Five Giants From Texas(I Cinque Della Vendetta)1966

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About all this movie had going for it was the presence of Guy Madison, TV’s Wild Bill Hickock. A mediocre script I’ll get into in a bit.images

Here’s the set-up:

Jim Latimore(Germano Longo) owns a ranch somewhere along the Texas/Mexican border. He’s a thorn in the Gonzales family’s side. Three cousins, Latimore’s ranch abuts The Gonzales spread. The peons in the area like Latimore best. He treats them well as they farm his land and he allows them to keep the bulk, if not all, of their crops. Gonzales(Gianni Solaro) doesn’t like that. But even worse, Latimore married a Gonzales cousin and they have a small boy.

3092They try to set him up to be killed by arranging a hanging of a friend. Orders are only to shoot when Latimore draws his gun. Legality must be observed. He’s just about to when the friend, sensing that, kicks the barrel from under him and stops it. Gonzales then hires a gang to raid the Latimore ranch. El Matanza(Antonio Molino Rojo) is the leader, an especially vicious man. All adults are slaughtered, the Gonzales cousin taken to him, and the baby to be raised as a real Gonzales. Rosario Latimore(Mónica Randallosar) is violated and turned out to survive on her own for daring to marry a gringo.

Then it’s three years later.

Five men come to revenge the death of Jim Latimore, restore Rosario to her230px-Cincode home, and reunite her with her son.

John(Guy Madison), Alan(Mariano Vidal Molina), Dan(Vassili Karis), Indios(Giovanni Cianfriglia), and Ramon(José Manuel Martin) were all friends of Jim Latimore. Now here’s how different translations can change a film. Madison’s character is listed on IMDb as Tex. On the Spaghetti Western Database, he’s Tex/Jim Latimore, which would imply a relation to the dead man, probably brother. But in the version I watched on Youtube, he’s never referred to as anything but John and describes he and the others only as friends, though the viciousness with which he cuts Gonzales to pieces with a pistol in the finale might imply otherwise.

Los cinco de la venganza (1966) 3Now the mediocre script I mentioned earlier. They are captured by El Matanza and staked out in the desert. Three men are left to watch the sun do it’s work. Indio had supposedly been shot off his horse earlier while providind a diversion(which didn’t work), but you just know he’s around somewhere. He waits until dark to rescue his four friends and Rosario, leaving the hot sun to work on them all day. Next we see them on foot in the desert. Where were the three dead outlaws’ horses? They certainly wouldn’t have been left on foot in the middle of a desert. More chance for the sun to beat them down.

Presumed dead, they take a horse from a Gonzales rider and send him to inform Gonzales they are coming for him. And when. Why? Surprise would be on their side.

I’d give it a C. Hey, I like spaghettis.

FFB: Featuring The Saint – Leslie Charteris

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FeaturingTheSaintFEATURING THE SAINT was first published in 1931. The three novellas collected in the book first appeared in THRILLER MAGAZINE IN ’29 & ’30 UNDER DIFFERENT TITLES.

THE LOGICAL ADVENTURE finds the Saint out to stop a drug smuggler and a human trafficker in young women.

THE WONDERFUL WAR finds the Saint in a small Central American country fomenying a bloodless revolution to stop a murderer And a thief who’d bilked a young woman of an inheritance with faked contracts.

THE MAN WHO COULD NOT DIE was an adrenaline freak who’d survived17.Pb.K109FeaturingTheSaint_ countless dangerous things. But he makes the mistake of murdering an old friend of The Saint, it was ruled an accident, and having designs on a young woman.

These stories were written early in Charteris’ career and were very much of their time. The Saint here is different from the later stories and far different from the Roger Moore TV version.

The cover below is from Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint of uniform additions.

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Roping A Planet(Jo Harper # 3) – Richard Prosch

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81nkc1KO70L._SL1500_The third Jo Harper adventure is as fun and inventive as the previous entries.

Twelve year old Jo, secret deputy of old Abby Drake, is part of the team protecting the giant horse Jupiter. The owners want to get the big animal in the burgeoning movie industry and someone else seems to have other ideas.

Bullets fired at it, a flaming arrow that just misses both Jo and the horse, and finally the barn Jupiter was hidden in set on fire. In the latter instance, Jupiter wasn’t even in the barn, Jo finding him tied in a nearby thicket.

Young Jo comes up with a plan to catch the would be killer.

As mentioned, wonderful fun for readers. Author Richard Prosch knows the minds of his young charges and writs with a sure hand. You can get it here.

Impact(1949)

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Impact_1949_posterMillionaire industrialist Walter Williams( Brian Donlevy) is a man who started at the bottom, literally the bottom, and worked his way up to company president. He’s about to close a deal to buy three factories in Denver and increase the company fortunes. He wants drive up with his beautiful young wife, Irene(Helen Walker), who begs off claiming a toothache. She finally agrees to meet him to save the fighting of traffic. When she’s not there, he calls and learns the tooth has gotten worse. She asks a favor. A cousin she hasn’t seen in years had popped up and wanted a ride as far as Denver.

It’s all a ruse. Jim Torrance(Tony Barrett) is really her young lover and they’reIMPACT plotting to kill Williams. While driving as Williams naps, a flat tire is arranged on a lonely stretch late at night. He slugs Williams with a lug wrench and shoves him down a hill with coat, hat, and brief case when a moving van stops for assistance. In a panic, Torrance jumps into the roadster and rushes awy only to head-on with a gas truck.

While the van driver, Character actor Tom Greenway in his first role, tries to render assistance, a wounded and dazed Williams crawl into the back and is carried away from the scene. The van and Williams part ways when he gets out in Larkspur, Idaho. He forgets his brief case which drives all that follows.

It’s found and a fingerprint belonging to Torrance is on it. The murder business unravels and the wife is arrested for murder. A search is on for Torrance.

Poster - Impact_05Williams has hired on as a mechanic at a garage owned by the widow Marsha Peters(Ella Raines). He’s always loved that and falls into a contented state even while following the murder of himself in the papers, even to keeping clippings. He’s fallen for Marsha. boarding in her home with Marsha and her mother. Marsha knows he’s been terribly hurt by something in his past, but bides her time. Mother finds the clippings and tells him he should tell Marsha, knowing how they feel about each other. Williams does and plans to move on. But Marsha convinces him to do the right thing.

Bad Move.

Several months had gone by and the wife is a convincing liar, persuading themaxresdefault D.A. that Williams murdered her lover. Williams doesn’t help matters by ‘bending’ the truth a bit, claiming Torrance was a hitch-hiker and he’d been suufering from amnesia for those three months. He goes on trial for murder.

It takes Marsha teaming with an old cop, Lt. Tom quincy(Charles Coburn), who believes Williams to find the truth. That involves finding a Chinese maid, Su Lin(Anna May Wong).

Decent little film.

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New In The House

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1: SF: Star Trek Seekers 1: Second Nature – david Mack

2: SF: Star trek: Seekers: 2: Point of divergence – Dayton ward & Kevin Dilmore: I like the retro covers of this new series which harkens back to the James Blish covers of his short story novelizations of TOS.

3: SF: Star Trek: No Time Like The Past – Greg Cox: a time mix-up inserts Seven of Nine into Kirk’s past during serious negotiations with two alien races. He has to help her get home while other forces want her. And Knowing Kirk’s reputation, he’s likely to put some moves on her himself.

4: Doctor Who: Engines of War – George Mann: an episode during the Dalek/Time Lord war with the War Doctor.

and the ebooks:

5: WE: The Empty Badge – Wayne D. Dundee: A Cash Laramie adventure with first publication on it’s own

6: WE: The Rattler Gane – W. E. Fieldhouse: the third Klaw novel brought us by Rough Edges Press

The Empty Badge(Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles Book 8) – Wayne D. Dundee

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917XIqBAoJL._SL1500_Cash Laramie had finally tracked the Everett Driscoll gang down and was about to tak them in a driving thunderstorm when the mud bank above the cave entrance collapsed on top of him.

It’s not long before a series of bank robberies start up, ushered by a man claiming to be Cash Laramie, complete with the arrowhead talisman around his neck and a big white horse.

Can Cash have really turned bad?

At the same time a traveling medicine show picks up a man nearly dead who can’t remember anything about himself. As he’s nursed back to health, he quickly becomes Smitty.

On the trail of the Driscolls is Gideon Miles, one of the few who don’t believe the tale of the “outlaw marshal” really gone bad, determined to prove it.

Well done tale of Edward Grainger’s Marshal Laramie written by Wayne D. Dundee, himself a fine writer of his own tales. The combination is a strong one.

Can be found HERE>

Kill the Wicked! (Dio Non Paga Il Sabato)1967

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This was director Tanio Boccia’s second spaghetti western. He was occasionally0015227CD called the Italian Roger Corman for his ability to produce fast, cheap films. While I’ve seen a great many spaghettis over the last few years, I recognized not a single actor from any previous film. There’s not much character development, just a lot of shooting, fires, and a decently staged finale.

Larry Ward was an American actor who’d appeared mostly in TV westerns and looked like a regular joe, comfortable as a townsman, but hardly hero material. Though top-billed, he actually has less screen time than most of the other actors. His 230px-KillTheWickeds_DatabasePagecharacter, Ben Hudson, appears a third of the way into the film, a man with a white horse who responds to whistle commands and no water. The only hint we get about a past is that he made the decision to stop wearing a gun. He comes upon a young woman with a wrecked wagon and a dying horse. Judy(Daniela Igliozzi) is her name and the only thing said about her past is that her husband died of a fever(we see her earlier with a pick and shovel).

The other American actor, Rod Dana(billed as Robert Mark), plays an outlaw named Randall, who disappears early, shot in a stage hold-up, only to reappear at the end with revenge on his mind against the rest of the gang. For one who appeared nearly dead, the reason for the abandonment, he’s surprisingly hale and hearty.

Randall and Ladlan(Massimo Righi, billed as Max Dean) had rescuedObb3I Braddock(Furio Meniconi, billed as Men Fury) from a hanging at the beginning. They are joined in a ghost town by Shelley(María Silva), a gorgeous redhead where they plan a stage robbery. Braddock and Randall don’t really like each other. Both want Shelley, who, while she seems to prefer Randall, goes where the money is.

After the hold-up, where they leave the wounded Randall and stop at a second ghost town to hold up a few days before slipping across the border. We learn very quickly they are not alone. At first all we see are folded arms slipping around the town, stealing a Winchester and a box of ammo, then it’s revealed an older woman when she watches Braddock hide the strongbox from the holdup. Molly Verner(Vivi Gioi) had once been wealthy until the town had collapsed. She’d stayed on alone.

The stage is set.

dio_non_paga_il_sabato_robert_mark_amerigo_anton_004_jpg_axymHudson and Judy ride into town, intent on getting some rest, where they are taken by Braddock. He doesn’t believe their story and goes to check out the wrecked wagon, leaving Hudson tied and in charge of Ladlan with orders that he be alive when they return. We’ve already seen that Ladlan is not tightly wound and he immediately stars beating Hudson with a gun belt. Hudson only gets the upper hand by a whistle command to his horse.

The finale features a cat-fight, a lot of dead bodies, and a gun battle, all among a burning town.

A lot of action, no character development, and a musical score by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino that’s pretty decent. Not a bad film overall, about a B-.

Finally, the translation of the Italian title is God doesn’t pay on Saturday, referring to an old Italian custom of paying wages on Saturday night.

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FFB: The Tinseltown Murders – John Blumenthal

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3913640Author John Blumenthal continues his send-up of the private eye novel in THE TINSELTOWN MURDERS, the secobd volume in the Mac Slade, Private Dick series. In reading this novel, I’m put in mind of the Police Squad movies and TV series. It’s that odd and funny. At the beginning, Slade is being followed by a pair of Neanderthals that work for a bookie he owes two grand. When they burst into Mac’s office and when one tells the other to punch his lights out, the fellow starts smashing lamps.

Blumenthal manages to push every P.I. trope to the Nth degree, like the smart aleck eye trebled, the not quite smart eye that keeps stumbling along until the pieces fall together.

Slade heads to Hollywood when the wife of his old army sergeant, a P.I. in Hollywood, calls and says he’s in trouble.

Mac finds his friend dead and stashed in a refrigerator, only the first in a series of bodies. Along the way, he questions a gay hairdresser, a psychic, a beautiful movie star, a half crooked agent, a German Nazi-like housekeeper, and a Chinese houseboy, all suspects. Filtering in and out of it is a hulh named Moose Lebowitz looking for a stripper, Peaches Moskowitz. Slade is aided bt a poiice lieutenant, early thirties going on sixteen, Lou Tennant..

How does it all tie together? All part of the fun.

9/11

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imagesI remember getting ready to go into work four hours early that morning and turning on the TV for a little company. At that point, the first tower had been struck by a jet and speculation was rampant. No one knowed what was happening yet.

I snatched the phone and called the folks to see if they had the TV on. No, but they did quickly.

I witnessed the second plane hit the other tower. It was apparent by then that something bad was happening. Horified, I left for work and learned there everyone knew. Phone calls had been the major activity at work since it had started.

A horrifying remembrance, but one all Americans share.

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