Four of the Apocalypse / I quattro dell'apocalisse (1975)

2.0 out of 5

Surprisingly disappointing Lucio Fulci western. Despite the heaps of praise to be dodged from Fulci enthusiasts, and the positive word of mouth from fans of goopy westerns, it's hard to see what what all the fuss is about. Yes, there's humongous, torso-sized squibs, and the obligatory gorno-on-the-prarie atrocities. Plus the cinematography is easily the most spectacular of most Fulci movies, outside of a Roman studio interior substituting for a zombie-bulging American graveyard, a morgue, or some old house full of carnivorous spiders.

But the pace is tortoise-like, the characterizations barely surpass the usual drunk, whore, gambler stereotypes, and the climax dealing with childbirth in a man-town, though amazingly poignant for a Fulci movie, is ineffective and melodramatic.

Great soundtrack of hippie rock tunes and Tomas Milian's leering villain add some imagination and menace to the narrative's meandering road trip, but overall it's kind of boring. This, despite the Fulci abominations.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics