Archive for mario caiano

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

Amanti d’oltretomba – NIGHTMARE CASTLE – The Dungeon Review!

Posted in horror, Italy, movies with tags , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by goregirl

nightmare castle“A mad, sadistic scientist on the loose!”

I count myself among Barbara Steele’s legion of fans. The strikingly beautiful woman is fascinating to watch and is amazing in everything she is in. Whether she is playing a naive noblewoman, a coy seductress, or a seething bitch she always delivers the goods. She definitely does not disappoint in ‘Nightmare Castle’.

Scientist Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith learns his wife Muriel is cheating on him. He tortures and kills both Muriel and her lover. Before she dies, Muriel tells him that she has changed her will and has left everything to her stepsister, Jenny. Arrowsmith marries Jenny in hopes of securing ownership of the massive property. He brings his new bride home from the hospital where she was being treated for mental instability. Jenny immediately begins seeing and hearing strange things in the house. Arrowsmith invites her doctor to stay with them and monitor her progress. But there is more than a fragile patient to contend with, in this castle of depraved experiments and torture. There may just be angry spirits hungry for revenge.

still from nightmare castle

Barbara Steele is outstanding in dual lead roles. As cheating wife Muriel, she is full of seething hatred for her husband. Equally strong, is her potrayal of sweet but unstable Jenny. Paul Muller is solid as the loveless and sadistic scientist, Dr. Stephen Arrowsmith. Performances from the small supporting cast are commendable.’Nightmare Castle’ is a Gothic Italian tale of obsession, madness and revenge. Its idea’s are grand enough, but the story wanders a bit. The dialog leaves little to be desired and is definitely the films weakest spot. Fortunately the execution is brilliant. The film is wonderfully moody and the black and white cinematography is excellent. Ennio Morricone’s effective but low-key score lends a great deal to the mood. The sets and costumes are stunning. There are some delightfully diabolical and unsettling moments, including a torture scene that was particularly racy for the time, and a twisted side story involving Dr. Arrowsmith and the maid. It is really Steele’s performance that elevates this one to a higher tier though.This is a must see for Steele fans and a pretty entertaining classic for just about anyone who appreciates black and white horror. Recommended!

Dungeon Rating: 3.5/5

Directed By: Mario Caiano

Starring: Barbara Steele, Paul Muller, Helga Liné, Laurence Clift, Giuseppe Addobbati, Rik Battaglia