Non-Western Corner

From The Spaghetti Western Database

The SWDB's Non-Western Corner is a blog-style series of revievws. The films reviewed are mostly Italian classic and cult cinema, sometimes related to the Spaghetti Western genre, sometimes not. We try to keep it within the Eurocult, Euro-Exploitation and Italocult realm.

Salt in the Wound

"his overlooked classic Macaroni Combat movie has it. Really good cinematography, a good score by veteran composer Ortolani, and a cast of interesting actors, even though Hilton doesn't shine in this at all, but Kinski does, playing the American Colonel like he was born to play it. The movie is about two war criminals (Kinski and Saunders) who face death by firing squad. The rookie officer (Hilton) is tasked to carry it out, but they end up being ambushed by German troops, and the three escape, fate turning them into unintended partners on an escape through the enemy territory. Initially, the officer still intends to turn the two others in, but he begins to realize that they're actually fine soldiers. When they enter a little Italian town, they're greeted as liberators, yet German troops are closing in on the city, and it's a fight they can't win.... A really great little movie absolutely worth seeing" (Click here for more about the film)

  • Author: Sebastian
  • Salt in the Wound is available on DVD from Wild East (USA)

Churchill's Leopards

"What starts out with archive footage of total warfare then quietly evolves into a quite subtle and detailed restistance/sabotag men-on-a-mission (with women) macaroni combat flick that carries quite a punch. The British coommandos are supposed to blow up a dam to cut off German supplies in preparation of D-day. They make use of Colonel Benson (Harrison), who is a twin brother of the dam protection force's commanding officer. They inflitrate the area with the help of the French resistance, and make use of Navy drilling gear to prepare the dam. But the local SS Colonel (Kinski) is sensing something, and in the end Benson's cover is blown and it becomes a race against time, to blow up the dam and fend off the approaching German troops. I did enjoy the movie and was positively surprised, even though in the end it's not as well-made as Force 10 from Navarone, the A-equivalent to this B-picture. A decent spaghetti war flick with some good moments, beautiful women and a miniature dam." (Click here for more about the film)

  • Author: Sebastian
  • Churchill's Leopards is available on DVD from Wild East (USA)

From Hell to Victory

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"(...)From Hell to Victory is a remarkable film. Not only does it boast a charming cast of characters and some great scenery and locations, it also adds a truly touching and interesting story to otherwise redundant and (by today's standards) ridiculous looking battle scenes. I thought they could've left out all the battle scenes and it would still be an amazing movie. The story of the six friends who get separated by the war but in the end they all cross paths again, is really great and I especially loved the 'resistance' parts that take place in Paris. I didn't enjoy the music that much, but I'm also not a big Ortolani fan. Lenzi is a very talented director, and here he showcases how he can make a movie that looks and feels big budget, even though it probably was far from that(...)" Click here to find out more about the film

  • Author: Sebastian; from Untamed Cinema
  • From Hell to Victory is available from Warner Brothers in Germany

Crime Boss

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"(...)Director Alberto de Martino gives us a crime drama ridden with cliches. Crime Boss offers a story about a young, ambitious gangster (Antonio Sabato) trying to move up in a crime organization led by Telly Savalas. The two develop a father/son relationship quickly. That almost happens out of the blue and is totally unconvincing. Sabato's mediocre acting isn't beneficial either. Savalas does a routine job as the Don. Nevertheless he is by far the best actor in the movie. Of course there is also a part for a lady. Paola Tedesco plays the Don's niece, and does a decent job even though her character could have easily been left out. The movie meanders in predictable fashion. Not a whole lot happens. The sporadic crime elements in it (fist fights, shooting etc.) manage to keep it from getting too boring. Joe D'Amato's cinematography is solid, stripped from costly lavishness. In other words: The cheapness of this production gives it a grittier feel. Francesco de Masi provides a good score, as usual. It adds to the atmosphere as it should. The final shootout at the clinic felt obligatory, but managed to satisfy me to a certain extent. All in all however, this is a forgettable crime flick that I can solely recommend to the Italian b-movie fan.(...)" Click here to read the full DVD review

Five For Hell

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"(...)The Macaroni Combat genre offers campy movies just as well as the Spaghetti Western genre. Five For Hell is one such camper. It does have nice moments and a certain charme but the actors are relatively horrible, the music is too upbeat and the movie comes across as too clumsy - although you can see the good intentions. Margaret Lee in a see-through dress and a General with a funny name cannot save this movie, which is not one of the better representatives of said genre, but fares among the average(...)" Click here to read the full DVD review

The Cobra

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"(...)There are chases, shoot outs, intrigue, women with nice legs and some expensive looking helicopter rides and other fancy production design. I liked the film quite a bit, mostly for its well-meaning spirit and nice atmosphere. It suffers clearly from depth and would have made a better impression on me with a better lead actor, but all in all, The Cobra is a decent under-the-radar Eurospy movie with some good moments(...)" Click here to read the full review


Contraband

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Though his most celebrated films are a bunch of overly violent and rather poor Horror films, Italian cult director, Lucio Fulci, also tried his hand at the Polizio/Euro-Crime genre;and turns in a real winner. I always thought his horror films had very misplaced emphasis on gore that ruined the flow of the movies and really over did it for no other reason than gore for the sake of gore. But Fulci's trademark splatter really fits into this dark and dirty Crime Drama. His Violence is not only very evident but also very fitting for the film. And it is not over done as in his Horror films. It's there, but it doesn't take up anything close to 5 minutes as do some Gore sequences in Fulci horror. It is often shown in close up but doesn't take over the film. Beside the Gore, we have plenty of squiby action, beautiful women, and some funky 70's style score from Fulci's freqeunt collaborator, Fabio Frizzi. Sure it's cheesy as most Polizios are but it's fun and gory. Quite possibly the most Violent Polizio! In any case, it's worth a look. [1]

  • Author: Korano
  • Contraband has been released by Blue Underground.[2]
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