Friday, February 7, 2014

Cut-Throats Nine (1972)

You might want to get that looked at...

Cut-Throats Nine 
Review By Chris Bennett of Cannibal Reviews.

They don't make'em like that anymore, that's for sure.  Released in 1972 and directed by Joaquin Romero Marchent  (I Do Not Forgive...I Kill) Cut-Throats Nine is a Euro-Western that asks no questions and takes no prisoners. The flick kicks off with a short narration, Sgt. Brown (Robert Hundar) is kind enough to give us the rundown of the current situation.  Brown is leading a wagon with a chain-gang full of various offenders up through the mountains in hopes of reaching Fort Green.  Each convict has a life sentence for crimes ranging from rape, arson, to murder.  In other words the last place on earth you'd want to be is in the back of this wagon.

Richard Moll cameo?

Sure enough midway through their journey the wagon is ambushed by outlaws in search of Gold, when the bandits turn up zilch they destroy the wagon leaving the group to complete the journey on foot.  From here it's a game of survival.  Brown and his innocent daughter must lead the imprisoned outlaws through the mountains and suffer through the elements in hopes of reaching their destination.  While the sergeant might have a pistol and a fast draw, he's got seven blood thirsty criminals just waiting for the man to slip up.

Sorry bud, God might forgive but the gallows do not.

While Westerns are commonly thought of as taking place in a dry and dusty climate, Cut-Throats Nine is one of the few westerns that actually has a frigid, snow-filled setting.  On top of the chilling location, Luis Cuadrado's bleak cinematography plays a huge part in the film's unforgiving tone.  Like with most Euro-Westerns the music is a character unto itself.  Carmelo Bernaolo really did a number with this flick, while at times the score is fast paced and exciting, the tone drops and becomes downright eerie during the more desolate scenes in the film.  With Marchent's directing, Cuadrado's photography, and Bernaolo's score there's a definite triple threat at play.

It doesn't matter the genre, if you're wearing a Pamela Voorhees sweater you're likely going to get cut.

Cut-Throats Nine is a very intense western, while it does have some of attributes common with Spaghetti Westerns of the time (crazed convicts, flying bullets, and anti-heroes) it's surprisingly layered with enough twists and turns to please even the most seasoned western veteran.  For fans of the red stuff there's copious amounts of gore, in fact I think this might be one of the bloodiest westerns I've seen.  I know a lot of horror fans can be quick to write off the Western genre and I kind of understand.  The age ol' scene of a heroic cowboy and the recently-saved damsel riding off into the sunset is enough to turn my stomach.  But make no mistake, Cut-Throats Nine turns the mainstream western on it's head.  It plays by no rules but it's own.  It is not to be missed.

Crankenstein here, I've been a long time fan of Cannibal Reviews, one of the most hilarious and innovative sites on the web! Don't forget to follow them on FB and their Youtube channel, thanks Chris for the excellent review!

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