CONTAMINATION (1980)

CONTAMINATION (1980)

Directed By: Luigi Cozzi

Starring: Ian McCulloch, Louise Marleau, Marino Masé 

Streamed On Prime

Transfer-Sorta Bad, Not great

Contamination

With all that is going on in the world today with Covid 19 I thought that I would give this Italian film a try while I was practicing social distancing this week. Well guess what?  Contamination was seriously boring as fuck.  

The story was totally unbelievably lame, and the acting was just super piss poor.  Really the only decent things  about this “classic” are the special effects and the music.  With the music it’s really only because its Goblin doing the entire sound track (so really how can you go wrong).  The special effects are done by Giovanni Corridori who did three of Clint Eastwood’s classic Spaghetti Westerns.  He also did the SE’s for Zombie, Keoma, Duck You Sucka, Escape From The Bronx, A Blade In The Dark, and many many other films.  Like I mentioned before, other than the special effects and the music I personally think this film is a disaster.  It’s only an hour and thirty five minutes but it feels like double that.  The special effects really are awesome though, and I’m glad I watched it just to see those.  Check it out if you like you some good bloody gore.  (NW)

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Nate Wilson: NW  Devon Cahill: DC  Matt Average: MA

KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE (1968)

Kill Them All And Come Back Alone (1968)

Directed By Enzo G. Castellari

Starring Chuck Connors, Frank Wolf, & Franco Citti

Viewed On Amazon Prime- Good Transfer

“You know, captain, as a Southerner you made me sick. But as a Northerner, you make me vomit. “

killthemall.jpg

Here at Bad Transfer we love Chuck Connors.  Check out Devon’s review for the Mad Bomber.

I was super excited to view Kill Them All… both because of Connors & Enzo who directed Keoma, Street Law,  High Crime, The Inglorious Bastards,  A Few Dollars for Django, etc.  A total legend in Italy.  On top of that the title of the film is brilliant.  

This is a Western about a group of Confederates who try to steal a treasure of gold from Union Soldiers in 1864.  

Theres a ton of action in this movie.  So much so that it borders on ridiculous.  I sometimes felt like I was watching a kung fu movie from my youth.  Not only did the fight scenes have that vibe with dudes flying all over the place, but the subtitles were way off.  I have no idea what translation/dubbing they used for this one.  At any rate there is a really great underwater scene toward the end which is really fun to watch.  All in all I was sorta disappointed in this film maybe just due to my expectations based on KeomaKeoma is a top 5 spaghetti Western in my book.  (NW)

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NW: Nate Wilson    DC: Devon Cahill   HR: Heath Row   MA: Matt Average

AND GOD SAID TO CAIN… (1970)

And God Said to Cain…
1970 Italian E Dio disse a Caino…
Starring: Klaus Kinski (Gary Hamilton), Peter Carsten (Acobar), Marcella Michelangeli (Maria),
Antonio Cantafora (Dick Acobar) 
Director: Anthony Dawson (aka Antonio Margheriti)
Music: ​ Carlo Savina 
Theme Song Performed by Don Powell
Viewed: Streaming Amazon Prime
Transfer Quality: Good
A ghost returning
And he’ll have only one desire in his heart
Only one thirst. Revenge. –Maria

dioscain

The quality of the anachronistic theme song in an Italian Western is always a good indicator of the caliber of the film to follow (i.e. Django, Keoma, any Morricone related Western, etc.), and this one is right up there. I would put this on any must see Italian Western list.

Gary Hamilton (Kinski) gets a pardon from the chain gang 10 years after being framed by power hungry Acobar (Carsten) who has stolen Hamilton’s house, mining operation, and woman, Maria. Naturally, vengeance must be administered. After Hamilton gains his freedom, an impending tornado serves as an apt means of foreboding his bloody return. It also creates a signature setting for the film where most of the action takes place at night in the midst of the ever threatening and violent windstorm. Every aspect of the tornado intensifies the anxiety surrounding Hamilton’s return; every utterance of his name evokes fear among his enemies.

The tornado also gives Hamilton’s vengeance an air of divine retribution. This is compounded by the Bava-esque eeriness of the night scenes and disorienting winds that add an other-worldliness to his nighttime attack. Using the cover of the storm and his familiarity with his old homestead, Hamilton is like a ninja, evading capture and keeping adversaries off guard while accumulating an insane number of kills single-handedly. Various trapdoors and hidden entrances allow him to move like a ghost through the mining tunnels under the town, constantly outmaneuvering Acobar’s small army. His name is repeatedly invoked in vain as he moves in the shadows, a seemingly supernatural force. The haunting effect is intensified by the tolling church bell and organ music that signal each wave of vengeful slaughter.  Some other reviewers have derided the film’s mirror room shoot-out scene climax a la Orson Welles’ Lady of Shanghai (1949) as too predictable, but I think it’s great as it adds even more nuance to Hamilton’s ghostlike elusiveness. Even in the light he isn’t really there…until you’re dead! Plus, Bruce Lee’s mirror room climax in Enter the Dragon won’t come for another three years, and no one ever complains about that scene.

Beyond the excellent visual composition and well-paced action, it’s the complexity of the characters and their relationships that ensures repeated viewings. Above all, Kinski’s performance rules in this film. Unlike his askew characters in Westerns like The Beast and The Great Silence, Gary Hamilton is cool, collected, focused, and human. Also, beneath the narrative of revenge is a complex tale of family and loyalty. While Acobar’s son, Dick, sympathizes with Hamilton throughout the film, when he learns of his father’s treachery he ultimately chooses family over what he knows in his heart to be right. Ironically, after this turn, it’s Acobar who takes his own son’s life when he mistakes him for Hamilton.

Getting old, so having to watch midnight movies in two or three installments sometimes. Anyway, during my first watch, I must have slept through the exposition that explains why Gary Hamilton is seeking vengeance against Acobar. So, I had initially credited this with a meta-vengeance film genius it didn’t quite deserve. Still, this is a real standout in the genre with a great balance of genre predictability and innovation.

I’d be curious if someone has counted the number of times “Gary Hamilton!!” is uttered throughout the film…one of my favorite details in the film. I’m also wondering about the total number of kills he tallies.  

Anyway, I’ll keep track next time and get back to you with some figures.

P.S. Apparently this is a remake of A Stranger in Paso Bravo (1968), the only film Salvatore Rosso ever directed. I’ll have to track that down for a comparison.  (DC)

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NW: Nate Wilson   DC: Devon Cahill   MA: Matt Average