Thursday, 28 March 2019

Death Walks in Laredo

(Italian: Tre pistole contro Cesare, aka Three Golden Boys and The Pistol, The Karate and The Eye)

A Super Ace Italian spaghetti western film directed by Enzo Peri and shot in Algeria in 1967. It is also influenced by the Sword-and-sandal film genre.

"A gunman teams up with his long-lost brothers - a French hypnotist and a Japanese kung-fu expert - to fight a villain who is obsessed with Roman emperor Julius Caesar, to the point of having built a palace, complete with slave girls, a huge sunken bath and his own 'Praetorian Guard.', and who is trying to cheat them out of a gold mine left to them by their father." (IMDb).

"The bad guy is named Julius Caesar Fuller, wears togas, stocks his palace bath with concubines, and commands dozens of henchmen clad in black. A lost episode of the Batman TV show? No, a bizarre spaghetti western. One of our three heroes is American, carries an array of trick guns, and never misses a shot. The second is Japanese and practices kung fu. The third is French and has magical magnetic powers. The three discover soon that they are half-brothers." (IMDb).

'Weird but wonderful - a unique Euro-western experience' - Review by marc-3668, September 2005

Now, there are many euro-westerns that would fit into the "weird" category, but woh this one is weirder than most!

The story starts with Whity Selby (Thomas Hunter) being confronted by a solicitor whilst leaving a saloon (inside which he has just thwarted an attack by killing all three opponents with one blast of his four-barrelled pistol - one of many gimmicky weapons in his arsenal.

The solicitor advises Selby that his father, who had died ten years ago and he had never met, had left him his goldmine as part of a will. The document is accompanied by a picture of a young girl. Selby travels to Laredo to reclaim his father's legacy, and to identify the identity of the girl.

On arriving at the goldmine, Selby encounters two men on a similar mission - Etienne Devereaux (Nadir Moretti), a man of french origin with magical powers of magnetism (honestly!) and Lester Kato (James Shigeta), a kung-fu kicking oriental. As the three men fight it out for what they consider rightfully theirs, they are accosted by an old local man, and it soon becomes clear from the ensuing discussions and matching wills/photos that the three are unlikely brothers. Their father enjoyed the company of women, and many of them!

The men are informed that their father fought bitterly to retain his land, but had been forced out of Laredo by powerful landowner "Julius Caesar" Fuller (Enrico Maria Salerno) - a man obsessed by the history of the great roman leader, likening him to the power that he himself possesses. Fuller is quite possibly the strangest character of all the euro-westerns that I have seen - he lives in a replica palace, has a penchant for young girls, surrounded by scantily clad ladies from around the world as his lolls about in his toga. He is guarded by a gang of pistoleros all clad in black (reminiscent of the equally bizarre Django Kill which, incidentally, I believe this film predates).

All in all Death Walks in Laredo makes for quite compulsive viewing! Not just because of its unique and bizarre take on the genre, but also for its interesting story with its subtle twists and turns. Thomas Hunter is pretty convincing in the main character role, but not as enjoyable as Salerno, who hams his Caesar role in a style reminiscent of Jack Nicholson.

There are also some moments of great humour - with some priceless dialogue as the old man explains why it has taken ten years for the wills to reach the brothers. The confrontation between the two ladies is also very pleasing on my male eyes!

Can I recommend this? Well, of course! But there is probably as much a chance of you hating it as loving it. Personally, I had a love in.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Secret Scrolls of Samurai and Ninja!

Flying Monk talks with Antony Cummins

Natori Ryu Ninjutsu Explained

The Deepest Secrets of Ninjutsu You really do not want them!

Sunday, 24 March 2019

采薇 Cai Wei

文化中国 四海同春-采薇(舞蹈)(新西兰基督城)

Classical dance of Han Chinese featuring dancers from China National Opera & Dance Drama Theatre (aka Wuhan Conservatory of Music, Dance department). This dance is beautiful and dolce.

采薇 Cai Wei

昔我往矣, When I left here,
杨柳依依。 Willow shed tear.

今我来思, I came back now,
雨雪霏霏。 Snow bends the bough.

行道迟迟, Long, long the way, hard, hard the day.
载饥载渴。 Hunger and thirst, press me the worst.

我心伤悲, My grief overflows.
莫知我哀。 Who knows, Who knows.

Lyrics are from Book of Odes. Translation by Xu Yuanchong.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Wishing Well

Black Sabbath (with Ronnie James Dio), 1980

Throw me a penny and I'll make you a dream
You find that life's not always what it seems, no no
Then think of a rainbow and I'll make it come real
Roll me, I'm a never ending wheel
I'll give you a star
So you know just where you are
Don't you know that I might be
Your wishing well
Your wishing well
Look in the water, tell me what do you see
Reflections of the love you give to me
Love isn't money, it's not something you buy
So let me fill myself with tears you cry, why?
Time is a never ending journey
Love is a never ending smile
Give me a sign to build a dream on
Dream on...
Yeah, Throw me a penny and I'll make you a dream
You find that life's not always what it seems, no no
Love isn't money, it's not something you buy
So let me fill myself with tears you cry
I'll give you a star
So you know just where you are
Someday, some way, you'll feel the things I say
Dream for a while
Of the things that make you smile
'Cause you know
Don't you know
Oh, you know
That I'm your wishing well
Your wishing well
Your wishing well
I wish you well
I'm your wishing well

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

From Hell to Texas

Directed by Henry Hathaway, 1958

When ranch hand Tod Lohman accidentally kills the son of a powerful rancher, he panics and flees, but the rancher and his vengeful crew hunt Tod down.


Don Murray - Tod Lohman
Diane Varsi - Juanita Bradley
Chill Wills - Amos Bradley
Dennis Hopper - Tom Boyd
R.G. Armstrong - Hunter Boyd
Jay C. Flippen - Jake Leffertfinger



Dead Men Don't Make Shadows

'This peculiar spaghetti western from prolific director Demofilo Fidani (using the pseudonym 'Miles Deem') deals with a man named Blonde (Chet Davis) tracking bounty hunter Lazar (Hunt Powers) to the mining town of Lamazos.'


Jack Betts as Hunt Powers – Lazar Peacock/Sabata
Franco Borelli as Chet Davis – Blonde/Stranger
Gordon Mitchell – Roger Murdock
Ettore Manni – Barrett/Billy Ring
Benito Pacific as Dennis Colt – Medina
Simone Vitelli as Simone Blondell – Maya


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Mystery Of Chess Boxing

Written and directed by Joseph Kuo

Starring Jack Long, Yi-Min Li and Kuan-Wu Lung

Supposedly dead, embittered former official, The Ghost Face Killer has returned and seeking revenge on those martial arts masters than once opposed him - his name is infamous and his Five Elements fighting style is deadly. Meanwhile, young Ah Pao joins a martial arts school in order to become a great fighter in order to take revenge on the man who killed his father. He gets very good quickly but timing is everything and his arrival at the school in relation to the return of the Ghost Face Killer sees him suspected of being connected and thus put out of the school. He falls under the tutelage of an elderly chess master in the town while all the time the focus of his vengeance kills his way closer and closer. (IMDb).


Snake In The Monkey's Shadow (1979)

Directed by Sum Cheung

Written by Sum Cheung and Wilson Tong

Starring John Cheung, Yao Lin Chen and Pomson Shi

A snake style expert travels the lands, imposing his mastery on others, until he runs into a monkey expert living on the edge of a small town, who defeats him soundly. The snake expert leaves vowing vengeance. A young peasant boy who is bullied by local noblemen seeks to learn drunken boxing from the head of a local martial arts school. The boys learns and eventually meets and befriends the monkey style expert. When the boy beats up his previous tormentors, the nobles patriarch challenges the boys teacher, the drunken master, who defeats the lot of them. Embarrased, the nobles retain two hired snake style killers, one of whom is the expert that that was beaten by the monkey style. They kill everyone except the peasant boy, feeling he is to weak and unskilled to be worth their honour. The peasant combines drunken' boxing with monkey style in an attempt to put down the snake killers. (IMDb).


Wu-Tang Clan - Da Mystery of Chessboxin'

Sifu Kwok Daiha, demonstrates the Snake Form Kung Fu (蛇形拳) on Singapore's Amoy Hill.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Monster Blues




“A monster is not such a terrible thing to be. From the Latin root monstrum, a divine messenger of catastrophe, then adapted by the Old French to mean an animal of myriad origins: centaur, griffin, satyr. To be a monster is to be a hybrid signal, a lighthouse: both shelter and warning at once.” — Ocean Vuong, from 'A Letter To My Mother That She Will Never Read,' published in The New Yorker

Plasma Bug