HATEFUL EIGHT CONNECTIONS

for Cinetalk.net

Upon the release of HATEFUL EIGHT you might be interested to look for these titles:

Cut throat 9 (Joanquin Luis Romero Marchent, spain, 1972)
Probably the major influence on HATEFUL EIGHT (notice the similarity of the title), this Spanish entry in the Spaghetti Western genre is from the early 70’s and was considered pretty violent for its time (patrons would receive a terror mask to hide their eyes upon buying a ticket). On a snowy mountain road with a group of chained-gang convicts, an army officer, accompanied by is (of course) beautiful daughter, must bare vicious attacks from a band of outlaws… It’s by no way a masterpiece, but it is entertaining…

Day of the Outlaw (Andre De Toth, US, 1959)
Director DeToth (House of Wax, Them) offers one his best films with this dark western, starring  Robert Ryan in the lead,  set in an unusual snowy settings beautifully shot in Black and white by the great Russell Harlan. A group of outlaws on the run comes into a mountain town to hide after a robbery gone wrong that left their leader (amazing Burt Ives) with a fatal wound. Aware of his inevitable death and conscious that his companions would not hesitate to make trouble in town upon his death, he sets (with Ryan’s help)  a trap that will leave his wild bunch caught in the infinite winter, a voyage trough the snowy mountains, hoping to eliminate them before his own death.

It is actually a film De Toth really wanted to shoot his own way, away from the Hollywood cliches of the time (he had to make a lot of routine westerns in the 5o’s). He was nearly sacked everyday of shooting by the producers for doing so, as he explained on the audio commentary of the DVD version.

The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci, Italy, 1968)
If Corbucci’s infamous DJANGO (1966) is filled with mud, this time, the star of the show is the endless snowy landscape. Famous French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant in a rare venture into the Western genre (Spaghetti Western that is) also stars (and he’s quite good)opposite our all time favorite Euro villain Klaus Kinski playing a nasty bounty hunter chasing every outlaws around before an amnesty puts him out of work . The film features one of the best non Leone western soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and a superb cinematography (when you can get hold of a decent copy)by Silvano Ippoliti. It should be seen in Italian with English subs, the best version. This is a great film.

The Thing (John Carpenter, US, 1982)
Once more, desperate humans in the snow…Trapped inside an arctic station, a group of scientists must face an Alien enemy which has the capacity to take the shape of what it touches. This sci-fi thriller is filled with some great old school visual effects by a very young Rob Bottin (Legend, Total Recall) and by legendary old-timer Albert Whitlock (Hitchcock’s films, Dune, etc). It also features one of the great US scores by Ennio Morricone. Part of this score is used as supplemental material on the Hateful Eight Score.

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