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Author Topic: Captain Apache (1971)  (Read 2365 times)

The Hunchback

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Captain Apache (1971)
« on: 07 Jul 2007 - 22:44 »

This is a review from my " reviews for crappy spaghetti westerns" thread on the Leone boards.
The movies I review there are as shitty as the reviews themselves.
Bring toilet paper along while viewing anyone of the one's I mention on that thread.

here's a favorite...

Review for "Captain Apache".

Their gonna tail em, trail em, try to nail em there...but WE haven't got a prayer.

"Captain Apache" is one of those films that is so incredibly awful that you cannot stop watching just to see what other atrocity it'll throw your way. It is also very entertaining becuase of its astrociousness(not a word).

The crap extravaganza opens to fake quotes(the last one is from Jesus) like...

"The only good Indian, is a dead Indian"

                                                   - Pale face saying

"The only good Pale face, is a dead Pale face"
                                                   - Apache saying

"Love thy neighbor"

                            -Forgotten source

that last one is especially hilarious.

The quotes are followed by the theme song of the film and accompanied by several shots that are both future shots in the film and what one would assume to be an outtake. This gives the whole movie a early 60's western television show feel to it. Shows like "Rawhide" come to mind when seeing the intro to Captain Apache.
What comes after the intro is a series of rather strange characters introduced in different points of the picture. Lee Van Cleef looks like a featherless eagle as he plays the beardless Apache government agent, and if that isnt weird enough we have two strange looking twins as baddies, and a witch(yes a witch!). The plot is actually very similar to Orson Welles's "Citizen Kane", in that Captain Apache is assigned to investigate what the meaning of a dying government officials last words were. The last words uttered by the official were "April Morning". Every time the captain gets somebody to talk about "april morning" they are mysteriously shot out of nowhere(which is actualy quite silly if you think about it. How could this mysterious assasin be at the right place at the right time every time the Captain gets a lead?). Along the route to discovering the meaning of "april Morning" captain Apache must ward of the witch mentioned earlier and the evil twins. In one hilarious sequence the witch drugs Van Cleef for no particular reason and Van Cleef begins to hallucinate about a very colorful cave(which suspiciously look like the "Hell" set from the second film in the "Coffin Joe" series). After that trippy sequence there is an uproariously bad fist fight between Captain Apache and a pair of the witch's hired thugs(since when do witch's need thugs? It would have helped her image of being a witch if she hung around black cats. I would have liked a fight sequence with the captain against a band of nasty cats). The Filmmakers did nothing to try and hide the fact that Van Cleef was not the one fighting the two thugs. throughout the whole fight you can tell its a stunt man. later Van Cleef gets almost stark naked in order to speak to his Apache chief. The very sight of Van Cleef's muscular body fitting itself in a tiny piece of cloth covering his privates is enough to make me risk a heart attack from laughing so damn hard.

To make things even more ridiculous, the meaning of "April Morning" turns out to be a secret assignment to assassinate the president of the United States. Captain Apache of course saves the day in the nick of time. It all ends with Van Cleef singing "April Morning" on the soundtrack during the closing credits.

The funniest quotes Van Cleef ever used can all be found in this one film. Here are a few...

"You call me red ass too!!!!"

"Its full of snakes!!!!"

"teach me the ways of the white man"

Music: Top- notch, in a campy sort of way. The arrangement of the songs arent as bad as you would think though.


Lee Van Cleef: Van Cleef looks like he is actually having a rather good time with the role, he hams up the part very nicley. I am surprised he never went into making straight out comedy movies(not just western comedies), all indication in this film shows that he would be perfect as a comedic actor.

Carrol Baker: Forever known for "Baby Doll", Baker plays her character "Maude" as a typical ditzy blonde. Her Main purpose in the film... well.....I am still struggling with that answer. One would think she would be a love interest for Cleefy but that doesnt seem like the case. She just hangs around until the end where she exposes some sort of care(or sympathy) for Captain Apache, and yet she calls him a "dumb indian". I couldnt tell you anything more.

the rest of the cast is all just playing off Cleefy and they are not worth mentioning.

Overall: I am not sure whether to take the film seriously or see it as an actual comedy. To defend it, I think it is a comedy(I hope). Either way this film should not be missed by Lee Van Cleef fans. You can pick up a copy for dirt cheap pretty much anywhere that sells westerns.

Or if you want  the crisp widescreen treatment you can pick up a copy at   www.Xploitedcinema.com




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Re: Captain Apache (1971)
« Reply #1 on: 07 Jul 2007 - 22:51 »

Here's my post on this film from the other forum  ;D

Pretty average Western it's only real merits are a seemingly tongue in cheek performance from Lee Van Cleef, covered in brown makeup so as to make him look like an Apache Indian... Carroll Baker's not too bad either same goes for Stuart Whitman but on the whole it's a quite harmless and unoffensive bit of entertainment...

Some cool bits where Van Cleef is forced to drink some magic potion, given to him by a witch, ending up with him in a psychedelic stupor all bug eyed and tripped out... And a very funny bit where he's eating a meal with Carroll Baker, stuffing his face throughout as she talks to him, he responds by talking with his mouth full then stands up and belches in her face as he leaves!! Cut to the next scene and they're in bed together!! WTF?

Picture quality on the UK Stonevision DVD was pretty good, shame they couldn't have left the aspect ratio as full scope, the opening credits were but the rest of the film was slightly zoomed in to around 1.85:1..

"teach me the ways of the white man" I laughed loud and hard when Lee Van Cleef said that to Carroll Baker at the end!  ;D
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Re: Captain Apache (1971)
« Reply #2 on: 07 Jul 2007 - 22:55 »

No doubt about this movie being high on the crapometer but its so hilariously enjoyable for me to recommend this to any LVC fan with an open mind.Colonel Mortimer he ain't! ;D
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