG Hollywood flicks lack: authenticity. It really is a sleazy, underground, low-budget horror movie about snakes and that's why I like it. You can't fake that, no matter how many dollars you throw at it. I rate this good.