21 March 2010 | MartinHafer
My nominee for most god-awful soundtrack in film history,
Wow, did the soundtrack for this film stink...and I mean STINK! Imagine if the same person who scored some of the old Rankin-Bass Christmas specials got together with a guy who produces elevator music--that's what the music from this film sounds like! The horrible lyrics and music are completely wrong for an Italian "Spaghetti Western"--and are about as far removed from the great Ennio Morricone (who scored all the greatest films of the genre) scores as you can get. It's full of weird Lawrence Welk-style singing, weird European rock and whatever else they felt like haphazardly chucking into it. And, sadly music is one of the biggest reasons you'd want to see one of these Italian westerns in the first place. Because of this, I nominate this film for the most god-awful soundtrack in film history. If there's a worse one, I'd love to hear about it! Another big reason to see the films is the incredibly tough characters and style. This film stars the meanest and scariest of the bad-men, Lee Van Cleef. Yet, inexplicably, they decided to make this one a bit of a comedy!!! Lee Van Cleef in a western comedy?! That makes about as much sense as Richard Nixon becoming one of the backup singers for Diana Ross!! Van Cleef should NEVER, EVER be in a comedy.
The rest of the cast, apart from the no-name Italians who play most of the minor roles, is pretty odd as well. None other than James Mason co-stars (a guy who seemed totally out of place in the genre and sported a weird accent to say the least). And looking quite fetching, Italian star Gina Lollobrigida.
So, at the outset, this film had some pretty substantial strikes against it. Could the rest of the film overcome this goofiness?! Well, not really. While there were a few good moments, too much emphasis on bad comedy that fell flat was the film's undoing. One of the worst scenes that was supposed to be funny was the scene where the bad guys came to talk to the Federale commander and then began throwing dynamite about--it was sloppy, impossible to believe and not the lest bit entertaining. Overall, a bad film that just didn't work, the plot never gels and is clearly among the least interesting Italian westerns I've ever seen. Thank you Eugenio Martin for putting the BAD in "Bad Man's River"!