Sunday, June 6, 2010

Massacre Time (1966)

Director: Lucio Fulci

Starring: Franco Nero & George Hilton

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: THE MASSACRE MEN - They carry their hate in their holsters and a name on every bullet in their belts...

Plot: In 1866 New Mexico, Tom Corbett is a prospector who is called back to his hometown in Laramie Town, Texas at the bequest of a old family friend. Tom arrives in the town to see it under the control of a ruthless and greedy gangster named Jason Scott, who's psychotic and murder-crazed son, Junior Scott, runs it with fear with a posse of thugs who kill anyone who protests their business tactics. Tom finds his brother Jeff, a drunkard looked after by their family maid Mercedes. Tom then tries to persuade Jeff to help him take down the sadistic Scotts so the town can rest easy in peace and harmony again.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? You betcha!

#9 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

FINALLY a great, fun picture. This is the best one yet off of the above mentioned trailer compilation. What torture to get to it, too. Geez. A third into it I realized I had seen it before but it's been so many years I vaguely remembered anything.

It's 1966 and Nero had just filmed his star-making performance in DJANGO, making this one his second starring Spag. It's George Hilton's first western and between the two of them, the made nearly 40 western pictures. Despite doing tons of other genres, it's the westerns they're most notably known for and this is the only film they ever did together.

Now that's one toothy sumbitch!

MT opens with what appears to be a good old-fashioned fox hunt but it turns out to be a man hunt. Not a word is spoken during this great little chase sequence that takes up the 4 minutes before the standard Spag main title vocals begin. The hunt is led by Junior played by Nino Castelnuovo like he's tripping balls. I don't know...maybe it's some crazy acting technique.

Anyway, I assume you've read the plot synopsis. It's a pretty tight little picture without much fat hangin' off it. There's clearly something up with the elder Scott which comes into play later on with a neat little twist the mixes things up a bit.

The action scenes are fantastic. From the bar fight with Jeffrey and Tom against the Scott men to the brutal whipping Tom gets from Junior when he visits the Scott ranch (I must say that Castelnuovo appears to be very proficient with a whip - better than Indiana Jones and my weekly dominatrix, Mistress Sexy Fangs) to the OUTRAGEOUSLY cool finale which finds our two hero brothers defining the picture's title.

You get cool-ass shit like...

"How can you leave land where you've buried your dead?"

"None of my dead are buried here."

"One will be now."

A cool little bolero is playing as Tom walks over to the blacksmiths where his brother is said to work. This shot had me convinced we were looking into a giant mirror. It goes on for several seconds as he approaches and the camera finally moves to reveal that it's not. NICE!

"The things you have to do for relatives...heh."

"Hey! Excuse me!"

"You take him."

The DVD I have has the original Italian audio track and the English dub. The film isn't anamorphic so I had to adjust the aspect ration from the TV side which cut off half the subtitles. It's clear from listening to a bit of the Italian track that that's the one to go with. Oh well. DJANGO suffers from a bad English dub; much worse than this one. Coriolano Gori's score is fine. His main title song is pretty good.

Overall MASSACRE TIME is a good time and fans of the genre definitely need to see it for all the reasons cited above plus it's one of only 4 spags directed by famed Italian horror auteur, Lucio Fulci. At some point I'll have to revisit his 1975 spag, FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE. It's been years since I've seen it and I don't have fond memories of it either. It ain't gonna be pretty.

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