Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Beyond Naschy #19 - WHITE COMANCHE (1968)


In 1968 westerns were being churned out by the dozens in Europe. The huge success of Sergio Leone's Dollar films had stoked a fire for the genre that had been little more than cooling embers. When those Clint Eastwood star making movies helped turn a samurai film into Italian gold every European producer with access to horses saw a fortune in them thar oats. Just sign up an American (or Canadian) star (or two, if cheap enough), build some clapboard shacks, strap on six-guns and ride, baby! Enter William Shatner. On a break from shooting Star Trek he travels to Spain to make WHITE COMANCHE and, from his own accounts, is miserable the entire time. But did great art come from his suffering? We shall see!

Of course, the reason we are covering this odd Euro-Western is because it is a Spanish production and it stars several actors we have seen before in the films of Paul Naschy. The lovely Rosanna Yanni, the saucy Perla Cristal, the deadly Victor Israel as well as the amazing Barta Barri turn in excellent performances here showing real talent and professionalism. And I'm sure the fact that nearly all of them got to share scenes with the legendary (slumming) Hollywood actor Joseph Cotton had to be a career highlight. Cotton plays the town sheriff in what is easily the best role the script has to offer. Every scene he is in is better off for his presence and his skill elevates some sequences to a place the director rarely could manage on his own. And did we mention the inappropriate score? This is a film with much to talk about.

We close this episode out with a few pieces of mail that come packed with some interesting information. One alerts us to a source for a bootleg NIGHT OF THE HOWLING BEAST disc while another points to some connections between COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE and Hammer's Karnstein Trilogy. The horror geekiness is in high gear in this one, folks! If you have any comments or questions please write us at naschycast@gmail.com or join us on the Naschycast Facebook page for occasional updates and links to things of interest for Spanish Horror fans. Thanks for downloading and listening!








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