Saturday, April 10, 2010
Cut-Throats Nine (1972, Joaquin Louis Romero Marchent)
I like Spaghetti Westerns but my one gripe is when they get too talky. Fortunately the Italians were, for the most part, good with keeping the talking to a minimum and the action frequent. Cutthroats 9 is no exception, despite the fact this is actually a Spanish production, not Italian. Hailed as the goriest SW of all time, this film is supposedly being remade and will star Harvey Keitel. Now that I must see! I had first heard of this film in a list of goriest scenes from non-horror films, which instantly made me want to see it.
Cutthroats 9 is the story of a chain gang being transported to a prison by stagecoach. A group of bandits find out that there is gold hidden on board and take over the stagecoach. The prisoners are set free but are still bound by the chains around their ankles. An army sergeant and his daughter take control of the prisoners and continue onward to their original destination. They must travel through the snowy terrain on foot while the group of rapists and murderers try to find a way to escape.
Cutthroats 9 definitely lives up to its reputation as the goriest Spaghetti Western (or should I say Euro Western) of all time. Burnt bodies, disembowelments, gunshots to the face...it's all here and then some. Even Fulci's Westerns weren't as violent as this (though Four of the Apocalypse is not too far behind). There is more to this film than the red stuff. I really enjoyed the story and the bleak characters. As the movie progresses you realize that none of the characters are really worth rooting for, which makes for an interesting watch. The setting too is very different than most westerns and immediately made me think of one of my other favorite SWs, The Great Silence. This isn't a deeply profound film, just a bloody good time, Paisanos! Oops, I mean ¡Amigos!