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Monday, June 11, 2012

I Bastardi (aka The Cats, aka Sons Of Satan) (1968)

Two brothers (Klaus Kinski, Giuliano Gemma), who are professional thieves, fall out over some stolen jewels. When brother Gemma refuses to hand over the jewels, brother Kinski has the tendons on his brother's shooting hand cut. Revenge to follow. This odd duck of a crime thriller, though it was shot in New Mexico and in English, has the look of a Euro quickie and why wouldn't it since it is an Italian production. The New Mexico landscape could have been replicated in Spain. But it's a fast paced action flick with a generous dose of twists and turns to keep your eyes glued to the screen. Gemma's character is hard to read and his feelings toward his ex-mistress (Margaret Lee, very good) are difficult to fathom and before they can be resolved, a deus ex machina comes in and takes care of it for him. If the film is remembered today for anything, it's because of Rita Hayworth who plays Kinski's and Gemma's alcoholic mother and whose motto of "blood is thicker than water" has dire consequences. She's not bad here though her performance is compromised by the obvious post dubbed dialog. Directed by Duccio Tessari. With Claudine Auger (THUNDERBALL).

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