• 05 Jul 2022 - 00:07
  • Welcome, Guest
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Visit the Tee Shirt Store - NEW designs!! HERE

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: The Hellbenders / Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)  (Read 5504 times)

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest

THE HELLBENDERS 1966- aka IL CRUDELI

Joseph Cotten, Norma Bengall

A group of vengeful ex-Confederate madmen led by Jonas (Cotten) lead a wagon load of stolen money from an ambushed Union brigade across dangerous frontier in an effort to finance another war with the North. Over the course of the villains journey, treachery and greed take over resulting in a shocker ending.

Director Sergio Corbucci delivers perhaps his finest achievement in this suspense filled western. Corbucci, known for his often times violent action films, deceives the audience this time out, but in a good way. The opening encounter where Jonas and his sons (along with some soon-to-be-expendable helpers) attack a Union convoy and relieve them of their wagon load of cash is one of only a couple of scenes to feature such action. The remainder of the movie revolves around the Rebs trying to get to safety passing from one suspense laden scene after another using trickery and cunning with the viewer barely getting a breath before the next obstacle presents itself.

There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the picture. After everything that's come out since, one or two of these twists are somewhat predictable, but just the same they make for a taut western experience. What's most enthralling, is that once the group is mere feet from their destination, they are bombarded with one hurdle after another in rapid succession culminating in a final twist you won't see coming.

What I find most interesting about the film is that Corbucci, a director not known for subtlety, could turn out such a fine film. It's a crime that Corbucci is not spoken of in the same respect as the more famous Sergio, Mr. Leone. At least not in America he isn't. Leone's style pretty much stayed the same while Corbucci switched gears from time to time.

You got mindless violence in DJANGO and NAVAJO JOE. You got near perfection in filmmaking and storytelling in HELLBENDERS and THE MERCENARY. And sometimes a smattering of both in COMPANEROS. That's not to say that HELLBENDERS doesn't have its fair share of violence. There are several quite gut-busting moments. One in particular involves the sudden murder of the drunkard female character Jonas uses to help out in his scheme. When one of his unhinged sons kills her, they must search out another lady to play along in their devious plan.

Cotten, who was in the twilight years of his career, is stoically evil in his portrayal of the mad patriarch Jonas. He is totally emotionless in his quest to re-establish the Confederacy and overthrow the Union at any cost. He even harbors some secret resentment towards one of his sons for being too soft-hearted which is revealed in a drunken state near the finale. Cotten also played a similar character (and plot) in the film THE TRAMPLERS which also starred Gordon Scott, James Mitchum and Franco Nero. This movie was directed HELLBENDERS producer, Albert Band (HERCULES & THE PRINCESS OF TROY).

Cotten also starred in Bava's BARON BLOOD (1972) and even headlined LATITUDE ZERO (1969), a Japanese sci-fi monster movie that also starred Cotten's wife, Caesar Romero and Richard Jaekal.

Norma Bengall is the new lady brought along against her will. Bengall was also in Bava's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES. After having wore a somewhat futuristic, body-hugging Dracula costume in that film, she is nearly unrecognizeable here if it were not for her big eyes. 

Two of Jonas's sons could represent one of the deadly sins. There's lust and greed amidst them and Jonas himself borders on homicidal. But like Hitler, he firmly believes that what he is doing is a just and righteous cause. One of the most gripping sequences occurs when the gang makes it to a town and learns that the woman Bengall's character is masquerading as, is married to a man in town!

Late in the film, Bengall decides that these men cannot get away with their insidious plan and she herelf, puts the 'hellbenders' in a few nail-biting moments of complication in finishing their journey.

One of the sons, Ben, is most different from the others and is the only one with a cool head and provides the only remnants of humanity to be found in this group of killers. Even though none of the characters could be called good guys, the direction and script are so good, Corbucci holds your attention as to whether or not the gang are going to make it or not.

Al Muloch and frequent villain Aldo Sambrell have bit parts as dastardly characters the 'Hellbenders' encounter on their dangerous quest.

This DVD from Anchor Bay is probably there last release before the takeover by Starz Entertainment. This film had been on there release slate for a number of years. Had there previous Italo western releases been successful, this along with numerous other classics, would have already seen release.

A highly recommended adventure that, along with THE GREAT SILENCE and THE MERCENARY, ranks with the best the genre has to offer.
Logged

Paul

  • Global Moderator
  • Cane Arrabbiato
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6465
  • "Vamos A Matar!"
    • The Overlook Movie Store
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #1 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:33 »

I've still not bought this - after taking a look at your review, I'm going to order the AB release pronto.
Logged
"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #2 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:34 »

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Logged

The Hunchback

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #3 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 11:35 »

I've still not bought this - after taking a look at your review, I'm going to order the AB release pronto.

You won't be disappointed.


The Japanese disc looks slightly better than the R1 version.

I own both.
Logged

LANZETTA

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #4 on: 09 Jul 2007 - 22:52 »

The Japanese disc looks slightly better than the R1 version.
Owning only a crap pan and scan i'm dying to see either of those because this is essential Corbucci and totally unlike any of his or anyone elses sw's.

Joseph Cotten and Morricone are  pure class here. 8)
Logged

dracucarr

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #5 on: 17 Jul 2007 - 09:50 »

I was actually disappointed by this film and sold it quite soon after. I was expecting a lot more action for a film of its type and maybe I just caught it on a bad day. After reading Il Commisario's review I am tempted to buy it again
Logged

The Hunchback

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #6 on: 17 Jul 2007 - 10:07 »

I was actually disappointed by this film and sold it quite soon after. I was expecting a lot more action for a film of its type and maybe I just caught it on a bad day. After reading Il Commisario's review I am tempted to buy it again

Well it's certainly not an action movie.
It's a suspense thriller.
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #7 on: 17 Jul 2007 - 20:57 »

I was actually disappointed by this film and sold it quite soon after. I was expecting a lot more action for a film of its type and maybe I just caught it on a bad day. After reading Il Commisario's review I am tempted to buy it again

Yeah, I state in the review that if you go in expecting lots of action you'll be disappointed. Great suspense western though. Probably Corbucci's most accomplished work because he transcends his typical output.
Logged

Paul

  • Global Moderator
  • Cane Arrabbiato
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6465
  • "Vamos A Matar!"
    • The Overlook Movie Store
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #8 on: 17 Jul 2007 - 23:11 »

My copy is one the way - can't wait to see this now.
Logged
"Allow me to explain. Your mother is a whore, your father is a damn thief, and your grandfather is a notorious fag... and as for your sister..." - Yodlaf Peterson

Nikita

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #9 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 22:36 »

I was actually disappointed by this film and sold it quite soon after. I was expecting a lot more action for a film of its type and maybe I just caught it on a bad day. After reading Il Commisario's review I am tempted to buy it again

Well it's certainly not an action movie.
It's a suspense thriller.

And a great suspense thriller at that.  Perhaps one of the best thrillers within the SW genre.
Logged

Jonny

  • Moderator
  • Cane Arrabbiato
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10290
  • I've some extremely distressing news
    • lovelockandload
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #10 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 22:40 »

Anyone interested in a British Pre-Cert VHS of this film?

http://www.lovelockandload.net/forum/index.php?topic=532.0

 :-X
Logged

Fray G

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #11 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 22:43 »

I'm gonna go watch this tonight, have'nt seen it before.
Logged

IL COMMISSARIO

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #12 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 22:45 »

Excellent suspense western. It only has one or two action scenes. Corbucci really excels here and shows he is a versatile director unlike some of his peers.
Logged

The Pallbearer

  • Guest
Re: The Hellbenders/Il crudeli (Sergio Corbucci, 1966)
« Reply #13 on: 15 Aug 2007 - 22:57 »

One of my favorite Spaghettis that all should check out.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.048 seconds with 22 queries.