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El Zorro

Zorro the Fox
La Espada de Zorro / La Volpe / Zorro der Rächer / Zorro, der Mann mit der Peitsche

Italy 1968
produced by
Marino Carpano for Magic Films
directed by Guido Zurli
starring George Ardisson, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, Pedro Sanchez, Femi Benussi, Spartaco Battisti, Evaristo Maran, Gustavo D'Arpe, Gianni Pulone, Consalvo Dell'Arti, Grazia Fei, Gippo Leone, Aldo Marianecci, Ricardo Pizzuti, Gualtiero Rispoli, Ignazio Spalla, Paolo Todisco, Giancarlo Vignozi, Juan Valejo
music by Gino Peguri, cinematography by Franco Delli Colli


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Police chief Don Pedro (Giacomo Rossi Stuart) will do everything to expand his power, so he pans to have his district joined with the neighbouring one & take over control of both districts in the process, & he even has the local Alcalde in his pocket thanks to some handy blackmailing. However, that maksked man Zorro (George Ardisson) seems to stand in his way, in whichever direction it may lead to, spoiling tax-collections, shooting squads & the like ...

Nobody seems to know though who Zorro might be under his mask (it is of course mild mannered Don Diego), except for the local padre Eusebio, who's on Zorro's side, & American reporter John Gardner, who has his suspicions but keeps mum out of resoect for Zorro's ways & aims.

Don Pedro however figures that Zorro is a local aristocrat, so he sets Zorro a trap: he invites all the noblemen to a party at his house while he has the money from the last tax-collection sent out of town - unguarded.

So either the man who fails to show up at the party to hold up the money-transport is Zorro ... or, if the transport is not held up, Zorro is among Pedro's guests ...

But Diego/Zorro sees of course through a plan as feeble as this & shows up at the party, while sending a little timebomb with the money transport that will kill all the (apparently hidden) guards of the money transport, so that padre Eusebio (in Zorro's guise) can obtain the money easily.

Of course, Don Pedro is infuriated that his stupid plan didn't work, so he sets another trap for Zorro, by letting his sergeant Gomez tell everyone the whereabouts of one improtant document, that Zorro will just want to have, & then Pedro wants to shoot Zorro ... which works up to a point, as Zorro has contemplated this move on Pedro's behalf & worn steel-armour under his outfit, so comes out of the shoot-out unwounded ...

As this hasn't worked either, Pedro's methods grow ever harsher, as now he imprisons all the aristocrats until they sign a document that will ensure his power over his district & the next ... which the aristorats have no intention to.

But by some freak  coincidence, Don Pedro & his underling Gomez have forgotten to imprison Don Diego, who soon breaks his fellow aristocrats free ...

So there's only one thing left to do (is there ?): if the aristocrats won't sign his document to save their own lives, why not encarcerate their wives to force them ?

But by now, Zorro & his fellow aristocrats have organized a citizens' uprising, led by all the aristocrats in Zorro-disguises, & at long last, they defeat their opressors & Zorro fences down & kills Don Pedro.


A stupid little Western of course, shot less in the tradition of the more violent & ruthless Spaghetti-Westerns but has to do more with the wonderful simplicity of early 60's Italian peplums. As such, El Zorro is a totally forgettable film, that is very entertaining in a childish sort of way though.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD