Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three Films Make A Post: She's Waiting To Love You…To Death

Twelve Deadly Coins (1969): I'm usually pretty alright with the genre conventions of 60s wuxia, but this Shaw Brothers production lays the knightly goodness of its protagonist (ironically played by professional bad guy Lo Lieh) on so thick it's nearly nauseating. The film's plot only works if everyone on screen is so dumb they should have problems putting on their clothes in the morning and tends to lose itself in scenes that just don't need to be there at all. So I don't think it's mere chance that this is the only script written by director Hsu Tseng-Hu.

Wearing his director's hat, Hsu (typically) does the usual Shaw house style dance, but isn't able to transcend the weakness of his script too well.

On the plus side, there's the always delightful Ching Li playing the adopted daughter of the main bad guy who falls for Lo Lieh's preposterous heroism. I also always enjoy it when Lo Lieh is allowed to be a good guy. It's almost as if people who aren't pretty can be heroic too.


Jonah Hex (2010): Looks like Uwe Boll is working under the pseudonym of Jimmy Hayward now, or - and what a terrible thought this is - there are now directors working in Hollywood who have been influenced by the German anti-maestro's "direction style".

The parallels between Hayward's film and a Boll ejaculation are truly shocking: there's the needlessly jittery camera movements, the puzzlingly idiotic framing, the script lacking even the slightest hints of intelligence, or sense, or flow, and a bunch of actors I know can do better giving performances they should be ashamed of. It's decidedly unpleasant, and not even funny in its complete crapness.


Have A Good Funeral, My Friend…Sartana Will Pay (1970): Sartana (Gianni Garko). Murder. Gold. A small town full of people with secrets. You know the rest.

Despite its ridiculously awesome (or awesomely ridiculous) title, this is probably the least entertaining or interesting Spaghetti Western by Giuliano Carnimeo I've seen. It's not a really bad movie, it's just routine where it should be lively and utterly devoid of the little moments of silliness that make Carnimeo's better films so watchable. There's nothing directly wrong with the film - it's just so generic I'm not completely convinced it really exists.


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