Charge! [Campa carogna… la taglia cresce] (1973)
AKA Those Dirty Dogs, Los cuatro de Fort Apache
Starring Gianni Garko, Stephen Boyd, Howard Ross, Simón Andreu, Harry Baird, Teresa Gimpera, Alfredo Mayo, Helga Liné, Mirella Dogan, Enzo Fiermonte
Directed by Giuseppe Rosati
Expectations: Low. You never know what you’re getting with these.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
Charge! reminds me of my teenage years watching 6th generation bootleg prints of Hong Kong movies, the only real way to see those movies at the time. Not in any thematic way, instead it’s the “quality” of the print. This print of Charge! is so blasted out that blue skies are now blinding white, and rolling desert hills of brown look like the white-hot center of a nuclear blast. If you can get past some poor quality, though, Charge! is a fun western with loads of exciting action. Its story is meandering and somewhat disjointed, but it always keeps its eye on the prize: pure entertainment.
We begin our story as many westerns do, with a raid on an Army caravan carrying a shitload of rifles, ammunition and explosives. A bunch of Mexican bandits steal the supplies, kidnap the doctor’s daughter and ride off into the desert. The Army doesn’t take too kindly to this so they send out three men and a bounty hunter to take out the bandit leader/rescue the girl/recover the stolen goods. I don’t specifically remember if they were tasked with one of those or all three, and that should give you a good idea both of my interest level in the movie at that point and of the quality of storytelling on display.