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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hornets' Nest (1970)

In 1944 Italy, an American paratrooper (Rock Hudson) is the sole survivor of a Nazi massacre. He is rescued by a band of child partisans led by a boy (Mark Colleano) whose only thought is revenge on the Nazis who killed his parents. They agree to help each other. The American will teach the boys how to kill and the boys will help the American complete his mission ..... blowing up a dam. This is one bad movie! Inept in almost every way. For example, there's a scene with Hudson jumping into a river to escape the Nazis, cut to another shot, then we see Hudson jumping into the river again! There are several distasteful scenes like an attempted rape of Sylva Koscina by the children and later an actual rape of Koscina by Hudson and he's the movie's hero!! It doesn't help that all the Germans in the movie are played by Italians with Italian accents, it takes more than dying their hair blonde to make them convincing Germans. The film appears to have an actual message which seems to be how war turns children into killers but it's so bungled that the message is lost. Last year's WAR WITCH did a much better job of showing the horror of child soldiers. As for the acting, Colleano gives a performance that is stupendous in its awfulness. On the plus side, there's a decent score by Ennio Morricone and the vivid cinematography is by Gabor Pogany (De Sica's TWO WOMEN). Directed by Phil Karlson (THE SILENCERS). With Sergio Fantoni, Jacques Sernas and Giacomo Rossi Stuart.

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