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Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Town Called Bastard (1971)

In 1895 Mexico, an entire church in a small village and its priest are massacred by a band of Mexican revolutionaries. Jump several years later, the town is run by a corrupt despot (Telly Savalas), one of the revolutionaries is now a priest (Robert Shaw), another is a General (Martin Landau) in the federales and mysterious woman (Stella Stevens) arrives in town seeking revenge. Technically, this isn't a "spaghetti" western since it's a Spanish and British production, not Italian. But it has the feel of a spaghetti western. The film suffers from its fractured status, at times it seems to be several different films with its narrative often incoherent. One major character is killed off halfway through the film, leaving a hole in the storyline. It's ambitious, I'll give it that as it seems to want to be more than what it is. The director Robert Parrish has directed a couple of good westerns (THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY, SADDLE THE WIND) but he can't shape the material here. With Fernando Rey, Michael Craig, Dudley Sutton and Al Lettieri.

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