Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Blood Money

(American title: The Stranger and the Gunfighter)

Al Tung as Wang checks the tattoo of his Russian mistress (Betty Sheppard)

Written by Barth Jules Sussman and Miguel de Echarri

Directed by Antonio Margheriti, 1974

Blood Money is a kung fu Spaghetti Western comedy film produced by the Shaw Brothers Studio in collaboration with an Italian company, and filmed on location in Hong Kong and Spain.

Lo Lieh as Ho Chiang

Half Spaghetti Western and half chop socky

Gunfighter Dakota (Lee Van Cleef) arrives in the town of Monterey, a town in the American Southwest, seeking the fortune of Mr Wang (Tung-Kua Ai). "Blowing open the four safes in the bank, he discovers nothing more than photos of women in all four of them. But Mr Wang walks in on the fourth explosion and is killed. Dakota is charged with the murder of Wang and sentenced to hang. Back in China, warlords are furious to learn that the money they entrusted to Mr Wang's to invest in America is missing and send forth a young warrior (and Wang's nephew), in search of it. Meanwhile, his family is being held hostage by a powerful warlord back in China until he returns with his uncle's fortune.

Wang Ho Kian arrives in time for the hanging and saves Van Cleef from the noose. Together, the two form a friendship and set off in pursuit of the late Mr Wang's bounty. The Chinese stranger and the gunfighter soon find out that the tattooed bottoms of four ladies are the key to the secret treasure.  Utilising the acting talents (and one or two other features) of various lovely ladies - and a plot device used in Dick Emery's 1972 film Ooh...You Are Awful (namely that the tattoos on four women's backsides hold the key to a fortune) - the film shows that while the golden age of Spaghetti Westerns was beginning to come to an end, the industry could still produce little gems like this. 

Blood Money is a Spaghetti Western with a nice touch of comedy and action. The characters are quite funny, especially the main villain, a psychopathic religious fundamentalist gunfighter and preacher who comes to different towns to "preach the word of God" and and shoot those whom he arbitrarily considers to be sinners. (IMDb). He is accompanied by a strong native American ringfighter.

Patty Shepard - Russian mistress & her twin-sister
Femi Benussi - Italian mistress
Karen Yeh - Chinese mistress
Erika Blanc - American mistress

Patty Sheppard as the Russian mistress


Patty Sheppard as the Russian mistress

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