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.

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Uncle Jasper reviews: Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967)

Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! [Se Sei Vivo Spara] (1967)
AKA Django Kill

Starring Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock, Piero Lulli, Milo Quesada, Roberto Camardiel, Marilu Tolo, Miguel Serrano, Angel Silva

Directed By Giulio Questi


What better way to end our Fistful of Djangos film festival than with a film that has absolutely nothing to do with the original or its many rip-offs? Django Kill is a Django film in title only. Although far from perfect, it is a welcome change of pace as we feel Django fatigue beginning to set in over here at Silver Emulsion.

Django Kill is without a doubt the most graphically violent and flat-out bizarre spaghetti western I have ever seen. Initially it conjures up a supernatural tone much like that of Django the Bastard, but soon becomes so saturated in surreal imagery and dreamlike symbolism that it manages to transcend definition. Our hero, a half-breed Mexican who is only referred to as “The Stranger,” is double crossed by his outlaw cohorts during a gold heist. He is ordered at gunpoint to dig his own grave and is shot dead. Later that night he literally rises from his grave and is taken in by a couple of Indian mystics, who come to revere him as a deity, claiming that he has been one of the few who have managed to visit the land of the dead and return to our land of the living. They make him a collection of gold bullets to strike down his enemies with and accompany him to the next town, which they refer to only as “The Unhappy Place.”

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967) →

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