Review by 42nd Street Pete
1978 - Directed by Enzo Castellari. Starring Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Jackie Basehart, and Ian Bannen. DVD by Severin Films
This release got a lot of hype as the film seems to have given Quentin Tarantino a woodie as he’s going to remake it. I had never seen it in the theaters and never had the desire to see it up until this point. Severin did a great job with the transfer and extras. I watched the film, which was pretty good, but the extras actually were better , especially the documentary, Train-Kept-A-Rollin’, where I actually learned a lot about Italian action film making.
Bastards is about a group of American prisoners being taken for sentencing. The convoy is strafed, killing most of the prisoners, but five escape. Being that the tagline is “ Whatever The Dirty Dozen Did, They Did it Dirtier”, you wonder why the film wasn’t called The Filthy Five. Oh, yeah, that’s a lost Andy Milligan film, sorry.
The five that survive are a Lieutenant( Svenson), a killer (illiamson), a mob guy, a forger/hustler, and a coward/mechanic. They decide to go to Switzerland to ride out the war. They find a German deserter and use him to get by the other Germans. This plan goes awry when they mistake a group of American commandos for real Germans. The deserter is killed and the commandos wiped out.
The French Resistance finds them and thinks they are the commandos. A Colonel Buckner arrives, a lot pissed off that his specialists have been killed. They were supposed to take out a train with a super bomb on board. The Lieutenant convinces Buckner that he and his boys can do the job. Now its all action as the “Bastards” take the train.
Castellari is one of great Italian action directors and “ The Inglorious Bastards “ is probably his most famous work. This is a three disc set . Like I said , the transfer is excellent, the extras are very cool and informative, and some of the key players share their thoughts about working on the film. This was Fred Williamson’s first Italian film. He said that he knew that he would be box office over here and did a lot more films in Italy. Svenson, on the other hand, said that he stayed too long in Italy and that caused his stock to drop in Hollywood.
To sum it up, this is a great set from Severin Films and I hope to see a lot more from them in the future.