"Each man has a song and this is my song." (Leonard Cohen)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Apache Blood (Key International Pictures, 1975) aka A Man Called She, Pursuit


The Worst Western Ever Made?






I said yesterday that there was one Western which really was total trash, indeed an offence to the genre.

I have so far reviewed over 100 Westerns in this blog, the good, the bad and the downright lousy. And there are hundreds still to come. I have reviewed trash spaghettis, Eurocrap 'Westerns', serials, B movies, one-reeler silents, low-grade pulp and made-for-TV dross designed to fill up the schedules. They all have something. There's a saving grace. The spaghettis had shocking color, lousy plots, Z-grade dialogue, appalling music and so on but maybe they had Lee van Cleef in the lead or one good shot of a horseman on a skyline. Something.

When I review Westerns, I give them a rating, from 1 to 5 revolvers. Mighty epics and towering leaders of the genre get 5. The Searchers, High Noon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, that kind of thing.

Outstandingly good films get 4: The Bravados, Winchester '73, Pale Rider.

Worthy efforts, well worth a watch or a DVD purchase, get 3. Films like Gunfight at the OK Corral, a good Randolph Scott Western like Abilene Town or a thoughtful oater such as Gunman's Walk.

As for 2-revolver pictures, they are maybe worth seeing by Western fans or have good features - maybe a fine actor or photographer, maybe a well-written screenplay that kind of thing, but they aren't top-drawer stuff that you need to have with you on a desert island. Some of them have fatal weaknesses. El Dorado, The Indian Fighter, Vera Cruz.

But everything gets at least one. After all, they have made a Western. That deserves a reward on its own. They have added to the genre. Maybe they tried hard or maybe they were just exploiting. It doesn't matter. A Western gets 1 revolver. All those spaghettis, Johnny Mack Brown B films, total turkeys like How The West Was Won or The Rare Breed. Anything.

Well, almost anything. Apache Blood, aka A Man Called She and Pursuit, is an extra-low-budget, very badly directed, boring film with rotten actors. It is almost a silent movie because there is little or no dialogue. Perhaps it was shot in VHS or perhaps the very low quality of the print I saw was a result of VHS being transferred to DVD. Anyway, it’s lousy.

The music is annoying.

A fat scout (Dewitt Lee) is pursued by a thin Apache (Ray Danton) and hobbles across Arizona for 89 interminable minutes. Danton is called Yellow Shirt because he wears a yellow shirt (but no trousers). There is a really stupid ending, then we are obliged to watch ‘highlights’ all over again in flashback.

It’s an ultra-low-quality exploitation flick with art pretensions that it dismally fails to live up to. It is the only film I have ever reviewed to receive no ‘revolvers' at all. You might think, well, if it’s that bad, I might watch it, for fun. Take my advice. Don’t. Just trust me. That way you won’t be mentally scarred.

 

2 comments:

  1. Your criticisms are valid, but the Ed Norton music score is worth studying.

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  2. OK, if you say so.
    The trouble is, to listen to it I'd have to watch the film again.
    Jeff

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