My Name is Shanghai Joe (1973)

My Name is Shanghai Joe [Il mio nome è Shanghai Joe] (1973)
AKA The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe, The Dragon Strikes Back, Knochenbrecher im wilden Westen (literally translates to: Bone Crusher in the Wild West), Shanghai Joe, To Kill or to Die

Starring Chen Lee, Klaus Kinski, Gordon Mitchell, Claudio Undari, Katsutoshi Mikuriya, Carla Romanelli, Carla Mancini, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, George Wang, Federico Boido, Piero Lulli

Directed by Mario Caiano

Expectations: High, this one looks great and I’ve heard good things.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Usually in films where two distinct genres are mashed together, the end result is less than it could have been. In My Name is Shanghai Joe, I am happy to say that everything comes together in the best, most satisfying way possible. It is a western first, then a kung fu film, but it truly delivers on both levels. It is also nearly non-stop action, with Shanghai Joe moving briskly through the baddies in one great scene after another. I always go into mixed genre films with apprehension, especially ones that mix two of my favorite genres, but My Name is Shanghai Joe does it so well that I had an absolute blast watching it and will definitely be watching this one again.

There isn’t much of a plot to speak of. Shanghai Joe arrives off a presumably slow boat from China in San Francisco of 1882. He quickly buys a stagecoach ticket East to Texas. At every turn, Joe meets up with some of the most racist fuckers ever put onto celluloid, spouting shitty Chinaman jokes one after another. After working his way through tons of these bastards, Joe finally pisses off the wrong dude, who in turn hires four assassins to track down Joe and take him out. These assassins, with such names as Scalper Jack and Pedro the Cannibal, each go down in interesting and fun ways. My Name is Shanghai Joe is a revenge film, but not one to linger on the pain or the regret such killing might lead another hero to contemplate. Instead most of the scenes follow this general framework: Joe enters, the bad guys say some racist shit and attack, Joe fucking annihilates them. It’s truly gratifying to watch and literally never gets old.

Continue reading My Name is Shanghai Joe (1973) →

Django Kills Softly (1967)

Django Kills Softly [Bill il taciturno] (1967)
AKA Django Kills Silently

Starring George Eastman, Luciano Rossi, Liana Orfei, Mimmo Maggio, Peter Hellman, Spartaco Conversi, Claudio Biava, Federico Boido, Paul Maru, Antonio Toma, Martial Boschero, Giovanna Lenzi, Ilona Drash, Enrico Manera, Federico Pietrabruna

Directed by Massimo Pupillo (as Max Hunter)

Expectations: Low. I have hope going in to these clone films, but I’m not expecting much at all.


Django Kills Softly opens as a group of bandits ride up on a small family’s camp and murder them. Django comes down from a hill and kills the bandits that have stayed behind to loot the wagon. My first thought is that George Eastman is no Franco Nero. During the credit sequence, Eastman poses and smiles at the camera, clearly pleased with the good deed he has done. I knew then that this would be a different Django film, one that didn’t seek to actually use or expand on the character from the Corbucci film, but only use his name to capitalize on the success of the initial film and its drawing power. This Django doesn’t have a coffin or a machine gun and is more talkative and less dark. In fact, he’s only referred to as Django once towards the end of the film. In order to rectify this in my mind, I took to thinking of his character as a younger, more lighthearted version of Django, as if this was a prequel of sorts before things turned dark.

Continue reading Django Kills Softly (1967) →

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,593 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages

Shaw Brothers Martial Arts Films
Beach Babes from Beyond (1993)
Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000 (1994)
Alluda Mazaaka...! (1995)
Superman (1980)
My Top 10 Favorite Sam Fuller Movies
Virgins of the Seven Seas (1974)
Wheels on Meals (1984)