Tuesday, September 22, 2009

At least you bastards can spell

Today I watched Quel maledetto treno blindato (aka Counterfeit, aka Commandos, aka Deadly Mission, aka G.I. Bro, aka Hell's Heroes, aka The Dirty Bastard, aka The Inglorious Bastards) from 1978, directed by the Italian Enzo G. Castellari and starring the very cool Fred Williamson (From Dusk till Dawn) and a bunch of other guys I've never heard of and probably never will again. It's supposed to be the movie that inspired Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, so naturally I was curious. I guess 'inspired' is the right word, as the two movies have very little in common, plot-wise. What they do share is this: they both take place in Nazi-occupied France during the 1940's, and they're both about a group of American badasses who fight Nazis. Only the badasses here are a bunch of prisoners (murderers, thieves and deserters) that escape after their transit is attacked and find themselves supporting the war effort anyway by taking over a secret Nazi train. So is Quel maledetto treno blindato a good movie? Of course it isn't, but I guess that's not the point here. This movie is all about the kind of good old fashioned exploitation cinema that certain Italian directors used to specilize in during the '70s. I'm not a fan of military flicks in any way, but I have to admit that I somewhat enjoyed this one. The characters aren't very original, but there were enough explosions and guns (and gun wounds) to keep me interested. The budget was obviously pretty low, but they did go for a couple of cool matte shots and some miniature sets, which was nice.

Go ahead sweetheart, blow my brains out

The coolest scene, however, was the one in which our bastards come across a group of German girls skinny dipping in a lake. The bastards jump in and join them, and the friendly young ladies seem pretty hospitable at first, but as soon as they realize that their guests are Americans all hell breaks loose, and as we all know naked chicks + machine guns = big fun. Planet Terror had the right idea (the smoking hot Rose McGowan with a gun for a leg), but where was the much needed nudity? What's the point of having a nice young lady using a great big gun if she's got clothes on? Modern filmmakers can be such pussies sometimes.

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