Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Hannie Caulder

Hannie Caulder (1971)
Dir: Burt Kennedy
Staring Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Christopher Lee, Jack Elam, Ernest Borgnine, Strother Martin

After three bandit brothers kill her husband and rape her, Hannie Caulder (Welch) vows to track three men down and have her revenge.

 Hannie Caulder is a interesting film, it's a British production that tries to ape some of the styles of the Italian spaghetti westerns. There cast members and moments that remind you of Hollywood westerns, but there's also violence that seems more like the Italian films. But it all comes together in a very odd but entertaining way.

What's oddest about the movie is how it handles the villians. They are introduced in a silly way, acting like the comic relief normally acts in a film, shades of Burt Kennedy's earlier Support Your Local Sheriff and Gunfighter films. then they stumble upon the Caulder Ranch and after gunning down Hannie's husband, they see Hannie and attack her, and with the film presenting a burtal rape scene. The rape is shot in a way that focuses on the faces of Hannie and the three brothers, her face is one of agony, and theirs is exciting pleasure, but the as scene goes on it makes the bandits appear as monsters. But then when they leave the film goes back to presenting them as goofy comic reliefs, which is a bit jarring. What's odd is that the poster presents Hannie sitting with her three attackers, making them look like some sort of odd gang, But having to sit through the harrowing attack at the beginning of the film, it makes then ending when Hannie finally gets her revenge that more impact. And then there's the character of the Preacher, that appears near the end of the film and really just adds to the views questions about what is going on in the movie.

Raquel Welch was never considered a great actress, but she's good in this movie, probably better than she was in any other film. But most of her scenes are with Robert Culp, who is really the strongest performer in the movie and why most of the film works as well as it does. He's a bounty hunter that encounters Hannie after her attack, and agrees to teach her the skills she needs to get her revenge. Another bright spot is Christopher Lee's gunsmith, he gives the film a bit of warmth in the midsection.

Another odd bit about the movie is that after her attack, Hannie spends a chunk of the movie wearing just a poncho. Later she gets a pair of pants, but no shirt. She just keeps on wearing the poncho. But then again, people went to see Raquel Welch's movies for her sex appeal, and that's odd since you'd think that she'd want a bit more clothes.
Really though, if you can make it past the harsh opening, Hannie Caulder is a really good movie. It's always entertaining, and really it's worth checking out for the weirdness.

No comments:

Post a Comment