Archive for Klaus Kinski

SHANGHAI JOE (1973) – The Dungeon Photo Review!

Posted in Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2013 by goregirl

I’ve watched quite a few Italian Westerns in the past year and my journey continues through this immensely entertaining genre. Like horror, there is generally a fair amount of violence in your average Western. There are even a few Western-horror flicks out there. While Shanghai Joe does not fall into that category, it does offer up some gore. It also offers up Kung-Fu! That is right my friends, Shanghai Joe is a Western Kung-Fu flick with gore!

Shanghai Joe’s story is a simple one. Shanghai Joe is living in a Chinese populated area of San Francisco and decides he wants to journey to Texas and become a cowboy. Every single white person he meets is a complete racist douche bag. Shanghai Joe is a mellow fellow with a no nonsense but efficient style of kung-Fu that he unleashes on copious characters throughout his travels. There are several comedic moments and a lot of the action is pretty slapstick. The comedy works well for the most part, but there were moments that could have used a more serious tone. The cinematography is rather nice and the music from Bruno Nicolai is not screamingly original but it works quite well. Shanghai Joe is a likable guy who is easy to root for; although not exactly a charismatic hero his laid back disposition suits the character’s vibe. Shanghai Joe is well paced and has loads of fight sequences that include everything from fist fights, Kung Fu and shootouts to eye gouging, scalping and impalement. The following is a photo review for Shanghai Joe. There were two particular fight scenes I decided not to mention because they are just too awesome to spoil. And speaking of spoilers, there are some minor ones below…

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Shanghai Joe is on his way out of San Francisco heading for Texas.

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Shanghai Joe eats at a tavern and is ridiculed and taunted with racial slurs by a trio of assholes.

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These guys are looking for trouble.

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See what happens when you mess with Shanghai Joe?

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Shanghai Joe meets up with another group and tells them he is looking for work as a cowboy. They laugh at him and insult him than offer to give him a horse if he completes a couple of tests. Let’s just say, Shanghai Joe gets his horse.

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Another group who are initially decent to Shanghai Joe turn out to be Rustler’s of the worst kind; the kind that herd and abuse human beings. Shanghai Joe is a little slow to react but he does free some of the Mexican slaves.

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This man was a victim of the above Rustlers. Shanghai Joe gets him patched up and sends him on his way.

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Dressed all in white is Stanley Spencer; a wealthy and powerful Rancher pictured here along with his cronies. They manage to get their filthy mitts on Shanghai Joe!

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They throw Shanghai Joe into a bull ring for their amusement.

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Shanghai Joe meets Cristina the beautiful daughter of the aforementioned Rustler victim. She has come to warn Shanghai Joe that four men have been hired to kill him.

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Killer number one is a pretty furry guy!

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Killer number two is an unusual looking cat with a cool getup, but he does not prove to be much of a challenge for Shanghai Joe. This guy needed to worry less about fashion and more about fighting.

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Everyone wants to kill Shanghai Joe!

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Cristina has come down with Pneumonia and a kindly but quirky doctor from town comes to help.

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The good doc has the misfortune of running into Scalper Jack on his way back. Scalper Jack is of course gunning for Shanghai Joe.

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Scalper Jack lovingly stroking a prized scalp as Cristina is tied to the bed. Scalper Jack manages to unleash some hurt on Shanghai Joe.

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Spencer is running out of killers!

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Shanghai Joe applying acupuncture before he does a little self surgery.

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Cristina asks Shanghai Joe about his Fire Lotus tattoo.

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Shanghai Joe tells Cristina about his intense training to earn the tattoo. Three years in a temple and only himself and one other endured the process to the end.

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Spencer hires one more assassin to attempt to eliminate Shanghai Joe.

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Shanghai Joe accompanies Cristina to her village.

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I will use my skills only for good. Now I must bid you farewell.

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Mario Caiano

Starring: Chen Lee, Klaus Kinski, Gordon Mitchell, Claudio Undari, Katsutoshi Mikuriya, Carla Romanelli, Carla Mancini, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, George Wang, Federico Boido, Piero Lulli

CIRCUS OF FEAR (1966) – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, movies, UK with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2012 by goregirl

Not all circus and carnival fare is created equally. I figured I was in pretty good hands with John Llewellyn Moxey who directed City of the Dead. Add the appearance of Christopher Lee and Klaus Kinski’s names in the credits and that always alluring circus theme and I was ready to be wowed! Are you familiar with the term Krimi? I was not until recently; although I had seen some films that are in fact “Krimi Classics” I was not familiar with the term. The Krimi film movement began during the silent era and was particularly active in the sixties thanks to Rialto Films. The Krimi film movement are German made films based on the work of crime writer Edgar Wallace. Circus of Fear is in fact a UK film but it is also based on the writing of Edgar Wallace. Circus of Fear certainly seemed to have a lot going for it, but sadly it is pretty mediocre.

Circus of Fear opens with a robbery sequence where a guard is shot and a lot of money goes missing. Clues lead Scotland Yard to investigate a travelling circus. The Barberini Circus provides a host of suspicious and eccentric characters. The sack-wearing lion tamer, a jealous knife-thrower and a ringmaster out for revenge are just a few of the suspects. Circus of Fear is messy and convoluted. Somewhere under the rubble is an interesting story that just did not quite materialize. The film is rather horror-less and seemed more like an Agatha Christie sort of thing. Some of the visuals were sloppy. You can tell at times when stock footage is used and the scenes shot in the dark are very difficult to see. Christopher Lee wears an awful, cheap, crappy looking sack for most of the film that irritated the hell out of me. The sack was ill-fitted and the mouth and eyeholes were all wrong! I really hated that damn sack! Is the sack hiding a horribly disfiguring scar or simply his real identity? You will have to watch the film to find out, but don’t expect anything terribly surprising here. Sound was also a problem; it was a challenge at times to make out what the characters were saying.

Circus of Fear does have some fun characters and the performances are good. I particularly enjoyed Margaret Lee who plays the circus’ naughty beauty Gina, Leo Genn is strong as Scotland Yard inspector Elliot, Klaus Kinski has a minor role and doesn’t speak much but still manages to leave an impression, Skip Martin is most amusing in his role as Mr. Big and despite that stupid bloody sack, Christopher Lee is great.

Circus of Fear is not without its entertaining moments. The robbery scene that opens the film is energetic and well-executed. It made for an intriguing introduction. There are also a couple of scenes that are effectively suspenseful; but since there are so few I will not divulge. There is also some humour in Circus of Fear that works quite well. Circus of Fear is rather messy to put it plainly, but it has enjoyable bits scattered throughout to make it watchable enough. Circus of Fear is lightly recommended.

Dungeon Rating: 3/5

Directed By: John Llewellyn Moxey

Starring: Christopher Lee, Leo Genn, Anthony Newlands, Heinz Drache, Eddi Arent, Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, Suzy Kendall, Cecil Parker, Victor Maddern, Maurice Kaufmann, Lawrence James, Tom Bowman, Skip Martin, Fred Powell