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A Town Called Hell

A Town Called Hell – 1971
They called it HELL … They called it VIOLENT and EVIL!

Robert Parrish
Irving Lerner

Richard Aubrey also story
Benjamin Fisz

Benjamin Fisz

Telly Savalas – Don Carlos
Robert Shaw – The Priest
Stella Stevens – Alvira
Fernando Rey – Old blind man
Michael Craig – Paco
Martin Landau – The Colonel
Al Lettieri – La Bomba
Aldo Sambrell – Calebra
Dudley Sutton – Spectre
Paloma Cela – Paloma
Maribel Hidalgo – La Perla
Cass Martin – Jose
Antonio Mayans – Manuel
Francisco Marsó – Julio
John Clark – Quiet American
Luis Rivera – Paco
Howard Hagan – American #1
Vicente Solar – Priest #1
Tito García – Malhombre
Elizabeth Sands – Carmina

Review by Theo Robertson

A Town Called Hell (1971)

Implausible And Blood Thirsty Story

I’m not going to write a synopsis for this movie because
1 ) Unlike many reviewers I don’t normally write a synopsis
2 ) I’d have to understand the movie in the first place

The problem with A TOWN CALLED HELL is that lot of things happen but none of them seem to tie in with the plot . The film opens with a bunch of Mexican revolutionaries attacking a town in 1895 then the story jumps forward to the same location ten years later where the revolutionary leader is now a priest and someone who the audience has no knowledge of rules the town in a similar manner to Mr Kurtz in HEART OF DARKNESS . A woman arrives offering a bounty for the body of the man who killed her husband . Other things happen that make little sense and the story is made even difficult to follow by characters continually appearing and disappearing . For example did Don Carlos live or die ? Your guess is as good as mine . We are also shown a lengthy flashback sequence and it only becomes obvious that it’s a flashback after the fact

This is a badly developed , badly edited and confusing movie but not one that is unwatchable . Indeed it’s a fairly entertaining movie if you can stomach the sadistic attitude and what a lesser film this would have been without Telly Savalas executing everyone who gets in his way with the most memorable sequence being the hanging scene . Just a pity we never find out his fate for certain . Also of worthy note is the sentry getting killed via barbed wire and LOVEJOY’s side kick revealing himself to be a mean assassin . Does this all sound very silly ? Of course but it’s also entertaining in a morbid sense.

As a footnote this movie was often screened on British television under the title A TOWN CALLED BASTARD and the town is referred on screen as ” Bastardo ” so that title would be more accurate but I guess TV companies get a lot of complaints and now call it A TOWN CALLED HELL to save on the switchboard staff

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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