Guns Of The Big Shots / Quelli che contano (1974)

2.0 out of 5

Those deviants who like their 70s Italian crime films on the sleazy, misogynistic side will have plenty to enjoy in this very loose retelling of Dashiell Hammet's Red Harvest. Here, nothing much original is added to killer Henry Silva's mob enforcement tasks except for some sloppy flashbacks--all of which reveal only more confusing exposition. Silva gets to whistle in between shooting bad guys through the forehead for most of the movie's running time. There's also more colorful extracurricular activities, like running over dead bodies with a steamroller, sodomizing Barbara Bouchet in a kitchen, and beating her with a belt in a lovely barnyard sequence. Even more unappetizing sex occurred between a ganglord and Bouchet, where the man's grotesque, premature ejaculation is accompanied by some forced dirty verbalizing in bed. Blechh. Almost makes you feel like you're watching out-takes from Lucio Fulci's nauseating New York Ripper. Silva is in good form here, especially in the violence department, but all the sex makes for a repugnant experience. Unless you're into Henry Silva S & M posturing. A great background performance by a chicken can't help things anymore than the movie's beautiful Sicilian village locations. Even some of the slow-motion squib-work is inept. Opening theme song is splendid, though, sounding somewhat reminiscent of an old UFO tune complete with Michael Schenker guest-starring. Next to the great Rudy Ray Moore, Silva is, undeniably, the best pronouncer of the word "motherfucker!".

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