Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mario Bava's Knives of the Avenger

How many remakes of Shane have there been? Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider, there was a terrible science fiction movie I can't remember the name of about a warrior who helps some futuristic farmers and teaches their young son to meditate by standing on his head. And I would count Sling Blade.There was a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, Nowhere to Run.

And here's another one: Mario Bava's Viking movie, Knives of the Avenger, available for instant viewing on Netflix.

Cameron Mitchell as a Viking who fights mainly by throwing knives befriends a widow and her young son. There's a scene where a dog in a bar, sensing that there's going to be trouble, gets up and slowly walked across the room to a safe place like the dog in Shane.

Shane wasn't very violent compared with this. Even the kid is violently attacked a couple of times.

Sling Blade was the only one that understood that Shane was a killer and that Joey really shouldn't have been hanging around with him.

One writer put Shane in a category with two other de Wilde movies, Hud and All Fall Down, where he plays a boy who idolizes a man he shouldn't. 

If you ever want to remake a samurai movie, it might make more sense to do it as either an Ingmar Bergman-like medieval Swedish movie or an American hillbilly movie. People keep remaking samurai movies as Westerns and it never comes out quite right.

According to imdb.com, it was filmed in six days, perhaps helped by the fact that the Italians didn't record live sound. All they had to do was get the visuals right. They didn't have to do retakes for flubbed lines.

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