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Scalps
Scalps - Venganza India / Sie kämpfte wie ein Mann / Es gehr um Deinen Skalp, Amigo!

Italy / Spain 1987
produced by
Isabel Mulá, José María Cunillés for Beatrice Film, Multivideo
directed by Bruno Mattei (as Werner Knox)
starring Vassili Karis, Mapi Galán, Charly Bravo, Beni Cardoso, Albert Farley (= Alberto Farnese), Lola Forner, Emilio Linder
story by Italo Gasperini, Richard Harrison, screenplay by Bruno Mattei, Roberto Di Girolamo, José María Cunillés, music by Luigi Ceccarelli

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The American Civil War has long been fought and won by the Union, but somewhere deep in the West, a Confederate Colonel, Connor (Albert Farley), still holds his fort. And since there are no more enemies, he sends his men to bring him Yari (Mapi Galán), daughter of the local Indian tribe's chief who's actually his ally. When the chief won't hand her over voluntarily, Connor's men massacre the entire tribe, only Yari escapes, is captured and tortured, escapes again, and despite her dire state, she makes it to Matt's (Vassili Karis) ranch. Matt doesn't like Indians ever since his wife was killed by them, but he can't let a woman be enslaved (and that's only the best that can happen to her) for no reason other than the colour of her skin, either. So the two of them try to make an escape over the mountains, and in defending themselves against Connor's men, Yari proves to be quite the fighter, too. She also likes to scalp her enemies, which turns Matt's stomach, but the two of them fall in love nevertheless.

Eventually, it's Matt who's captured by Connor and company, and Connor personally runs hooks into his breast and has him pulled through the countryside on them, in order for his screams of pain to lure Yari out into the open. But Yari's cunning, so instead of running into a blind suicide attack, she picks up Connor's men one by one guerrilla style and kills them off, using nothing but her knife and bow and arrow. So eventually, Connor is left rather defenseless when Yari runs two arrows into his breast, careful enough not to kill him, just so he suffers just like Matt, then she lets Matt handle him. With his dying breath, Connor confesses that it was actually him who killed Matt's wife, not the Indians - upon which Matt scalps him, just like Yari would.

 

Over the years, Scalps has garnered quite a bit of notoriety for its excessive use of violence - which just can't be ignored - but actually, the film, made at a time when the Western genre was anything but popular, is an ok, if undoubtedly violent and flawed, effort. It's ok because it's well-paced, features an interesting female lead character (something only the fewest Westerns have ever gotten right), an ok storyline with lots of action, and all the violence is well-rooted in the story. The film however is far from great, as apart from the female lead, the characters are all pure genre clichées, the acting is rather mediocre at best, and the film's scope is just a little too big for its subject. So no, this is by no means a classic, but for a Bruno Mattei film at least it's pretty good.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
Luana Ribeira, Rudy Barrow and Rami Hilmi
special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Vimeo

 

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

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
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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