Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Recent Scarecrow visit

Along with the intention of being productive, I've taken advantage of my vacation for a trip to Scarecrow Video. So far, I've watched -

Return of the Musketeers by Richard Lester. It's disappointing overall. The novel, Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas, needed to simplified much more for the running time. It also seems they shifted from an attitude of having fun with a comic take to one of self-consciously attempting to make a comedy. The most frustrating element is the fact that they didn't assume any growth at all for Michael York's D'Artagnan, even after twenty years as a professional officer.

Hannie Caulder by Burt Kennedy. This Raquel Welch vehicle has a mixed reputation and I see why. It starts out almost like a comic version of The Wild Bunch, as three older outlaws take out a bank in a violent manner and, on their escape, kill a man and then gang rape his wife, then switches gears to follow her as she seeks revenge on them with the help of Robert Culp, as a friendly bounty killer. After that awkward jump, however, it's quite an entertaining little movie. Welch has possibly never been hotter than she is in this, Culp is charming as ever and Christopher Lee is, well, Christopher Lee.

Cut-Throats Nine has a well-deserved nasty reputation, lacking even the sentimentality of Lucio Fulci's under-appreciated Four of the Apocalypse. It follows a chain-gang en route from a mine accident to the fort at which they are imprisoned, after the violent destruction of their wagon, led through the mountains by a sergeant with a vengeance.

The Outfit by John Flynn has been out. I hope to get that when I go back, possibly along with White Fang by Fulci... and, if I can figure out a multi-region hack for my player, Blindman...


Adam Ross said...

You lucky bastard! There have to be some drawbacks in living in proximity of Scarecrow ... just can't think of any.

Lester's Musketeer movies are in my queue, but I didn't see too much potential for "Return" when I saw C. Thomas Howell was in it.

Neil Sarver said...

I need to go more often frankly. The bus route there is just inconvenient enough to make it something I procrastinate too often. The drawback of that of course is that when I do go, it's nearly impossible not to spend ridiculous amounts of money on the huge build-up of weird crap that I haven't gotten to see.

C. Thomas Howell is not a huge problem. In fact, he looks quite good in the part. He does have a certain lack of weight that can be distracting, although frankly I think that's largely the fault of the overly silly mess of a script. The first two movies (or rather that first movie, that exists in two parts) are favorites of mine, though.

Marty McKee said...

THE OUTFIT is really a great, great film--can't wait to read your thoughts on it. I like BLINDMAN too, which is sleazier than most Italian westerns.

Neil Sarver said...

I'm really looking forward to The Outfit, with significant thanks to your enthusiastic recommendation, and have been disappointed to find it missing.

The sleaziness is at least part of the appeal of Blindman. I must say, I just looked at the filmography of director Ferdinando Baldi, which Blindman is the highest rated of, and found it interesting. Oddly, I liked Treasure of the Four Crowns... at least I did when I was 12. And I recently found myself quite enjoying Comin' At Ya!, despite its reputation. And the much higher rated Texas, Addio was rather dull in my book.

Hopefully, I'll get a chance to see both and report back.

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