Battle of the Commandos (1969)

Those of you who’ve seen Umberto Lenzi‘s World War II movie Bridge To Hell and lamented that it was obviously the work of a master who had long since past his time obviously have not seen his Battle Of The Commandos. If you had, you would have lamented that Umberto never had any prime to get past!

Made 17 years before his feeble 1986 attempt, Battle Of The Commandos makes only the slightest of efforts to go through the motions of the “misfits on a suicide mission” flick. For his part, Lenzi makes only the slightest of efforts not to make the viewer nauseous with his abusive use of the zoom lens and whiplash-inducing panning shots. Continue reading “Battle of the Commandos (1969)”

Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)

sevenbloodstainedorchidsposterOn the surface, it’s an odd combination to say the least – a Cornell Woolrich story serving as the basis for an Umberto Lenzi film. Woolrich was the author of several stories during the fifties that were turned into such film noirs as Black Angel and Phantom Lady. Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window was also based on a Woolrich story.

Lenzi is best known as king of the cannibals for his Cannibal Ferox, Deep River Savages, and Eaten Alive films. But he was also proficient earlier in his career with thrillers in the giallo mold including Spasmo and Orgasmo so maybe it isn’t such a surprise that itt all works much better than you would suspect, resulting in an easily digestible confection of mystery, graphic violence, and Antonio Sabato. Continue reading “Seven Blood-Stained Orchids (1972)”

Hunt for the Golden Scorpion (1991)

HuntForTheGoldenScorpionCoverIn the deepest, most remote part of the Amazon, a treasure is hidden! A treasure so valuable that men would kill for it, women would almost have to undress for it, and entire armies would be destroyed by four people, including a Lebanese treasure hunter, for it! It is an object so chock full of golden awesomeness that an elaborate death trap guards its resting place! Wait a minute, this is an Umberto Lenzi movie starring Andy Forest. Scratch “elaborate death trap” and substitute “one poisonous snake” in its place! Continue reading “Hunt for the Golden Scorpion (1991)”

Wartime (1987)

Wartime VHS CoverFollowing the collapse of the cannibals and barbarian film genres in the early 1980s, director Umberto Lenzi took a brief detour before finishing off the decade with a bounty of no less than six cheap and cheesy horror movies. A detour right into the heart of war-torn Yugoslavia!

Was Umberto documenting the ethnic cleansing that wracked the region following the fall of the Soviet empire? Was he leading a campaign of underemployed Italian exploitation movie directors to provide aid and comfort to displaced refugees by holding charity screenings of Nightmare City and Eaten Alive?

Are you nuts? Who cares about that war? I’m talking about a real war! World War II! The one where a handful of Johnny Yanks could take on the entire German army and carry out impossible suicide missions on an almost weekly basis! Continue reading “Wartime (1987)”

Zorro contro Maciste (1963)

Zorro Contro Maciste Spanish PosterThe gimmick in Zorro contro Maciste (aka Samson and the Slave Queen) of course makes zero sense. Zorro is a crime fighting super hero who hassles corrupt fat government officials usually named something along the lines of Don Diego way back in the pre-United States California of the 16th Century. He’s a sly devil who delights in carving the letter “Z” all over the countryside, including the occasional ass of some unsuspecting evil doer. He is also a snazzy dresser, favoring an all black ensemble including hat, mask, and cape. Continue reading “Zorro contro Maciste (1963)”