Thursday, June 25, 2015


From pen of Karl May (one of ol' Adolf's along with an entire generation of kraut kiddies' fave writers) comes this western saga starring none other'n onetime Tarzan and Hollywood horny guy Lex Barker! Of course that's along with French actor Pierre Brice, both doing their second stints as Old Shatterhand and Winnetou respectively in this German-Yugoslavian production custom made for your Sunday afternoon mid-seventies UHF channel. And as far as these Euro takes on Amerigan westerns go well, as you would expect not only May but the Yugos did a pretty good job of capturing the ol' west feeling here, though the continental aura does kinda sneak into the mix as it is wont to do in these overseas affairs.

Well, at least it does to the point where I was kinda expecting to find an Orthodox church strategically placed somewhere in the background of the typically Wild West town where much of this moom takes place.

But hey, it's sure a whole lot better'n those faux westerns that were popping up on tee-vee inna nineties during that great big rush to recreate a form that had already been dead for a good twennysome years. As anyone with half a braincell would expect Barker's a typical aging Hollywood goodguy in this 'un and  Brice is even more noble than the usually noble Indians you've seen on tee-vee all these years, while Uschi Glas as the halfbreed gal Apantschi is pretty sexy to the point where you kinda wished that her native outfit would be one of those topless ones the kind you used to see Indian gals wear in those early-sixties noodie films. But you can't have any of that in a fambly pic, even if it is one made in Europe where anything goes (and it's comin' here faster'n you expect).

The plot ain't that much to sneeze at either, what with Asti Spumanti or whatever her name is being given a goldmine for her twenty-first birthday from her whitey father, who of course gets shot a good half-hour into the film when his conniving friends discover the secret. From there on the big time bad boys find out about it and from there on let's just say that the Wild West just ain't the same quiet li'l ol' place it usedta be.

Now it's a rip-roarin' rooty-toot with lotsa fighting, shooting, knifing and other fun things all kids like to do, complete with the expected plot twists, nerve-twisting cliffhangers and other things that never did quite make it with the Pauline Kael Fan Club types you still see around. It's a funny 'un too, especially during the points where the soundtrack slips back from dubbed English to the original German and suddenly Winnetou's singing an old Teutonic folk song, not to mention the time Shatterhand goes from his Amerigan accent to a German that would have done Erich von Stroheim proud!

I guess if you like LUCKY LUKE and a whole barrel of those French western comic novels that have been talked about plenty o'er here in Ameriga yet barely read by us locals you'll like WINNETOU UND DAS HALBBLUT APANTSCHI a whole lot more'n alla those sophisticado alternative amerindie bloggers I have to compete with most certainly would. And as you all know, that's a fact!

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