Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day of Anger (1967)

Director: Tonino Valerii

Starring: Lee Van "BADASS" Cleef, Giuliano Gemma, Walter Rilla, Christa LINDer, Yvonne Sanson, Lukas Ammann, Andrea Bosic

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Lee Van Cleef has been dirty, "ugly" and downright mean... now watch him get violent.

Plot: Amiable, unassertive Scott Mary picks up the trash, cleans the toilets, sweeps the floors in the town of Clifton. Then a gunfighter comes to town. He offers advice and guidance to Scott who quickly begins to toughen and mature, thus upsetting the balance of power in the town.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Damn straight!

This is one of my favorite Spaghetti Westerns and for good reason. You've got Lee Van Cleef in badass villain mode; he's very likable and very cruel and self-serving and you've got a GREAT balls-to-the-wall-with-screaming-trumpets score by Riz Ortolani. You're not going to hear a more insanely ballsy score like this one in any Western. It's pure audible testosterone!!! Take a listen...

The story is easy to digest, the action is solid and it's a fun ride from start to finish. I just love Van Cleef in just about everything he did and this is one of his best. He's such a bastard but you can't help but dig this cat. Even after he crosses a few lines you're still kind of with him.

Sure. Gemma does a fine job, too.

But back to Van, he's mean and funny in that evil sort of way. One of my favorite scenes is where we're introduced to an assassin hired by the town leaders to dispose of Frank Talby (Cleef). The film makers take quite a bit of time establishing this guy who looks like he just might be the one dude who can kill him. There's the set-up, establishment and the "duel"; and, boy, do they build up this fight. Then it starts...and then it ends. I laugh my ass off every time. It slays me. I love it. Everyone making this picture knew what they were doing and they brilliantly pulled off one colossal gag.

Since buying it sight unseen from Wild East nearly ten years ago (sadly, it's since gone long out of print), I've easily watched it on average of once a year and it never loses its appeal. If this sounds like your kind of flick, do whatever it takes to get your hands on it. It really sucks that Netflix doesn't carry any of the fine DVD releases from Wild East. They've put out a lot of great Spaghetti Westerns here in the States that you just won't be able to find otherwise. Nice. You can pick it up used over at Amazon for $99.99. You can find it, ahem, for considerably less if you look for it...not that I condone that sort of behavior, but considering the alternatives...

Well, punch my dick! It's on YouTube in its entirety! Knock yourselves out, Kids!

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