Concorde Affair

The startling economy is established by editing. Bigwig Joseph Cotten shoots a clay pigeon, the Concorde takes a dive...


Cannibal Holocaust

The cannibals on Wall Street are swiftly identified from the Empire State Building and filmed on location in the Amazon jungle as The Green Inferno.

The lesson of John Huston’s San Pietro is not lost upon Deodato, his masterpiece is an incidental defense of the tribesmen he depicts.


The Barbarians

It’s hard to say where it was filmed, Europe, but of a fantastic prehistory or nonhistory, precisely the realm of fantasy. Everything is fresh and sharp with an odd glow about it in the wide views of landscape, sweeping hilly domains of grassland or rocks, umber or green, through which a parody of Mad Max races along in horse-drawn wagons of a gypsy tradition on some imaginary planet.

The evil technocrat has a small but unreliable crossbow. The twins of the title are massive men, jovial and worldly-wise to some extent, but capable of disputing at the close which is better, the hand holding the reins or the whip-hand.

One of Deodato’s guffawing comedies, a damn sight better than most anything going. Its only comparison is to the innocence of Russ Meyer and the sagacity of Andy Sidaris, but it isn’t to be categorized under any circumstances, except as the Comedy of the Higher Lunacy.




We Are Angels

Half a dozen feature-length films for Italian television. The money is in a briefcase hidden within one of the huge cardboard drums stacked in the warehouse of the Medina Ecological Center (a mobster’s front). Which one? A close-up reveals the sign on one of the drums filling the screen, a scrawled heart with Lupita inside it.

Orso (Bud Spencer) and Zack (Philip Michael Thomas) have escaped from a Costa Rican prison and are disguised as monks (Deodato is a poet and has read René Char, presumably: “Poesy will always be pre-eminently an escape, jail broken and assurance that that escape in long and murderous strides has succeeded.”). They’re walking along a careless street when hoods accost them in broad daylight, leading to a kung fu fight.

Ostentatiously pretty girls are a temptation to resist, for the nonce. The little steamboat on the jungle river is twice the size of the African Queen (two stacks, two decks). An airplane mechanic roars out of his hangar in an antique roadster, crashes and flies through the air, landing in a series of handflips, with a pithy remark at the last.

They rob a bank and encounter the joke from Cassavetes’ Big Trouble. The leader of the revolutionaries is named Napoleon, and wears a red beret and red epaulettes. Don Medina has a mean kick in his business suit.

The technique of Noi siamo angeli is relatively direct and straightforward (Deodato began with Rossellini). Zest and Italian New Wave comedy define the parameters.

The money is in a Bible. Orso and Zack all but weep at the smell of it. Zack kisses it, and looks up to God to give thanks.

Dollars is one of the great satiric film masterpieces, Zack and Orso stumble on a fortune in counterfeit $100 bills, His Excellency the President dispatches his secret police to commandeer the plates from an eccentric Leonardo whose workshop is full of parrot cages, the revolutionary leader Napoleon Duarte takes a hand at the Opera House.

Dust retails the discovery of gold on the riverbank near monastery and school and village, a dapper mobster seizes control, the monks and locals defend themselves.