HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
   
 
Newest Articles
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
   
 
  Hannie Caulder Gunfighting gets glam as Welch heads WestBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Burt Kennedy
Stars: Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, Strother Martin, Christopher Lee, Diana Dors, Stephen Boyd
Genre: Western
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Brutish, bumbling outlaws, the Clemens Brothers - Emmett (Ernest Borgnine), Rufus (Strother Martin), and Frank (Jack Elam) - botch a bank robbery in a sleepy Mexican village. Fleeing the bloodbath, they happen across an isolated relay station where they murder the owner, then while away the evening taking turns raping his beautiful wife, Hannie Caulder (Raquel Welch). The next morning, poor, battered Hannie wanders the wilderness, with only a self-fashioned poncho to cover her naked body. She eventually encounters enigmatic bounty hunter, Thomas Luther Price (Robert Culp) and persuades him to teach her how to shoot a gun and thus take revenge.

A case of : nice poster, shame about the movie. Any exploitation fan who has seen those tantalising production stills with lovely Raquel wearing nothing but her gun-belt and poncho might salivate over the prospect of a Barbarella-style take on the spaghetti western, while feminists might anticipate a roaring rampage of revenge. Sadly, we get neither. Hannie Caulder is a curiously listless, mishandled movie that limps along from one uncertain encounter to the next and wastes a committed performance from Ms. Welch. Nonetheless, it was something of a prestige project for Tigon Films, the British exploitation outfit who cranked out Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968) and The Beast in the Cellar (1971), but also occasional gems like Repulsion (1965) and Witchfinder General (1968).

Producer Tony Tenser had long dreamed of making a western and roped in a few stars to make eccentric cameos. Hence we have Diana Dors as an aging prostitute, Christopher Lee (who was similarly enthusiastic about being in a western) as a Spanish gunsmith, and Stephen Boyd as a mysterious preacher. Shot in Spain, both the locations and the revenge-based storyline lend it a spaghetti western air, but Tenser’s ambitions are scuppered by writer-director Burt Kennedy’s obvious discomfort with the material. Kennedy made a few lively westerns, including The War Wagon (1967) and his two excellent spoofs Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) (wherein bug-eyed Jack Elam delivers one of the funniest last lines ever), but is on record as saying he could not believe in a female gunfighter.

Kennedy seems almost contemptuous of his heroine. Hannie initially can’t pluck up the nerve to shoot and when she does often misses and even winds up wounded for her trouble. This lack of belief extends to the film’s uncertainty of tone, which wavers from grimy realism, to misjudged slapstick and sexploitation. Memo to all exploitation filmmakers: rape is not sexy. Kennedy’s decision to play Hannie’s rape as a piece of slapstick buffoonery (little Rufus keeps getting thrown outside and missing his turn. Yuck.) is particularly odious and he seems more comfortable indulging the would-be comic scenery-chewing of Messrs. Borgnine, Elam and Martin than crafting a convincing heroine. He opts for some Sam Peckinpah-style slow-mo for a few shootouts, but they leave the action scenes lumbering and unintentionally comic.

Robert Culp is vaguely interesting as the bearded, bespectacled bounty hunter, but his relationship with Hannie is scarcely developed within the scant running time. Culp was lured into the Tigon fold with the offer of a three-film deal and a chance to direct. Needless to say, that never happened at Tigon, although he did make his only film as director the next year: Hickey & Boggs (1972), which is every bit as weird a detective thriller as Hannie Caulder is a western. As for Raquel Welch, she finally proved she could play a convincing western heroine in The Legend of Walks Far Woman (1982), although there the tone was sober realism and certainly not sexy. At least we have those production stills. A bawdy spaghetti western with a sexy, half-naked heroine isn't a bad idea. If only filmmakers could get it right.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2775 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: