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Author Topic: Apocalypse Joe / Un uomo chiamato Apocalisse Joe (Leopoldo Savona, 1971)  (Read 2680 times)

IL COMMISSARIO

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A MAN CALLED JOE CLIFFORD 1971 aka UN UOMO CHIAMATO APOCALISSE JOE aka A MAN CALLED APOCALYPSE JOE aka APOCALYPSE JOE

Anthony Steffen (Joe), Eduardo Fajardo (Berg), Fernando Bilbao (Bodo)

Directed by Leopoldo Savona; Music by Bruno Nicolai

Joe Clifford, a Shakespearean street performing gunfighter learns that he has inherited a gold mine from his uncle. He journeys to the town only to find out his dead uncle has gambled the mine away to villain Berg (Fajardo). Soon after, the truth of what really happened is revealed. This sets up a series of action scenes and numerous costume changes from the quirky Joe Clifford. 

Steffen is his usual wooden self seldom coming alive during the film. His various disguises add an unusual dimension to the film but in Steffen's shoes, these caricatures fail to register and do nothing to further the story aside from allowing Steffen to shoot some more bad guys. If Milian had partaken in this role, then he could have done something with the character. Steffen is best suited for stone faced killer roles considering his limited range. Even so, the film is lively enough to be an enjoyable timewaster.

Fajardo is always reliable as a villain and he is suitably creepy as his makeup makes him look most devilish with his frazzled hair and evil grin. One scene has Berg capture Clifford who manages to slip the villains grasp by threatening to blow himself and everyone else up with dynamite. After the bad guys hurriedly exit the barn, Berg sends them all back in proclaiming Clifford surely wouldn't blow himself up as well. Berg, however, chooses to remain outside...just in case.

Bilbao (Bodo) is one of many henchmen of Berg. He is a big burly lug reminiscent of both Bud Spencer and Lyle Alzado with his bushy hair. He gives lots of problems to Clifford over the films running time. He and Steffen have a nice brawl inside a saloon where Bodo introduces Clifford to the various tables and chairs as well as just tossing him around the room like a sack of potatoes.

The movie is basically a series of shoot outs and comic book set pieces in which Berg's men set out to kill Clifford who uses his far too sophisticated skills to one up them every time. Berg wants the gold mine and does everything he can to get Clifford to sign it over to him. The extended and drawn out final gun battle between Berg and his gang taking on Clifford and the Doc is energetic and for the most part, exciting. It alternates between a serious action sequence and a Merrie Melodies/Looney Tunes short. Steffen and Fajardo must have had a friendly working relationship as they also appeared together in TRAIN FOR DURANGO (1968), ARRIVA SABATA! (1970), SHANGO (1970), GENTLEMAN KILLER (1967), RINGO-FACE OF REVENGE (1967) and A COFFIN FOR THE SHERIFF (1965). The two performers obviously had a lot of fun doing this movie and it shows in the action scenes on the screen.

The score by Nicolai is good; suitably rousing and suspenseful when it need be. With Morricone totally changing the way western film scores would be done and heard, it left little room for other composers to be recognized outside of Italy. Nicolai could surely stand with Morricone as one of the great composers of the spaghetti western genre.

With the well choreographed and protracted 20+ minute finale being the major highlight, it is enough to recommend this movie to fans. The production must have been given a bit more money than usual considering there are some big explosions and the finale adds a little bit more depth than usual even if it is kind of cartoonish, it's better than guys hiding behind barrels firing back and forth at each other. APOCALYPSE JOE is worth the time for its inventiveness and to Steffen fans who want to see him attempt something different.
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Mart85

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Yeah I like this one.  The over the top action is nicely done and the score by Bruno Nicolai is class.  Worth watching.  :-X
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Inspector Tanzi

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One of the better Steffen films in my opinion, what version do you have, i've got a German x-rated one.
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"When I read the book of Mormon, I feel closer to Jesus Christ."

Mart85

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Same here.  I had to reburn the DVD to get rid of the forced sub.
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Inspector Tanzi

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Same here.  I had to reburn the DVD to get rid of the forced sub.
I've got so used to foreign subs over the years it don't bother me.
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"When I read the book of Mormon, I feel closer to Jesus Christ."

Mart85

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It shouldn't really bother me but it annoyed me all the same.  Can't complain since it's not much trouble to get rid of them and the transfer is great.
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LANZETTA

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Recommended and definitely one of Steffens better sw's. :)
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IL COMMISSARIO

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I would be interested in knowing why Steffen and Fajardo did so many movies together. I could see if they were all the same director but it often wasn't. Mulargia did a number of films with them both. It seems he was comfortable working with them on several films.
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