Posts tagged Spaghetti Westerns

Western Watchins #125

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A short list of better things to do than watch this film:

Go shopping for groceries in another state

Debate politics on social media

Lick a donkey’s balls

Have a donkey lick your balls

Shit your pants

Eat that shit

Eat that shit and then die

 

Holy Water Joe (Acquasanta Joe or Weihwasser Joe if you’re one of those Spanish or German foreign people) is a masterfully inept presentation of something desperately trying to call itself cinema. If I had to guess, here’s how it was made. Somewhere in Italy in 1971, trimmed or otherwise excluded material from several late-in-the-era spaghetti westerns were written upon index cards and then thrown onto a writer’s desk. He stapled them together in random order before asking a prop guy to rent a cannon. Armed then with a cannon (that went ‘boom’) and his script (that went ‘bust’) the writer, one director, two producers, and several people who thought themselves actors, proceeded to push this mess out of their collective rectums and into our faces.

Like so many others save for the very worst, Holy Water Joe here contained pieces of what might have been an enjoyable puzzle. The film as a whole however was like taking a dump, spotting a quarter buried in the turd, then quickly realizing it just isn’t worth your trouble as you pull firmly down on the flush lever. There were only tiny treasures here and none of them worth sifting through the slop to recover. It was overstuffed with ideas that went nowhere featuring plenty of plot but no pertinent points. The costumes were the best that the early 1970s and a minuscule budget had to offer (kepis with shiny vinyl visors for instance) and the score was much the same making the entire movie feel like it could turn into a Blacksploitation flick around any bend. Should they ever decided to release a special edition Blu-ray of this one they’ll have to include this clip I found of the composer hard at work.

Almost all of Holy Water Joe is terrible and then the finale is amazingly worse. Our titular ho-hum hero faces off against some jerk who got his hands on the cannon. Of course Joe runs right at him because it’s just one guy right and he knows that even a highly trained compliment of soldiers are only able to manage three aimed shots per minute. The jerk fires off four in the same time span, three of those in thirty-eight seconds. Multiple chances to hit the protagonist plus ramp up the intensity yet he misses on both counts. Four damn shots and almost a fifth but thanks to Joe with a quiver full of arrows, that “I’m not sure I can do this” look in his eye and his many questionable decisions including standing still ten feet directly in front of the cannon before repeatedly taking his eyes off the jerk attempting to fire said cannon, the good guy prevails! Yay, the movie is almost over! A few more poorly scripted, poorly acted and ridiculously portrayed things happen and then it really is over. But mayhaps not for those closely involved…

Of the three leads (not including the cannon) one’s career (Lincoln Tate) petered out well before he died prior to collecting any social security, one (Ty Hardin) felt so bad he became a preacher in Arizona cleaning up the sins of both your past and your kitchen, and the third (Richard Harrison) went on to “star” thirteen times as “Ninja Master Gordon” in various ninja themed/certainly horrendous movies that still probably don’t suck quite as much as this one. 

Neither preaching nor mystical teachings could have saved this one though and maybe Lincoln just decided to croak before having to ever watch it again thus proving himself wiser than us all. 1 round in the chamber and it’s probably the wrong caliber if anyone bothers to check. There is so much I could have done other than spend time watching this like anything other than watching this so I’m glad someone else on the internet took it upon themselves to post a warning for everyone about Holy Water Joe and whether or not you should partake. When you see the following know that it is better produced, more finely performed and singularly less retarded than the film of which I’ve just written:

 

 

I am not joking in the slightest when I say that the priest was more animated and the puppets more convincing than nearly everyone in this week’s Watchins. Which brings me to next week’s. More than a hundred movies are in the books. We been on this road a long, long time and traveled so many, many miles. Some of ’em great, some of ’em ungodly, but every last one of ’em lending something to my experience. 

And that amigos, in the end, is what life must be about.

Western Watchins #122

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I once was going to marry this other girl until I met my wife one day and everything changed. I realized I never simply want to exist, I want to live! I once figured I’d die in Orlando. Maybe in a Costo parking lot. Then I visited the Old Reno outside of Tucson one day and everything changed as I realized I’d die in Arizona…after a shootout…maybe in a Costco parking lot…on the streets of Tombstone. I once felt that thousands of friends was a necessity, then, so many people revealed themselves to be wishy-washy, back stabbing “it’s best for business” types and everything changed. I realized the few who would take any bullet for you meant more than the multitude just waiting to put one in you. These are some ponderous ponderings, illustrating the point that one moment, one minute, one millisecond can flip-fuck every calm and metered expectation you think you have all figured out for yourself. Last week, had you told me I would soon be watching Tomas Milian in a film and enjoying myself as I did so, I would have asked how much it cost you. “Cost me for what?” you’d question. “Cost you to fill up full of bullshit everyday because son, that’s some bullshit right there” I casually reply as I back away from the conversation and your fountain like spewing of that shit most particular to a bull. If you read last week’s Watchins you’ll know exactly how I felt about Life is Tough, eh Providence? and its main star. I have to believe that even a bumblebee orgy held at the world’s premier bumblebee swingers’ club would feature less bumble-fuckery than that spectacularly awful film. Ergo, I sat stunned when who should appear on my screen acting competently but this desert drunk specter of rugged, pathos fueled intensity?

 

 

I liked The Bounty Killer (The Ugly Ones when first released) probably as a result of watching it all completely sytmied and put so off guard by Mr. Milian’s performance as José Gómez. Last week’s utter ass-clown was now this week’s Big Bad bad-ass, a multileveled and malevolent Mexican now stood where mere days ago had been only a slapstick sonofabitch from Whothefuckcaresville. His steadily shifting eyes, his smooth on the edge of a gravel road voice and that trademark, high pitched, out of control giggling at the most inappropriate times was all there but now all of that had a script, a setting and numerous side characters allowing for Bounty Killer to completely eschew the ridiculous in lieu of mostly riveting. José was outstanding. Having a great foil to clash against didn’t hurt either:

 

 

That’s Richard Wyler, a live action Sterling Archer as Luke Chilson, the tough-as-nails yet smart-as-college-educated-nails bounty hunter who’s on the hunt for José’s bounty. He may end up killing him as is possibly given away by the poorly transposed title of the latter American release. Milian’s guy-who-was-wronged-using-that-as-an-excuse-to-go-bad was a peculiar mix of sympathetic and scumbag while Wyler remained constant avoiding the prevalent trope of the day to feature a morally ambiguous protagonist. Luke Chilson was, like Boba Fett and many other famous real world bounty hunters, just doing his deadly job while still preferring to bring in his quarry alive. He had Gómez and the Goméz gang to constantly contend with plus, as an added bonus, a small village full of dumbshits hell bent on defending their former friend (Gómez) turned right now murdering bastard (still Gómez!) Said villagers including all your standards like “retired sheriff guy” and “Guy who looks like Mario Brega because he is Mario Brega guy.” You also had a kindly older couple who were kind of bigger pacif-idiots than all the rest. I didn’t recognize either of them unless you count the fact that the wife looked a lot like this:

 

 

It was creepy. She looked like a terrible cosplay of Mother and was terribly distracting in her obviously fake grey hair. Now matter how they had styled her though, it wouldn’t have mattered. Halina Zalewska also lived in town.

 

 

Gorgeous! And tragic too from what I’ve found. She only appeared in a few more films after this one before dying in a fire at the age of 36. Knowing that, her performance adds a somberness to an already haunting production. The Bounty Killer feels like it takes place on Mars. I’ve seen desolate locales in the past of course but this sparse landscape populated by only a few forlorn phantoms makes this seem like a story set in an aimless purgatory where sinners are left to sulk in the aftermath of poor choices and missed opportunities. No one lived out there whether good or evil, everyone simply existed. When you lack direction decisions become meaningless, just more distractions that won’t ever fill up all the hollow you’ve got inside of you.

 

 

A weight hung upon all these characters turning them tangible in a way I haven’t often felt wading through any film. There’s several inexplicably perfect shots taken and Death was many times outmaneuvered as is the case with most silver screen shootouts but there were also a number of outstandingly normal reactions and behaviors on display. The comforting mundane. As actions of cruelty went unchecked all that normalcy stared at you accusingly. We’ve all been on the edge of right and wrong with nothing but our nuts to see us through. I’ve not always acted courageously and Bounty Killer reflected that imperfect humanity in all of us. It was bitter to recognize but beautiful too. Bad guys on film are so bad right? They’re not at all like you an me and easy to despise because of it. The villains this week weren’t so plain as for you to avoid noticing that their flavor was a mite similar to yours. Maybe not always, but at some point we’ve all made excuses, we’ve all been cruel. While you might not endorse Jóse Goméz, you sure as hell understood him even if that understanding stuck sideways in your gut. 

Conversely, the “good” folks in the film struggled to act accordingly as well. There was occasional bravery and it stood out like bleached driftwood floating on a darkened sea. People brought their cowardice to the boiling point and finally realized that heads down and mouths shut wasn’t any kind of way to got through life even if it meant riskin’ livin’. Scumbags, cretins and cocksuckers we’ll have always with us. The villagers living in this story, and you living in yours, have a decision to make. You gonna’ take a knee or take up the fight? It’s a substantial question that’ll take the volumes of your days to properly answer and a fine film here for asking it.

4 rounds in the cylinder for The Bounty Killer. A standout among the many throwaways from its era, surreptitiously strong and worth a watchin’. I’m now even looking forward to the next time Tomas Milian’s path crosses with mine, counting this turn as the folk hero turned fuck a personal favorite. He was a spectacularly mad dog and enjoyable to the last. After my initial assumptions of the man last week I can now stand before you pleasantly corrected. You ride long enough and you’ll find that a willingness to offer second chances smooths out the road ahead considerably. Forgiveness is always an option.

Unless someone’s still being a dick.

Then it’s probably best you just shoot them or unfriend them or something.  

Western Watchins #121

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What I first suspected after last watching ¡Three Amigos! I have now painfully confirmed by taking in Life is Tough, eh Providence? It’s a spaghetti western comedy released as La vita, a volte, è molto dura, vero Provvidenza? in its place of origin which was surprisingly Italy and not three shits deep in Satan’s second colon as I would have guessed. It was a huge success though, spawning an immediate sequel.

And I can’t give you one adequate reason why.

I’m a comedian. It’s easy for me to make people laugh and I enjoy all kinds of comedy from way up on high right down to “suck my dirty balls you dirty ball sucking bastard.” Falling down can be funny, getting up can be too. Thoughtful paragraphs of words, or just one word or no words at all can be used to generate a great deal of giggles and guffaws but Life is Tough lived up to its title and will be remembered as one of my toughest challenges to date. From 1972, it seems to have once been a fresh and hilarious product that has by now certainly spoiled. Yum. Ready to dig in? Great. Meet Providence:

 

 

If you took the Three Stooges and made them terrible, you’d get this guy. If you took Buster Keaton and made him irritating, you’d get this guy. If you took Hitler and made him worse, you’d get this goddamn guy. This movie didn’t make me laugh once unless you count the time I started pissing all over myself because my central nervous system was shutting down in a desperate attempt to save me from this film. Now that was funny. Tomas Milian portrayed this eponymous asshole with asshole like aplomb. He’s a part time bounty hunter with the rest of his time filled up being a fucktard, which is all the fucktarding time.

Traveling to and fro he’s got a scheme to capture, collect upon and then free before capturing all over again, one unlucky lawbreaker nicknamed “The Hurricane Kid.”

 

 

Greg Palmer brought him to life and would soon reprise the role for the sequel because he hates you. His character wasn’t as grating as Providence but the material both he and Milian had to work with was so awful from the get-go right up through the final go-fuck-yourself that in the end there was little difference between the two. Palmer would go on to star in a movie late in his career called Early Warning which is something I would have appreciated before starting this one. I was more comfortable and found more humor watching these two interact on screen than at any point Providence and The Kid were forced upon me.

Later in the same decade as this release, Mel Brooks would reach his apex with a series of classic productions. A similar style of humor to those films, and even to this one, would carry pop-culture comedy by itself for another twenty years. So what went wrong whilst Providence was looking down in a failed attempt to grace us all? Admittedly, the script’s translation went a long way towards building the handbasket that Life is Tough reveled in riding all over my sanity. Several joking references and puns were included to appeal to American audiences, many of them anachronistic and none of them funny. The story itself had merit but was so inundated with idiocy that is was all I could do to pay attention to the overall narrative. So, the dialog lacked that age old x-factor of “being good” but words were not entirely to blame here. Every pratfall and physical gag was overdone, stretched out and utterly painful to observe much like an old porn star’s dick. Except in this movie you got two dicks. And they were always getting into wacky situations:

 

 

LOOK! The Hurricane Kid fell down and made an absurdly hollowed hole! Because he’s a fat, clumsy hole making motherfucker!    

 

 

WITNESS! Providence is going to school some local tools with an old fashioned hustle. But ordinary hustling is for strippers and Paul Newman, oh no, he’ll win a wad of cash acting like a wad of fuck! 

 

 

BEHOLD! Milian and Palmer apparently reviewing the script:

“Hmmm, hee-hee, ahem! It says here we’re supposed to be funny in this scene!”

“Huh-hah-a-golly! Why start now!”

In this scene they were actually discussing the breakup of their partnership which the movie had never even established. This confusion would matter not. In short order the film flung us into the abyss of an ending I can only describe as “indescribably fucking horrible on all levels.”

The goofy, jack-assinine and even mildly incoherent…I used to love this kind of stupid shit but this shit was so stupid I must now be a stupider shit for having seen it all. I just watched the rhino birthing scene from Ace Ventura 2 and still found it highly amusing and recently re-watched Johnny Dangerously finding that it has similarly weathered time’s tempestuous tossings rather well. Sadly, I have noticed that some of what used to crack me up only disappoints me these days. Even master Mel can’t avoid it as Spaceballs simply isn’t as great as it used to be and History of the World: Part I is outright unwatchable. The aforementioned ¡Three Amigos! is another casualty of my changing tastes. Perhaps I would have laughed my ass off at Life is Tough, eh Providence? back in the day but as I saw it now, over four laborious viewing sessions, the only thing it gave my ass was interminable pain. Not one chortle, snigger or hee-haw in sight for either me or my buttocks.

1 round in the cylinder for Life is Tough, eh Providence? There is a time for everything. The time for laughing along with this movie has long since passed. It was off-putting the way modern convention culture is. This movie is the dude who pairs goggles with any costume and declares himself “steampunk” (a fuck), this movie is the cosplayer who never breaks character (a bigger fuck), this movie is that person attending a convention who looks down, often past his neckbeard, on all others as if he’s not a nerd like the rest of us (the biggest fuck of them all!)

The only redeeming thing to come out of this movie will be next week’s surprising review. Can’t spoil it right now amigos so y’all have to come on back then ya hear? Just keep your distance from Providence in the meantime. 

I guarantee it’ll be a happier ride for you if you do.

Western Watchins #80

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God’s Gun is a B-grade Spaghetti Western filmed in Israel so it should come as no surprise that it stars Lee Van Cleef and a lot of Jews. It’s not so bad much as it’s not anything remotely related to good. Like a twenty dollar bill stuck in your ass, any moments of greatness here are lost deep within the stink of this film and not particularly worth digging for. I laughed and even shared a few “hell yeah” moments with the missus but we also both fell asleep at one point too. A movie like God’s Gun is the perfect reminder that what the casual movie going public thinks of as entirety is but the tip of the iceberg cinematically. Only after diving head first into a specific genre (in my case Western) will you realize the heights, the depths and, more often than either of those, the vast and populous wastelands that lie between the two. Ponder a movie like ALIENS and all the conscious decisions along with uncontrollable kismet that converged in one exacting and precise moment to produce one of the greatest Sci-Fi actioners of all time. The odds that were beaten to birth most movies revered as masterpieces are astronomical. Conversely, making a truly wretched motion picture results from multiple bad rolls of the dice during every stage of development and production. Highs and lows are rare, average then is to be expected and sadly, in my case as your resident movie marshal, viewed more often than I’d prefer.

God’s Gun was originally called Diamante Lobo in a surprising move as neither diamonds nor wolves appear at anytime. Someone realized this and the film was renamed Dear God This Movie is Just so…Fuck…Wish I Had a Gun. You Know, To Shoot Myself before it was shortened to simply God’s Gun just before release. But an ill conceived title only unstrings you for a few seconds and then can be easily forgotten. Not so a soundtrack so pervasive and discordant as to make a duet by Roseanne Barr and Gilbert Gottfried sound melodious by comparison. Composer Sante Maria Romitelli is the culprit. You’re probably not familiar with his work on Blood Brides, Dangerous When Aroused or this film but if you can recall the worst nighmare you ever had and the screams you were making upon waking up from it you’re still not quite there. A cat shoved up another cat’s ass wrapped in all twenty five “Kidz Bop” albums then shoved up Fran Drescher’s ass wouldn’t offend your ears as grievously as God’s Gun godawful auditory assault. Morricone was an obvious influence but if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery this album probably qualifies as aggravated homicide.

Between the jarring jump-scares of the film’s central musical theme and director Gianfranco Parolini’s hard-on for quick zooms I am convinced that subtlety had once pissed in somebody’s cornflakes and was thenceforth banned from appearing on set. And I haven’t even gotten to Jack Palance yet.

 

 

Oh, he’s in God’s Gun alright and he’s not going to let you forget it. If Alex Trebek ever answered “Popeye’s drunken, anthropomorphic scrotum” the question would be “What the fuck Jack Palance acts like in God’s Gun?” Call my bluff, watch this film, and tell me I’m wrong. You will not be able to do so. Every field in goddamn Iowa combined has less corn that this old dirty bastard, circus clowns have more restrained performances and people with Down syndrome think “what the fuck is wrong with this guy?” He plays the chief villain of the film but chewing that much scenery would tire anyone out so all the robbing and raping that needed to get done was left to his gang. A gang compromised of at least half of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

 

 

Well once Bob Ross and pals started putting a hurt on all the locals it wasn’t too long before Biblical justice made itself known by way of Priest Van Cleef and his terribly blurry pistol.

 

 

But the Cleef didn’t have to go it alone, oh no, if extra killin’ needs doin’ you won’t need to look any further than the admirably resilient town whores who know how to handle that weapon between your legs and a goddamn shotgun too.

 

 

And when a whore shoots you point blank in the back of the head with a goddamn shotgun it, surprisingly, looks like this.

 

 

Either gunpowder was less powerful back then or people’s skulls were much, much tougher. Of course if even this level of violence bothers you just imagine that instead of taking two barrels in the brainpan the baddie above was simply enjoying a load on the chin from this guy:

Hey! He just got home from a year’s deployment in Afghanistan so show some respect and if he needs to blast one out on your face you let him do it! You hear me? You let him do it for America! Plus lycopene is good for you. Remember, if you don’t swallow the terrorists win! And speaking of dirty girls, Sybil Danning’s in God’s Gun too. If the name is striking a bell but her face isn’t coming to mind I’ll help you out here. Sybil was pretty popular back in the day. She was all Sci-Fi 80s:

 

 

And also action/revenge/obviously Miami Vice 80s:

 

 

And just regular 80s I guess:

 

 

Gold lame armband with matching shoes, a pink flowy bedazzled dress clinging to her more than ample bosom as she stands with legs akimbo, hands defiantly on her hips, that blond coif blowing suggestively in the desert wind…I’d stop typing to masturbate but I’m so aroused my dick just grew a pair of arms and jerked itself the fuck off! Not a lot of women could compete with that but you know what? I’m one lucky son-of-a-bitch. Here’s my wife!

 

 

It’s okay if you’re thinking bad thoughts, I know I am. And they’re not bad at all, they’re your thoughts. Own them, and your actions, and you’ll live more fully than you’d ever believe. Whoah, fucking deep! On top of all this, and not to brag, but Angie is inexplicably beautiful with or without cosmetics. Sybil…not so much.

 

 

My fucking sweet Christ of all that is comeliness, what hair and make-up person sat back, took a look at this and said “you’re good to go Miss Danning”? This one maybe? 

 

 

No, you know what? Helen Keller would’ve done a better job because as soon as she touched that face she’d have been slapping into Anne Sullivan’s hands “who brought the fuckin’ Phantom of the Opera to the studios today am I right? Heyoooo!” 

Well we can’t all be pretty all the time. And every Western can’t be the best movie ever made or at least not God’s Gun. Regretfully God’s Gun is God’s Gun and goddamn, it’s rough. 2 rounds in the cylinder with too much going against it for any more than that. I didn’t think rape, revenge and not one but two Lee Van Cleefs could ever leave me feeling this let down. Touché God’s Gun, touché. I’ll ride true till the day I die but I doubt I’ll ever feel the need to return to these parts ever again. Though this would make a great film to watch with a bunch of friends and to clarify I mean friends that you hate or friends who will soon hate you for showing them God’s Gun. It’s a bizarro mixture of gunslingers and gals topped with gefilte fish and it’s unpalatable as it sounds. I can guarantee you that Mahmoud Amidinijad wants to wipe Israel off the map because he saw this very movie and thought “never again!” In fact I’ll bet most modern antisemitism likely stems from this film. That and the fact the Jews run everything, I mean that would upset anyone. But you can’t ever get too upset, even when you’re joking.

Which of course I am.

Just in case those Jews are listening!    

 

Western Watchins #77

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What is the Price of Power? It’s a question we’ve probably all asked ourselves at some point in our lives. If you actually watched The Price of Power like I did you might also ask yourself “why God, why?” or “do I have enough rope in the house to end this right now?” A few friends and I played Western-Movie-Pack-From-K-Mart Roulette with a 20 piece collection recently. We randomely chose a title, threw it in the player then sat back for what seemed like un-ending hours of torturous boredom laced with feverish confusion and a painful lack of resolution. If you think I’m exaggerating know that a study from 2008 found that prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay who were shown this film begged to be waterboarded and fed bacon at every meal in order to escape its soul-numbing monotony. If Leone’s many masterpieces were bright shining stars in the Cinema Italiano sky then The Price of Power is a black hole sucking down everything within reach into its suck-filled hole of ceaseless suck. It sure tries hard to fool you otherwise though!

 

 

Let’s go for that standard shot past the gun-hand because those are always awesome and ominous as we look out towards some dude or dudes about to get fucked up while tightly trained on the fingers that will soon do the fucking. Use of this technique, or any special techinique in your film, should be sparing. Too much and the technique itself becomes distracting or worse, laughableIl Prezzo‘s director Tonino Valerii beats down deep focus like it’s a British orphan who just timidly asked for more porridge. He beats it so hard a group of dead horses filed a class-action suit against the guy. He beats it so hard deep focus doesn’t even know how to fully focus anymore:

 

 

This shot works past the hip at high noon but flagrant overuse and your film turns into a blur barraged music video for an 80s power ballad. And unless you’re Lita Ford or one of those hot chicks from Poison I don’t need you that far up in my personal space. For more than an hour I was convinced that the stars of the movie were the pores on that guy’s face and the hairs in that one’s nose. It might have helped if anyone was saying anything important but the multi-tiered plot was too overly complex for the way the script was presenting all the information necessary for you to properly give an invested shit. The Price of Power was dense in both senses of the word. I was drinking when I watched this but a whole room of people in addition to myself (some also drinking, some who wish they had been) couldn’t tame this wildly rambling film into any corral of comprehension. If you ever watch this, drinking won’t really help but it’ll feel like you’re giving at least some effort. And the bigger the drink the better:

 

 

Look at that poor bastard. He’s thinking “goddamit, you’re doing it again aren’t you? That goddamn deep focus shit! And now I’m playing a scene with a mug, a giant fucking mug, of beer. Great. Annnnnnnd my agent is fired.” To be fair, The Price of Power might be 97% split diopter insanity but that still leaves a little room for some redeeming qualities. Or one, one redeeming quality. And that was this blue dude’s most preeminent facial hair:

 

 

This poster doesn’t do it justice but imagine just what Wolverine’s, Lemmy Kilmister’s and Joe Manganiello’s bastard beard baby would look like and you’re getting close. It’s probably fair to say that this guy was voted “most likely to be King Under the Mountain” by his high school class. And maybe he was ripping off Thorin’s style but I can assure you even that wouldn’t have been the most flagrant theft on set. Exhibit “A” your Honor.

 

 

Someone’s picking on that poor woman! And it sure as hell seems a lot like the same guy who did this!

 

 

You might say it’s just an odd coincidence (Once Upon a Time is from 1968, this one…1969!) or argue that bitches fell down all the time in the Old West but I have it on good authority that Old West bitches were as sure of foot as a tacky-toed mountain goat so there! Whose good authority you ask? My good goddamn authority! And seeing as not five minutes prior to the fall I saw one of those chicks dancing her way through a performance of America Fuck Yeah! The Musical! I’m certain my logic is anything but flawed.

 

 

Those colors don’t run you commie bastards, nor do they fall down in the dirt without help. And neither did this horse amazingly enough:

 

 

Exposition, plagiarized domestic violence, show-stopping dance numbers and pursuit on horseback, it’s all necessary to move this not-at-all a story along to its not-at-all fitting conclusion. I mean after the assassination of President James A. Garfield in an almost shot for shot remake of the Zapruder film of course. Yes, the Kennedy assassination Zapruder film. As much as every Spaghetti Western was a pastiche celebrating our lawless frontier days The Price of Power takes it to another level. A level where everyone drops acid before throwing a few American history books into a blender on script writing day. It’s got so many stereotypes (none of them interesting) and so many nods to our past (none of them accurate) it’s as if Yakov Smirnoff directed this movie right after yodeling “I luuuvvv Amerika!”

Please God…please make this stop.

 

 

Oh, you heard me Lord!? Thank you man, thank fucking you! So there’s our hero, I think, shooting or maybe dodging a shot or being Italian or something. Of course he doesn’t have to be all that heroic (he wasn’t), nimble (he wasn’t) or Italian (he fuckin’ was!) to take down guys like this:

 

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I’m no expert by any means but I’m pretty sure rifles need barrels. Maybe it’s a table leg. At this point in the movie I wouldn’t have cared if they had to beat each other with inhuman clubs made from infant children while they simultaneously burned the cures for AIDS, cancer and attention deficit disorder as long as it meant the movie would be over soon.

Sure, soon.

But there’s always time for some more deep focus fuckery right? 

 

 

Jesus Cadbury-hoarding Christ. Easter just recently passed and it reminded us all that the Son of God died for humanity’s sins, one of them being this film. The Price of Power aka Il Prezzo del Potere aka Fuck I Just Stabbed my Eyes Out, I’m Free, I’m Free gets 1 round in the cylinder probably only because it’s from Italy as were some of my favorite Westerns and my most favorite wife. Yes, it’s a Spaghetti Western, sure it is, but this pasta is stale, it’s cheese past expiration and its spicy meatballs are a mysterious and palate confounding mixture of feces and discontent. I always want to love every poorly but lovingly produced title from the Italian Peninsula’s dusty boot but some are beyond any kind of affection like a girl who wears a smoking hot cosplay with lots of leg showing only to ruin the ensemble with control top hosiery. They make sheer-to-waist for a goddamn reason! That girl and this movie, they both had the right idea but somewhere along the way they took a wrong turn, away from “bad-assery” and squarely into “bumble-fuckitude.”

I’ve had a lot of whiskey tonight, sometimes it’s the only way to ride true. So I’ve had a lot as I’ve finished this review off and you know what? It wasn’t enough. I’m gonna go pour another shot to toss back and wash this taste away while I promise myself to never again ask “what is the price of power?”

Because now I fucking know.

 

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