Tag Archives: Clone

Coming Soon! Spaghetti Western Trailers: “Seven Jackals” (1974)

 

Here is the trailer for the 1974 film Seven Jackals, directed by Jose Luis Madrid. Having just come across this trailer, I am pretty excited about the movie but have been unable to find a copy so far. The film is not a western, but is instead set in the mountains of Spain during the chaos of the Napoleonic Wars. It is about a band of brigands. While not a western, it looks like it is modelled after them. The director helmed several westerns. And the cast is an great assortment of Eurowestern favorites. Here is cronosmantas’ description of the video:

English trailer for the 1974 Spaghetti Western “Seven Jackals” (aka “7 Jackals” and “Siete Chacales”) starring Anthony Steffen, Gianni Garko and Eduardo Fajardo. Directed by José Luis Madrid.

 

Here is a little bit more information from FlickAnt.

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From Mike Wass at the Idolator: “Ray Liotta Stars In David Guetta’s Spaghetti Western-Themed “Lovers On The Sun” Video: Watch”

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From Mike Wass at the Idolator: “Ray Liotta Stars In David Guetta’s Spaghetti Western-Themed “Lovers On The Sun” Video: Watch”

This is very cool! Ray Liotta looks the part of the spaghetti western villian!

Mike Wass writes:

David Guetta teased the follow-up to 2011 breakthrough LP Nothing But The Beat with a trio of unusually hard electro-house buzz singlesbefore retreating to more familiar ground on the Avicii-assisted, Sam Martin-voiced “Lovers On The Sun”. The blockbuster collaboration now gets a suitably epic visual starring Goodfellas actor Ray Liotta.

It’s refreshing to see a comparatively big budget video in the DIY era and the French DJ makes every cent count with a special effects-filled extravaganza. The veteran movie star plays a villain intent on torturing our hero when he is saved by a poncho-wearing babe with magical powers. It’s a clever twist on your typical spaghetti western with a better than average soundtrack. Watch up top.

Do you love David’s latest video? Let us know in the comments below.

Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.

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Ryan at Lost Laowai on “Shangdown — The Way of the Spur”, a Spaghetti-inspired Eastern

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Ryan at Lost Laowai published a post titled “Shangdown — Interview with Shanghai spaghetti western director Jakob Montrasio” that was interesting:

When Shanghai-based expat Jakob Montrasio first told me he was directing a spaghetti western set in his adopted city, I’m sure I blinked uncomprehendingly. The movie, Shangdown: The Way of the Spur is an east-meets-west kung fu cowboy mashup.

This Bruce with boots (or Clint with a kick) premise for a film seemed strange and intriguing, so I decided to probe a bit further into what the movie was all about. My interview with Jakob is below. But first, how about a more official synopsis (and a trailer):

Guerino, a cowboy from Italy, travels to Shanghai in search of his sister Elisa, who was working as a model in China but mysteriously vanished. In Shanghai, Guerino finds an unlikely ally in Jieikai, a local Chinese, whose girlfriend also mysteriously disappeared while working in the same modeling agency. During their search to uncover the truth, they are dragged into a dark world of criminality, corruption and human smuggling affairs. When things take a bad turn and innocent people start getting killed left and right, Guerino takes the matter into his own hands in order to save his sister before it’s too late… Driven by his thirst for vengeance and his desire for justice, he vows to take down every single link to this chain of smuggling affair following his one and only rule: kick first, ask questions later. . . 

From the interview:

LLW: What was your interest in melding the Spaghetti Western-Kung Fu Action genres? Do you think there are similarities between the two styles?

JM: The Spaghetti Western and the Martial Arts Eastern are, from a plot point of view, actually quite similar. Usually they have a lead actor who ends up fighting someone much bigger than him, out of personal conflict or due to a need for help — or simply for money. There are, of course, differences in the sets, the actual action and some more things. For example, Spaghetti Westerns from Leone have the famous stare-downs, because the actual shooting is quite quick – one shot and the enemy is down; whereas martial arts are exciting through the moves and stunts. We combine those two and mash them up.

The last mashup in this style that I’ve seen was the Sukiyaki Western Django, but there they used guns and shot and shot and shot … I didn’t like that very much. I think using martial arts in a Western that’s shot in the East is much more exciting.

LLW: It’s interesting to me that Leone’s Dollars Trilogy kicked off with a remake of the Japanese filmYojimbo. These films all seem to mix up Asian and European directors, actors and locations; and use principally a North American “Western” concept of cowboys and gunslingers — does this say something about the universality of these themes and how they are accepted and understood across cultures? How do you think that plays out in Shangdown?

JM: I think the typical David versus Goliath concept appeals to the audience, and Akira Kurosawa’s films are pretty much quoted in every western, whether on purpose or not. I wonder where he got his inspiration from. It doesn’t matter where you are, what culture you’re in, if you see someone fighting or tricking out someone bigger than himself, it’s exciting.

My personal favorite Kurosawa film is The Seven Samurai, which was also remade into the Western The Magnificent Seven, and the topic of it is simply honor. The honorable samurai take on a huge enemy knowing that they wont make it, but try anyway, to help the poor village people. It’s fun to see that! Tragic in the end, but fun! John Woo’s Hong Kong films have the very same topic, but he transfered it into the cops of the southern metropolis. In a way, he’s referencing The Seven Samurai at the end ofHard Boiled, when Chow Yun-Fat saves the baby from the exploding hospital.

Also, 2010 and 2011, with stuff like Cowboys & Aliens from Iron Man director Jon Favreau, are years of the cowboy comeback. Even videogames sell cowboys well; look at Red Dead Redemption, pretty much the best game of the year. Cowboys are really “in” again and martial arts will always be.

I don’t think Jakob Montrasio really understands spaghetti westerns very well. He says that they are about”fighting or tricking out someone bigger than [the hero]”. There is usually a bit more going on than that, I think. The heroes not only meet their equals, but they are knocked down and humbled a bit (think of all the beatings of the hero in almost every spaghetti western). But that is okay. Shangdown – Way of the Spur looks like it might be fun, though the images of an American in a black duster and cowboy hat in Shanghai are a little out-of-place. This movie might be worth checking out, though. There has been a resurgence of the Spaghetti-inspired western in straight-to-streaming-video b-movies over the past few years. Some have been decent.

 

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More Spaghetti Western Comics “Marvel Tries To Revive the Western… With a Side of Spaghetti”

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Once Upon A Time In The West In Comics  had a nice blog post about Spaghetti western inspired comic books from the 1970s, including an entire story about Caleb Hammer.

During the 1970’s, DC had unleashed a string of Western comics that drew from the spirit of the Italian western films. Although they also reprinted earlier stories of heroes like Pow-Wow Smith and Johnny Thunder, they had introduced more contemporary charcters like Jonah Hex, Scalphunter and Bat Lash.

Marvel, on the other hand, had produced a nearly endless string of reprints of Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid and Outlaw Kid. Their new Western comics were usually a new story featuring one of their old, Atlas heroes backed up by reprints of their old, Atlas heroes. They introduced Red Wolf, but his adventures were formulaic, and very similar to Atlas’ Apache Kid.

In 1980, Marvel tried to introduce a new style of Western hero. Well, new to Marvel. Caleb Hammer has the look and feel of an Italian Western. Caleb bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain high plains Drifter. And, if it reminds you a little bit of a DC Western from 10 years before, it may be because it was inked by Tony DeZuniga, the original artist on DC’s Jonah Hex.

From 1980’s Marvel Premiere #54, we have “The Coming of Caleb Hammer” by Peter B. Gillis, pencilled by Gene Day and inked by Tony DeZuniga.

 

This earlier post contains an entire early Jonah Hex story:

The recurring heroes in Western comics were traditionally cut from heroic cloth. Guys like Red Ryder, The Lemonade Kid, NightHawk… Maybe some of them wore masks, but they weren’t outlaws or bandits, just guys with secret identities. And even the guys who were “outlaws” were never really bad. Guys like The Rawhide Kid, Kid Colt, The Outlaw Kid, the Two-Gun Kid (Weren’t there any grown-ups in the West?) were branded as outlaws, but they were all falsely accused.

Sure, there were a few misfits, mostly Indians or “half-breed” characters who weren’t accepted by the folks they tried to help. But the reader knew about their troubled, noble hearts and so that was okay.

This approach lasted from the Golden Age of the late 30’s all the way through the 1960’s. And then, in 1971, a new type of hero began to surface in the fabric of American Western comics. The ANTI-hero. What’s an anti-hero?

“In fiction, an antihero is generally considered to be a protagonist whose character is at least in some regards conspicuously contrary to that of thearchetypal hero, and is in some instances its antithesis.” – Wikipedia

Jonah Hex is not a typical hero. He is not handsome (although he may have been once). He is not noble (He kills men for money). Jonah Hex is a horribly disfigured Confederate veteran who makes his living as a bounty hunter. And he’s mean. Plumb, mad-dog mean.

Enjoy his debut in All-Star Western #10, “Welcome to Paradise”

 

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Jonah Hex (2010) added to Rating the Eurowesterns page.

Here are my comments about Jonah Hex, a recent ‘clone’ of the Italian western, from the Rating the Eurowesterns page.

Jonah Hex (2010, Jimmy Hayward) 5.75 of 10 stars.

A movie about a bounty hunter who can talk to the dead while seeking revenge in a gothic Corbuccian western landscape is an awesome idea. Unfortunately, this movie completely misses the mark. It manages to make even your average Eurowestern look fairly sophisticated in comparison. Among many other failings, here are five:

  1. The plot and the action are “too big,” which is to say that they are completely out of scale. This movie was made as part of the current cycle of comic book spectacles, not as a western. A simple revenge story at the personal level would have been much more effective.
  2. The movie is built around a simplistic ‘terrorist’ plot that relies on appeals to a crude nationalism. Emotionally, the movie operates at the level of a political rally or commercial. Such appeals are cheap and ineffective.
  3. The movie uses the gestures, style, and basic plot of the spaghetti western . . . but these have rarely translated well into an American cinematic idiom. In the Italian westerns, we are always kept at a distance from the characters and are never really sure of their motivations. In this movie, we are too intimate with the characters. Furthermore, American cinematic morality has never meshed well with the style of Leone or Corbucci. These movies had very different cultural backgrounds . . . but American film-makers usually seem to understand the genre only superficially.
  4. The action scenes are poorly executed. The first gunfight scene is rushed. Leone never rushed. It relies on inappropriate CGI effects that add nothing to the action. Instead, Leone used imaginative staging and music. And the scene ends with a gratuitous explosion that adds nothing to its impact.
  5. The score is non-descript and anonymous.
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