Friday, February 20, 2009

Spaghetti Western Review


DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK (VIVA LA MUERTE...TUA!) 1971 d. Duccio Tessari
Eli Wallach, Franco Nero, Lynn Redgrave, Eduardo Fajardo, Victor Isreal, Dan Van Husen
This one really needs a good DVD release. To my knowledge it's only available on an old VHS tape called DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK, with animated asses (donkeys) wiggling their behinds, totally out of character with the film, which is an action filled Eurowestern by the director of the popular Ringo films, Duccio Tessari. Franco Nero plays another of his European adventurers, this time a Russian, who is seeking a lost treasure. Eli Wallach portrays another version of his popular "Tuco" character, this time once more a Mexican after playing the Greek version in ACE HIGH. Throw in Lynn Redgrave (slightly out of place in a spaghetti) as an Irish revolutionary and you have a film that is reminiscent of Sergio Corbucci's two popular political westerns THE MERCENARY (1968) and COMPANEROS (1970), both of which are superior to this. However there's a lot to be said for LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH, especially since it's so hard to find; you'll find the search worthwhile, and in the meantime let's hope Anchor Bay, Wild East, or Blue Underground release a definitive DVD version! UPDATE: Wild East has just announced a widescreen release in English, coming soon!

4 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward excitedly to a good DVD release of this. Years ago I compiled a complete version using two different English language video releases - one from Canada under the title LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH and the U.S. Magnum release DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK - and an Italian language VHS. None of these tapes had the proper aspect ratio so to see it properly presented will be a dream come true.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree. I hate most of the comedy Spaghetti Westerns but this one works and is actually funny. It's able to combine a good story, plenty of action and just the right mix of humor that doesn't go as far as slapstick. I saw the DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK version at Bill Connolly's home years ago and own the LONG LIVE YOUR DEATH video. Wild East / Franco Cleef are you listening?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tom, you must not have made it to the end of the review where it's revealed that Wild East is releasing their version "Coming Soon"!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I actually saw this in the theatres when it was originally released and didn't know what to think of it as it was so different from the other spaghettis I had seen up to then. Yep, a good dvd release is long over due.

    ReplyDelete