Finally, a review that I can give the prestigious half-star award to.
This movie sucked. I mean, this movie really sucked. There are movies that suck and there's this. Okay, I won't say it was Transformers bad, but this movie just has very little going for it that I actually kind of have to strain to find anything redeeming about the movie.
First of all, Italian humor. Perhaps the movie's terribleness doesn't just comes from piss-poor filmmaking, but the fact that a lot of Italian humor is lost on me. That's not to say that all Italian humor is terrible (although I am grasping at straws to figure out a really hilarious Italian movie. I know that there are a ton out there, but I just for the life of me can't think of any.) But this is the really bad stuff. This is the Italian television slapstick humor. On top of that, you place it in an American setting with the Spaghetti Western format and you get a truly awkwardly put together movie.
I think that the main problem comes from the fact that Bava, in no way, is a comedic director. Hitchcock always incorporated a little bit of dark humor into his films that always worked really well. As talented as Bava is (most of the time) when it comes to his horror films, his comedic moments are just god awful. There are practically groans resounding through the audience with his ham-fisted style of joking. The setups are obviously meant to be funny, but the delivery is far from great. I mean, look at The Girl Who Knew Too Much. There are clearly these jokey moments, especially concerning the marijuana cigarettes. But those moments just don't play as well as they should. Now just imagine that level of awkwardness all the way through this movie. Now add some zaniness. Zaniness is always my least favorite kind of comedy unless it is pulled off extremely well. I've only seen one kind of really zany comedy that worked well and those are Woody Allen's slapstick films. This is a movie that, if it wasn't for constant sex jokes and taped over nipples (seriously, that's when you do another take), this would be the same humor found in a Looney Tunes cartoon. But even the Looney Tunes manage to handle the story better.
I feel almost savage and like a bully addressing the plot, but since this is a review and I did give the movie such an abysmal rating, I feel I must. There really is this real loose feeling that there is a plot somewhere. I know that this is silliness on screen, but Bava portrays Roy Colt as a man with a plan to disrupt this gang of theives from getting to a buried treasure. He starts off the movie setting up group against group to break them up, allying himself with both factions. Too bad none that has anything to do with the movie and the characters get so off topic to fill in the less than an hour-and-a-half runtime that all that stuff is for nothing. We see Roy try to be this redemptive character but has no conflict about it and then just flip flops his character on a dime. I get it's spoofery, but give me something to care about. I mean, there is nothing here. There are stereotypes that we're supposed to laugh at because they have accents. The writing has nothing all that funny about it, but there are moments of "look, isn't this hilarious! He talks differently!" I just couldn't stand moments of this movie and I wanted to punch myself in the face at times.
I always say that it is really hard to review five star movies because it is hard to say what is truly great about a movie. I think absolute crap has the same effect. I can complain again and again about the very root of this movie being horrible and I could never convey how bad this movie is. All it would be about me complaining how bad this movie is. There's bad that's fun to watch and then there's just bad. This movie is just bad.