**** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- Whatever the Dirty Dozen Did They Do It Dirtier!
Release Date- February 8th, 1978
Running Time- 99-Minutes
Screenplay-Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Romano Migliorini, Laura Toscano, Franco Marotta
Director-Enzo G. Castellari
Starring- Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Peter Hooten, Michael Pergolani, Jackie Basehart, Debra Berger, Raimund Harmstorf and Ian Bannen as Col. Buckner
Released in 1978 this cult classic has gotten a new lease on life with the release of Quentin Tarantino’s movie under the same name just Bastards is spelled Basterds. Outside of the WWII setting the movies are quite different and Tarantino’s movie really isn’t a remake, but more inspired by if anything. I’ve only seen a couple of films by Enzo G. Castellari those being 1990 Bronx Warriors and The New Barbarians and while I didn’t hate either I wasn’t a huge fan, but one day I’ll revist them and see if I can get more into them, but due to that I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of The Inglorious Bastards, but in the end I have to say this was a great film that truly deserves a wider audience.
The plot focuses on a group of US soldiers being transported to military prison for various reasons and on their way the convoy is attacked by Nazis, which leads to the soldiers escaping and the plan it to head to Switzerland, which is neutral so therefore they can avoid going to prison. As they try and make their way the Bastards end up signing up for a suicide mission.
The screenplay by Sandro Continenza, Sergio Grieco, Romano Migliorini, Laura Toscano, and Franco Marotta is light on plot and for the most part it’s never really made clear why some of the Bastards are being taken into custody and I’m kinda surprised it took so many writers since there again really wasn’t much in the way of plot. However with that said while the characters lack depth they are all entertaining and really fun and the script also features some really funny moments as well. I can forgive the light plot since I really liked all the main characters; as I stated before sure they might lack depth, but they do have their own identities and I really got attached to them and it kinda sucks when any of them get killed. Despite the flaws of the script it still works well with great characters, which is at times rare for Italian cinema and again the script is also really funny at times.
As director Enzo G. Castellari crafts a great and action packed movie that is well-paced and the movie is always fun and never once does anything lag. Inglorious Bastards has constant action throughout and any lulls in the action don’t last long. Unlike most Italian flicks of this nature it’s actually not very graphic. It’s violent, but not very gory; Castellari does a great job with the action sequences as they are fun and exciting and while they’re over the top at times, but yet it feels like it could all really happen. When there isn’t any action, Castellari handles the characters well and always keeps the movie running at a really great and exciting pace. Like I said I really didn’t know what to expect since I can’t say I loved the other 2 movie I have seen by Castellari, but Inglorious Bastards is truly a great movie and reminds me again why I love 70s cinema and personally see it as the best era.
The casting of the movie is excellent, which helps elevate the movie and sure the characters might lack depth, but the actors make far more out of them and that’s why I stated before you begin to get attached to them even if you don’t know a lot about them. Bo Svenson as Lt. Robert Yeager is great in the role of the leader of the group and like always Fred “the Hammer” Williamson as Canfield is a standout. Even though I singled out Svenson and Williamson all the actors were great and really make you root for the characters.
Overall The Inglorious Bastards is a truly great film with amazing action scenes and some really great comedic moments and my only regret is it took me so long to finally see this film. Like I said it’s quite different than the Tarantino movie, but it’s just as good and dare I say even better. The Inglorious Bastards comes highly recommended and if you haven’t seen it what are you waiting for go now and pick it up if you love 70s cult cinema you won’t be disappointed.