A Town Called Hell

1971

Action / Comedy / Drama

84
IMDb Rating 4.9 10 445

Synopsis


Downloaded times
November 11, 2020

Director

Cast

Martin Landau as The Colonel
Robert Shaw as The Priest
Stella Stevens as Mary Jane
Telly Savalas as Don Carlos
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
893.8 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.62 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
95 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by marc-366 7 / 10 / 10

Confusing yet rewarding movie, straight out of the bargain bin

This film starts in spectacular fashion as a gang of rebels gun down the entire congregation of a church, young and old, including the priest. The barbaric nature of this opening continues throughout "A Town Called Hell". The majority of the movie is set in the Mexican town of Bastardo, which is under the leadership of Don Carlos (Telly Savalas). A hearse arrives at the gates, with an empty coffin and two passengers - Alvira (Stella Stevens), a blonde widower clothed in black, and her mysterious unnamed companion (Dudley Sutton). She is searching for the man that killed her husband, and offers Carlos gold if he will hand over the guilty man - who she believes to be named Aguila. The town priest (Robert Shaw), who we immediately recognise as one of the leaders of the rebels that carried out the massacre in the first scene, appears to have a knowledge of Aguila's identity. When the town is overrun by the army, also looking for Aguila, the Colonel (Martin Landau - the other rebel leader from the prologue) threatens to execute all the town unless the identity is revealed. The Colonel advises the Priest that he swapped sides, as the army provided better rewards than the rebels could ever offer. Much of the film centres on the strained relationship between Shaw and Landau's characters. Shaw's whiskey guzzling priest is particularly well played and likable, with a guarded past that is revealed throughout the film. Albeit a fairly short lived role (facing execution by one of his own men about half way through the film), Savalas' character is very enjoyable to watch, both calm but merciless. There are also small parts for Spaghetti regulars Fernando Rey and Aldo Sambrell. Whilst the film is pretty barbaric throughout, with the town's inhabitants showing little honour or mercy for their own kind (just ask Don Carlos!), it also has a dark and mysterious feel - particularly well portrayed by the widow and her mute protector. It is fair to say that I am often sceptical of a film's worth when I find a copy in a bargain bin or for £0.01 on ebay. I purchased "A Town Called Hell" for a single penny on ebay, and therefore thought it was likely to be a lesser western, and became even more sceptical when I discovered its British involvement (oh me of little faith, but I couldn't picture my homeland creating a western successfully). I was pleasantly surprised to find a well thought-out movie, with a well developed (if sometimes confusing) plot, and some great character acting. Well worth a view.

Reviewed by Squonkamatic 6 / 10 / 10

Grim, Brutal, Mean Spirited Euro Western Oddity

Not quite sure yet about A TOWN CALLED BASTARD as the widescreen version from Greece I saw was titled. It sure is something else, one of the most brutal, vicious, mean spirited films to come out of the Spaghetti Western years. A British and Spanish co-production, the film took the form of the languid, surrealist Italo Western and corrupted it into something else. The only film I can equate it with would be THE DESERTER, a similar British-Spanish co-production from the early 1970s that likewise is one of the most vicious and bloodthirsty Westerns ever made. I quickly lost track of the story: Telly Savalas plays some sort of crazed Cossack Mexican officer who drifts into a small border town, takes it hostage and proceeds to kill just about everyone, usually by hanging. They don't just hang the people however, first they are adequately (and often perversely humorously) humiliated, then swung out on a rope overhead from a massive scaffold that would have been right at home in a Hammer Horror Frankenstein movie. The hangings aren't just dramatic, they are staged with a flourish that is beyond theatrical to the point of absurdity. The chilling, disturbing crowd reactions of the captives below forced to watch become far more potent after a while. And speaking of horror movies the film has a decidedly strange, gloomy bent to it that has far more in common with a Spanish horror tragedy than any comic book Spaghetti Western with guys shooting their hats off. The film specializes in the Quick Cold Killing, where both supporting and lead cast members are dispatched with sudden cruelty and often without a seeming purpose. Other than piling the bodies up, which at the end of the film stretch across the screen with smashed rubble, burning debris and the survivors wandering around in a daze. There's some decent talent involved however. Robert Shaw steals every scene he's in as a principled gun runner turned priest, Martin Landau as a conflicted Mexican officer who's zeal for killing is a fragile mask of sanity, Stella Stevens as the woman with the past to whom they are all connected, and the great 70s character actor Al Lettieri, buried under makeup to the point that I wasn't quite sure what part he was playing. Plus a smattering of the great Euro genre film actors: Aldo Sambrell, Georges Rigaud, Charley Bravo, Chris Huerta, and Waldo de los Ríos provides the bizarre musical score that manages to incorporate Johnny Horton singing "Battle Of New Orleans" which likely resulted in a soundtrack rights issue that has kept the film more or less out of print in North America. But its a great song and the film's sole light hearted moment. And that's the thing. As the guy who I watched it with summed things up best, what would have been the audience for this film? Which is a question I also asked myself after suffering through THE DESERTER. Here is a film that is simply too vicious and cruel to be enjoyed as a time killer shoot-em-up, let alone watched by a general audience. It has more in common with the adults oriented cynical disillusioned 1970s American westerns like SOLDIER BLUE, who's commercial success likely inspired the producers to decide on making a sick, ultra-violent Western with a body count in the thousands. Something was lost at the production stage, however, and the film's story is too oblique to resonate beyond the on screen carnage. There might be a pretty interesting Zapata style Mexican Revolution Spaghetti here at its core, with lots of requisition flashbacks + larger than life grudges held by larger than life characters. The film also serves as an interesting counterpoint to the "Trinity" inspired comedy Spaghetti Westerns that dominated the industry after 1970. Its well made, has a perverse sense of macabre humor, and its always great to see Martin Landau & Robert Shaw, two of my favorite actors. Plus nobody ever said a Western had to be a fun, uplifting party movie. Its just that sometimes it helps. 5/10

Reviewed by Theo Robertson 6 / 10 / 10

Implausible And Blood Thirsty Story

I'm not going to write a synopsis for this movie because 1 ) Unlike many reviewers I don't normally write a synopsis 2 ) I'd have to understand a movie in the first place The problem with A TOWN CALLED HELL is that lot of things happen but none of them seem to tie in with the plot . The film opens with a bunch of Mexican revolutionaries attacking a town in 1895 then the story jumps forward to the same location ten years later where the revolutionary leader is now a priest and someone who the audience has no knowledge of rules the town in a similar manner to Mr Kurtz in HEART OF DARKNESS . A woman arrives offering a bounty for the body of the man who killed her husband . Other things happen that make little sense and the story is made even difficult to follow by characters continually appearing and disappearing . For example did Don Carlos live or die ? Your guess is as good as mine . We are also shown a lengthy flashback sequence and it only becomes obvious that it's a flashback after the fact This is a badly developed , badly edited and confusing movie but not one that is unwatchable . Indeed it's a fairly entertaining movie if you can stomach the sadistic attitude and what a lesser film this would have been without Telly Savalas executing everyone who gets in his way with the most memorable sequence being the hanging scene . Just a pity we never find out his fate for certain . Also of worthy note is the sentry getting killed via barbed wire and LOVEJOY's side kick revealing himself to be a mean assassin . Does this all sound very silly ? Of course but it's also entertaining in a morbid sense As a footnote this movie was often screened on British television under the title A TOWN CALLED BASTARD and the town is referred on screen as " Bastardo " so that title would be more accurate but I guess TV companies get a lot of complaints and now call it A TOWN CALLED HELL to save on the switchboard staff

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