Feb 202013
 
Minnesota Clay was Sergio Corbucci's second western and the first one released under his Italian name - the earlier one, Massacre at Grand Canyon (1964), was released as Stanley Corbett. Minnesota Clay was actually the first Italian western to be released under the Italian director's real name - even Sergio Leone claimed his true authorship later.

Minnesota Clay has some of the same characteristics as Corbucci's later, cynical Django, but it's not on the same level and it's also a bit clumsy and at times even boring, especially in the first half. The last shootout in which Cameron Mitchell is virtually blind, but still manages to kill six baddies, is however very good. Beware of the copy with the happy ending!

Sorry, managed to do this only on Wednesday! More Overlooked Films here.
Dec 182012
 
This is the original Django film directed by Sergio Corbucci, who's one of the more important Italowestern directors, not in the rank of Sergio Leone or even Sergio Sollima, but follows rather close behind.

I'm not hot on Italian spaghetti westerns, but there's certain grandiose about them I'm slowly getting warm to. I still think Leone is a bit overrated, but there's no danger of thinking Corbucci is overrated. There's no place for him in the cinematic canon, though there are some nice stylistic touches in Django. Some of the picture compositions are striking as well. The noisy renaissance acting is very far away from the stoic Hollywood acting of the westerns, not to mention the outrageous violence. I think at least 150 people die in the film. 

All this said, I found Django mildly entertaining and quite funny at times. None of it makes any sense, but I don't think anyone thought it should. More Overlooked Movies here
Sep 252012
 
The mondo documentaries were a fad in the sixties carrying on till the seventies and even the early eighties. The genre was born in the hands of Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi in their dubious early film Africa Addio (1966) that was blamed for racism in its depiction of what happens to Africa after the white Europeans leave the continent.

I haven't seen Africa Addio, but I just recently saw another film by the same duo, called Addio Zio Tom AKA Goodbye, Uncle Tom (1971). It's another exploitation documentary, using lots of footage of sex, rape, killing, maiming and torture. It's also a political film, since it's about the rise of Black Power in America in the late sixties and about the slavery of the earlier centuries. All the scenes are acted out, as there are understandably no archive films about the time of slavery. This is by no means as clever as the Cuban The First Charge of Machete.

Goodbye, Uncle Tom is a very shocking film with all its violence and gratuitous sex, including even minors. It's clear that the directors want very much to condemn the exploitation of slave business and the bad treatment of the Africans, but still they use it to depict sex and violence to attract audience. Goodbye, Uncle Tom is a very confusing film: I really didn't know what to think about it. It's also a bit too long, but the main problem is that it never really gives the word to the Africans or the Black Power activists of the sixties (it even at times ridicules the African-Americans of the late sixties, either for the lack of political consciousness or at their funny seriousness), and with this gesture it becomes clear that Jacopetti and Prosperi want to shout at white Americans: "Watch out, the niggers are coming and it's all your fault!"

More Overlooked Films at Todd Mason's blog.

Edit: Earlier I had used Mondo Case as an example, but I was pointed out that I was actually talking about Africa Addio.
 Posted by at 7:36 pm
May 222012
 
The Finnish DVD cover says the title for this is The Last Jaws, but the opening credits say it's The Last Shark. Be it as it may, the original Italian title is L'ultimo squalo. I'm sure this film has other names as well. It was banned in the US for being such a blatant rip-off of Spielberg's Jaws.

This epic falls not very neatly somewhere between a schlock horror thriller and a solid turkey. It's not as camp as it should be, nor as shocking as it should be, so it's pretty mediocre. Some very funny moments throughout, as the YouTube link shows (it's with Spanish dubbing). More Overlooked (is this "overlooked"?) Movies at Todd Mason's blog here.
 Posted by at 6:43 pm
Apr 162012
 
This is an outrageous Italian crime flick with an insane plot about a police lieutenant's sister who gets killed in a party and some pretty interesting secrets start to unravel. Directed by veteran Alberto De Martino, this boasts some hilariously ridiculous scenes, such as Stuart Whitman beating up three transvetites. The long car chase in the middle of the film is one of the best and one of the stupidest I've seen - yes, at the same time.

If you enjoy stupid films that aren't bad, this is especially for you.

More Overlooked Films at Todd Mason's blog here. (Seems like they are not up yet, as the Americans are not up yet.)
 Posted by at 6:37 pm

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