Friday, August 28, 2009

Inglorious Bastards (1978)

Inglorious Basterd’s mania has officially taken hold of me. I’ve got no less then three films lined up to watch, that I am viewing solely because Inglorious blew my God Damned mind so hard.

The first of these is naturally, the original Italian film Inglorious BastArds. The film which inspired Tarantino to so much madness. Staring Fred Williamson (Whose presence has caused the movie to occasionally be released as GI Bro) at his hammeriest and Bo Svenson, the original Bastards follows a bunch of American prisoners who hightail it to the Swiss border after the prison convoy transporting them is hijacked by Natzis.

While The Bastards eventually get roped into a noble cause, involving the capture and er, repurposing of a V2 rocket, but they take their damn sweet time getting around to it. And most of the film is them running riot over Nazi occupied France, kicking ass and/or taking names. For the first hour of its runtime Bastards is admirably anarchic. Not even paying attention to the scanty genre rules that govern exploitation cinema.

While I wouldn’t call the film a classic, it’s really at the end of the day a fairly likable Kelly’s Heroes rip off, it’s easy to see what attracted Tarantino. It’s exactly the kind of film he loves to promote, it works best as a collective of a few truly unbelievably stellar scenes, rather then a coherent whole. The film has a great energy, a raucous and irreverent sense of humor (such as when our heroes stumble across a platoon of Naked Ms. Master Races), a truly jet black cynical streak (Such as when our heroes accidentally execute a squadron of American soldiers), and one hell of a finale, that set it apart from the competition.

Like I said, there are some truly killer sequences in the film. Like the one, where a group of French resistance fighters who have blended in with the civilian population at a train station launch their surprise attack on the Nazis.

For a low budget film director Castellari creates a truly epic feel from some obviously limited means. As I mentioned before the finale is truly spectacular creating an epic half hour long, running gun battle with nothing but a train and two locations.

Bastard’s is a bloody, un PC, glorious mess. While it might not blow minds the same way that Tarantino’s Basterds does, it’s pretty much a guaranteed good time.


Adrenaline said...

I've been on a kick of checking out movies that helped lead to Basterds as well.

You do realize that that's not the only word in the title that's spelled wrong, right?

Evil Dead Junkie said...

Funny I missed that.

Yeah tomorrow my column on The Damned should be up. And After That, Cat People!

doug batchelor said...