Apocalypse Joe(Un Uomo Chiamato Apocalisse Joe)1970

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As was the fashion back then, this film appeared under a variety of titles whenuomo_chiamato_apocalisse_joe_anthony_steffen_leopoldo_savona_001_jpg_yxie it was away from Italy, from A Man Called Joe Clifford to apocalypse Joe to A Man Called Apocalypse Joe in English language countries.

Joe Clifford(spaghetti vet Anthony Steffen) is an amateur actor who wants to go to London to play Shakespeare. He travels the west honing his skills, but seems to get into more trouble than anything. In one early scene, he’s doing Hamlet, skull in hand when harassed by several gunmen. He quickly disposes of them with a pistol in the skull. Locked up, his aunt comes to bail him out, though he’s reluctant to leave. She’s been after him for years to give up that nonsense and settle down.

This time is different. She’s been looking for him because another uncle had died and left him his gold mine.

71990He returns to his home town only to find another man claiming it. Berg(Eduardo Fajardo) says his unce lost it in a poker game, them in a drunken state after signing it over fell off a two hundred foot cliff. Joe, and the movie viewers, are immediately suspicious about said accidental death. He decides to stick around and look into it. It;s not long before a Mexican his uncle had been kind to tells Jor the truth. He’d witnessed Berg forced the uncle to sign the mine over to him, then had liquor poured on him, tossing him off the cliff.

Thus begins his campaign to regain what’s rightfully his.

Heavily outnumbered, about thirty to one, with a Sheriff either Berg’s buddy orApocalisseJoe_DatabasePage afraid of him, Joe uses his acting skills to great effect, posing as a priest, a woman with a baby carriage(loaded with explosives), and a bearded old man as he picks off the men sent after him, one by one. He plays a cat and mouse game as thet scour the town.

Joe has a bit of help though. An old man names Doc Klan(Fernando Cerulli), his daughter Mildred(Veronica Korosec), Rita(Mary Paz Pondal), the saloon owner and the former girl friend of one of Berg’s gunmen, Moe(Gilberto Galimberti), and her bartender Al(Silvano Spadaccino).

The final showdown in town is executed masterfully.

This was a good one with music by Bruno Nicolai, direction by Leopoldo Savona. Lots of gunplay and fist fighting.

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FFB: So Young, So Wicked – Jonathan Craig

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soyoung2It’s femme fatale week on Forgotten Books, Thus one qualifies I think.

Steve Garrity was a piano player. a good one at that.

He was also a hit man for the mob, a job he’d fell into with a little encouragement. He’d killed a man, beating him to death, for sleeping with his wife and the mob had proof. Kill someone for us and it will go away. He’d been doing it a few years now.

His latest assignment seems a rush job. It has to be fast, it has to look like an accident, and the victim to be is a barely fifteen year old girl named Leda Noland. Garrity is not given a reason and it’s implied that if he doesn’t get it done exactly, he will be next on the hit list. The mob is not very forgiving.

He finds himself in a small town, an aunt of the girl attracted to him, a jealous rich boy that wants the aunt, and a sexy fifteen year old that seems wise beyond her yars.

And of course nothing will go as planned. From 1957, it’s one of Craig’s best standalones.

Flying Blind(A Crag Banyon Mystery) – James Mullaney

22614125 (1)With his Crag Banyon series, author James Mullaney likes to take P.I. cliches, stand them on their heads, and give it all a bit of a twist. In his books, he’s solved a murder mystery in Santa’s North Pole workshop, a stalking case for the God of the Sea, and been hired by a demon to find someone, some thing, that had escaped from Hell. Among others. He has an elf assistant, inherited from the Santa case, named Mannix and an incompetent secretary by the name of Doris Staurburton.

Here he takes a case for Minus, the city’s newest superhero, all of two weeks, who’s already caught an arch nemesis: one Dr. Cohen. The only description is a wild mane of white hair. He wants Banyon to find the villain.

The only problem is the phone book lists sixteen pages of Dr. Cohens.

At the same time, he;s fielding a minor case of a woman who suspects her husband is cheating on her. All Banyon can see is a mild little bank official. The most suspicious thing he ever does is check into a cheap motel, alone, and later leave. No one ever visits him.

A hilarious series of adventures illustrated by this bit from FLYING BLIND. When Dr. Cohen places a nuclear bomg somewhere in the city, here are his demands:

“He wants five hundred million dollars in unmarked bills, his student loans forgiven, and his own parking spot at the opera house, along with season tickets.”

Love Crag Banyon’s adventures. Can be ordered here.

Trial(1955)

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Trial was made at the height of the Communist hysteria of the fifties. DirectedMPW-26266 by Mark Robson, the script was by Don Mankiewicz based on his novel of the same title.

Glenn Ford plays David Blake, an idealistic law professor about to lose his teaching job. Why? He’d never served as counsel on a trial and it wa believed that wouldn’t do. They wouldn’t admit that: his contract was simply not being renewed. Wanting courtroom experience, he went from law firm to law firm seeking a sort of apprenticeship. Refused at evry turn, he finally hit pay dirt at the office of Bernard Castle(Arthur Kennedy). His secretary is Abbie Nyle(Dorothy McGuire).

Suddenly Blake finds he’s lead counsel on a huge case: the murder trial of Angel Chavez (Rafael Campos), a Mexican teenager accused of murdering a sixteen year old white girl/

The time is 1947 and during a middle of the night party on a private beach, a boy;s voice is heard hollering for help. Angel is found standing over the crumpled body of the dead girl.

TRIALTCThe bigots in town are in full out mode. A lynch mob is averted by the police chief A. A. ‘Fats’ Sanders(Robert Middleton) by the simple expedient of promisng a first class trial followed by a hanging. Or he would never run for office again.

Naive man that he is, Blake figures out pretty quick where he stands. Barney Castle has his own agenda. He cares nothing for Angel. But the publicity value for raising money. Barney, you see, is a card carrying Communist and is using the trial in a Raise money for Angel Chavez’s defense. A big rally in New York nets over a quarter of a million dollars, very little ging where intended. The first jury pool is tainted by detectives visiting them the night before the tral with personal questions. The trial gets a black judge, what could be fairer than that, and Blakes get a subpoena from the House Unamerican Committee.

Can’t have a good film without a romance. Working closely with Abbe, Blake of course falls in love. As does she.

Enjoyed this film. There were quite a number of those “faces” in key roles. Know the face, but not the name.

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New In The House

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1: Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice – Stephen Baxter: The Wheel. A ring of ice and metal turning around a moon of Saturn, home to a mining colony supplying a resource-hungry Earth—a colony plagued by problems. Equipment failures and thefts are on the rise. Children tell stories of mysterious creatures glimpsed aboard the Wheel. And some of the younger workers refuse to go down into the warren-like mines.

And then one of them, surfing Saturn’s rings, saves an enigmatic blue box from destruction.

Once on the Wheel, the Doctor and his companions, Jamie and Zoe, face a critical situation when they become suspected by some as the source of the ongoing sabotage. They soon find themselves caught in a mystery that reaches back to the creation of the solar system. A mystery that could destroy the Wheel—and kill them all…

2: Black Hole Butterfly(review copy) – Salem: Detective Rook Black is having a tough time solving crime in a New York City where reality is traded on the black market by the mysterious quantum butcher, Jack the Butterfly. While following an assassin’s trail through Chinatown, space and time begin to overwrite.

A reality storm lashes Manhattan. Overnight, crocodile wrestling becomes a deadly sport, synthetic sex with Egyptian gods is the norm, and the reigning solar power Empire believes Shakespeare authors their universe. They believe if his works are destroyed, the universe will end. The Empire will do anything to protect his legacy, but their enemy, Gasland, wants to annihilate it.

It is the beginning of a reality war. When the sky rains ink and paper turns into butterflies Rook soon realizes he’s much, much more than a private eye.

He is the eye of the reality storm.

3: Elixir(ARC) – Ted Galdi: Meet 14-year-old Sean Malone. He has an IQ above 200, a full-ride scholarship to one of the country’s top universities, and more than one million dollars from his winning streak on Jeopardy. However, Sean wishes he could just be normal.

But his life is anything but normal. The US government manipulates him, using him as a codebreaker in pursuit of a drug lord and killing innocent people along the way.

For reasons related to his personal security, Sean finds himself in Rome, building a new life under a new name, abandoning academics, and hiding his genius from everyone. When he’s 18 he falls in love. The thrills begin again when he learns that his girlfriend is critically ill and it’s up to him to use his intellect to find a cure, a battle pitting him against a multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical company and the demons of his past.

and the ebook:

4: Flying Blind(A Crag Banyon Mystery)(review copy) – James Mullaney: CRAG BANYON. HE’S JUST SUPER.

When Minus, the city’s newly minted superhero, shows up at Banyon Investigations looking for help tracking down his archenemy, Banyon’s first instinct is to tell his prospective client to take a flying leap. Supervillains are notoriously unforgiving types, and so when it comes to dealing with them Banyon has a firm business policy that consists of three pillars: truth, justice and running away. Not necessarily in that order.

But the hero is a sad sack, and the office elf wants Banyon to take the case, and none of the really good bars in town are open, and so, caught in a weak moment, Banyon relents. Big mistake. Soon our plucky P.I. is caught up in the crazy chaos that comes hand-in-glove with the larger than life superhero biz. If he’s lucky enough to survive the thrilling flights, dizzying heights, Spandex tights, bare-knuckled fights, and a doozy of a demented ex-girlfriend, Crag Banyon might live just long enough to make it to his own funeral.

BANYON INVESTIGATIONS. WHERE A HERO IS A SANDWICH.

It Can Be Done, Amigo (Si Può Fare… Amigo)1972

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600full-it-can-be-done-amigo-posterBy the end of the sixties, the spaghetti western genre had started to fade. It was the two Trinity films staaring Terence Hill and Bud Spencer that injected a new bit of life into the old gal. According to the Spaghetti Western Database, this film was made to settle a conflict between director Enzo Barboni and screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, both of whom claimed pieces of the first Trinity film. Bud Spencer was the peacemaker, a lawyer by trade, agreeing to do this movie for one of the aggrieved parties, his first vehicle without Terence Hill.

Spencer plays Hiram Coburn, a roguish but goodhearted fellow that prefers hisItCanBeDoneAmigo horse Rufus, a beautiful white animal, to other humans. He’s nearly hung as a horse thief because a number of mares follow Rufus(quite the charmer among the horse set), but is saved by a lawyer and his nephew and taken to jail for a first class trial, then a hanging. But when a gang breaks out his cellmate< Big Jim(Luciana Catenacci), he escapes as well.

You see, he's being pursued by Sonny Bronston(Jack Palance), a pimp/gunfighter who wants Coburn for deflowering his sister, Mary(Dany Saval), an accident of sorts as she came to him in the night and he thought it was his favorite prostitute..Sonny's plan is to marry them, then kill Coburn. Mary will then be a respectable widow.

10860102_detCoburn disrupts an attack on the old man who’d stopped his lynching and the dying old man extracts a promise that he will take his small nephew, Chip Anderson(Renato Cestiè), to a ranch left to him by the boy’s late father. Chip says his uncle kept saying he would find his fortune there.

Coburn and Chip becomes suspicious when everyone tries to buy and/or run them off the property. The Sheriff/Mayor/Judge/Preacher, Franciscus(Francisco Rabal), offers them a thousand for the broken down old house. Then an old man who’d been buying buckets of dirt for two dollars apiece, then tasting each offers five thousand for the place, upping it to ten when they balk.

What is the secret?

Sonny and Franciscus team up with the Preacher to marry his sister to Coburn,it-can-be-done-amigo1 then he’d kill him. Plans change when Mary announces she’s pregnant. Sonny says he will wait until the child is twenty-one before making his sister a widow.

But there’s an even worse fate awaiting Coburn after the big finale.

Like most of the soaghettis of this period, no one was killed. A lot of fighting though. One learns to be wary whenever Coburn pulls and dons glasses from a pouch on his belt. He doesn’t carry a gun, preferring his ham-like fists.

We learn the whys during the fight scene/finale. I may be mistaken, but the house looks like the one in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST.

Kind of fun.

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FFB: Peacemaker Rawhide – Clifford Blair

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n290028 (1)PEACEMAKER RAWHIDE was the third(of 9) in the Peacemaker series, the author’s sixteenth novel overall.

Jim Stark is better known by his nickname, the Peacemaker, a professional troubleshooter. He’s always well armed, a ,45 Peacemaker on one hip, a Marlin .38 hideout in the small of his back, a custom made Bowie knife, a sporting rifle for distance shooting, and his main weapon, a ten-gauge Winchester 1887 lever action shotgun. He’s also studied the French foot fightng, Savate, and is proficient with a whip.

He’s headed to Doaksville in Indian territory, employed by lady lawyer Prudence McKay, executor of the estate of a freight owner killed in an accident. The line was left to his children, Brian and Brenda Langton, the boy eighteen, the girl seventeen. His job is to guard them as a rival freight line has been making moves against them, one run by the widow Noreen Danner.

Jacob langton had died when he fell off a slow moving wagon, neck brown and skull crushed, The owner of the rival freight firm had died when he fell off his horse, neck broken and skull crushed.

Do we detect a theme here?

Stark is immediately suspicious.

The widow Danner, former dance hall girl, is used to getting her way by using her feminine wiles, which she proceeds to try with Stark. That she fails infuriates her.

She has a pair og Mexican gauchos, brothers, in her employ. One is expert with a whip, the other in a South American form of foot fighting.

Guess where we’re headed.

Nicely written novel with plenty of action packed in it’s few pages.

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