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Author Topic: Black Killer (Carlo Croccolo, 1971)  (Read 4338 times)

The Hunchback

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Black Killer (Carlo Croccolo, 1971)
« on: 07 Jul 2007 - 08:07 »

Review for "Black Killer"

Thomas Weisser calls this a "text-book example of the genre" and for once he couldn't be more correct. This very entertiaining flick is a perfect example of the genre. A gritty "revenge for a slaughtered family" plot mixed with "corrupt town boss" schtick. It's violent, bloody and has some added quirk and nudity in it. A full lengthed role by Klaus Kinski is added for good measure.

A mysterious Man in black (Kinski) rides into the town of Tombstone. He says he is a lawyer named James Webb and carries a gaggle of thick law books around with him. He acquires himself a room at the local hotel and begins to take part in some shady conversations with the town judge. He is especially interested in some land that two mexican outlaws, inaccuratly called the "O'Hara brothers", have stolen.

When the O'Hara's kill a town sheriff, Webb wastes no time in dispatching some of their lackies using his pistols that are intricatly hidden inside his text books and are rigged to go off when he pulls on a book mark. Of course at this point we don't know why he does this nor do we know what he is up to. His motives are not revealed until the very end of the picture.

After the first twenty minutes another Stranger by the name of Burt Collins rides into town and Kinski's character takes a back seat throughout the rest of the picture (he is just shown sneaking around town dropping in on secret conversations held by some villains and shooting from his books when necessary), instead the film becomes the adventures of Burt Collins.

Burt has come to tombstone to visit his brother Peter who is living on the outskirts of town with his indian wife Sarah (another unusual name for a certain character). While Burt spends the night at Peter's house, the house is raided by the O'Hara brothers and Peter is killed. Sarah is brutally raped and Burt gets beaten to a Pulp  and left for dead.
Both Burt and Sarah head to the O'hara's hideout for revenge.
The movie has a lot of female frontal nudity, mostly from a saloon girl named Consuelo but Sarah the indian girl shows her back side a few times as well (Nudity is a rare occasion in the genre).

Enjoyed the flick but I have a few minor gripes with it, first and foremost the costumes the O'Hara brothers wear, they have these really ridiculous color coordinated costumes that make them look like circus performers. One of the brothers (the red suited one) has a utility belt full of throwing knives, he only uses these once. The knives should have been a running theme and his death should have involved something with a knife as oppsed to just getting shot.

The very end (I won't get into details as not to spoil anything) shows the revenge driven hero (Burt) to be not so honest as one would expect. In fact his activities at the end make him seem indifferent to his brothers death.

otherwise great action packed film.

The actors:

Kinski is noteworthy as Webb, he brings this mystique to the film that few actors can accomplish.

Fred Robsahm plays Burt Collins very well. In fact I liked him for all the reasons Shobary (http://spaghettiwesterns.1g.f i/black/killer.htm) didn't like him. Shoabry writes " looks dirty and probably smells bad too". I think that's the whole point of a down and dirty spaghetti western hero but I guess it's different strokes for different folks (shrugs).

Marina Mulligan is cute and sassy as the Indian girl seeking revenge on the villians for killing her husband and raping her in the process. Surprisingly this remains to be mulligan's only contribution to cinema (according to IMDB which may or may not be correct).

The Music:
I enjoyed the horror music esq. type tune for the "James Webb theme" but everything else is barely passable as an Italian western score.

Verdict: a solid spaghetti that normally gets a bad wrap.



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Re: Black Killer (Carlo Croccolo, 1971)
« Reply #1 on: 07 Jul 2007 - 13:33 »

Mildly enjoyable,above average-but not that much- i think Kinski is miscast as the government pen pusher spending too much time lurking around offices sifting through legal paperwork etc and the number of times he has to open that damn book to reveal the hidden pistol pushes home the point too much-a gimmick that is overused MUCH TOO MUCH and it gets annoying after awhile.
Yes the O'Haras look ridiculous with their dodgy Engelbert Humperdinct hairdo's and mustaches together with Red Indian-like attire but theres no complaints here about the naked female lovelies.I agree about the soundtrack -it got off to a promising start but afterwards quite ordinary though adequate.
I thought the pacing of the movie could've been upped abit-as i said above the Kinski scenes were tedious and the cosy wood shack scenes involving the hero's brother and Indian squaw also dragged it down.


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Re: Black Killer (Carlo Croccolo, 1971)
« Reply #2 on: 07 Jul 2007 - 15:54 »

I'm sure I read somewhere that Kinski was playing up on the set of BLACK KILLER so Fred Robsahm (was it?) and another fella locked him  in a cupboard for a bit.  ;D


  • Guest
Re: Black Killer (Carlo Croccolo, 1971)
« Reply #3 on: 07 Jul 2007 - 21:56 »

Awful, awful movie. Kinski apparently only did this one for the money, too.
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