The Unholy Four (1970)

The Unholy Four (1970)
  • 325
  • Genre: Western
  • Release year: 1970 ()
  • Running time: 95 min
  • Original Title: Ciakmull - L'uomo della vendetta
  • Voted: 325

A gang of robbers sets a diversionary fire in a madhouse as part of their plot to steal a gold shipment. Four inmates escape together. One of them, an amnesiac, hopes to find out who he is and where he comes from. One of the robbers reveals his name, Chuck Mool, and other clues lead him and his fellow escapees to his hometown. There Chuck is reintroduced to his family. But then, maybe it's not his family.

1Leonard MannChuck Mool a.k.a. Ciakmull
2Woody StrodeWoody
3Pietro MartellanzaSilver
4George EastmanHondo
  • An unexpected gem of a film by 9

    Wow!I wasn't expecting much from this little known movie. I think it comparable to any of the spaghetti westerns and I must have watched nearly all of them now.After breaking out from a lunatic asylum 4 inmates band together. Chuck Mool has no recollection of his past prior to the asylum and the rest follow him on his quest to discover his true identity. Things don't go smoothly for the foursome but their friendship is strong.Excellent characters and acting, great story..but I don't want to give away the ending.

  • "Brainless" by 6

    After a jaunty, upbeat credits sequence, we cut straight to a bunch of bad guys who think it's a good idea to set fire to the local loony bin in order to cause a distraction while they rip off one hundred grand. Four of these lunatics escape: religious maniac Woody Strode, card shark George Eastman, some knife guy, and a guy called Chuck who has no memory of who he is or where he comes from.

    These four immediately head for the hills, which is just as well, because the locals are more concerned that they have escaped and less concerned with the missing money. So while the robbers are double crossed and some young upstart takes all the money, a bunch of bounty hunters stalk our four guys through the woods. Eventually some sort of plot starts to form itself, and it isn't centred around Woody Strode's organ playing and holy rolling.

    Turns out the town they all end up in has two opposing factions in it (as usual), and Chuck may have belonged to one of them. The bad faction however, once they discover that Chuck ain't got no memory, decide to convince him that they are his family and that it might be a good idea to go kill the head of the other faction – his own father!

    This film jumps crazily from subtle humour (usually involving Woody Strode or George Eastman), a wee bit of slapstick, and violent showdowns to the extent that most of the cast are dead by the end. There's also the young bad guy who puts the moves on his own sister that adds to the schizophrenic atmosphere. The showdown at the end is pretty good and you get a sense of the companionship that grows between the four lunatics. George Eastman, as usual, looks like he's having a lot of fun.

    That'll do.

  • An okay, if a somewhat slow, spaghetti western by 7

    This spaghetti western might have been the germ of inspiration for the movie "Four of the Apocalypse", which came out five years after this one. (Though both movies only have a few minor similarities in the end.) Anyway, while "Apocalypse" has in recent years been rediscovered and acclaimed, this one has mostly been forgotten. To a degree, this is understandable. As others here have pointed out, the movie is quite slow, not only taking a very long time to set up the plot and characters, but also that the last third of the movie drags at times. Strangely, even though the movie doesn't have all that much plot elements, not only are most of the members of "the unholy four" not fleshed out well, there's at least one plot thread that's unresolved at the end.

    But despite the sluggish pace, the movie does have its share of rewards. While there isn't a terrible amount of action, what there is (ranging from gun fights to fist fights) actually packs some punch, thanks to the skillful direction and editing. The musical score, while a little repetitive, is upbeat and pleasing to the ears. And while the movie is often slow and uneventful, it's a credit to the filmmakers that all the same things never get downright boring. While the movie isn't really all that memorable - I'm sure I'll eventually forget everything I saw in it - it does manage to engage and entertain the viewer while he or she watches it.

  • A Bit Slow At First, But Not Bad by 6

    Amnesiac Leonard Mann escapes from a sanitarium with fellow inmates Woody Strode, George Eastman, and Peter Martell. The four make their way to a town where Mann's father and angry brother are feuding with vicious rivals that try to use him and his state of amnesia for their own benefit.

    This re-teaming of Mann and Martell (after The Forgotten Pistolero) has an intriguing premise and a slew of familiar faces, but takes way too much time for things to heat up. Everyone involved has definitely done better.

    That being said, this isn't bad. The four leads have great chemistry and keep things fairly interesting. The direction by E.B. Clutcher (best known for They Call Me Trinity and it's sequel) is adequate enough and the final thirty minutes fairly good.

    The actress that plays Mann's love interest here, previously played his mother!

  • Acceptable and decent Spaghetti Western about a group of four convicts who escape from a mental penitentiary and face off lots of dangers by 6

    A band of tough gunslingers carry out a diversionary heavy fire set-up in a State Mental Prison as part of their scheme to rob a gold shipment in a bank of Dodge City . Meanwhile , four convicts escape together from a madhouse , these are the followings inmates : One of them is a young called Chuck Mool played by Leonard Mann , Woody Strode as Woody , Pietro Martellanza (as Peter Martell) as Silver and George Eastman (as Luca Montefiori and screenwriter , though uncredited) as Hondo . One of the escaped reveals his name , Chuck Mool , ¨a man without past¨ , as he hasn't records . Without memory , he gone back from a dark past and the three other convicts with reputation for being fast-guns help him to getaway and to find back bits of his existence . As the gang being pursued and chased by a sheriff (Enzo Fiermonte) and bounty hunters , they are detained but they get escaped . Later on , some tracks lead them in a small town that turns out to be the Chuck Mool's hometown , a location dominated by violent gangs and nasty gunfighters . In that place there are dangerous bands and two warring families led by Udo family and Joe Caldwell (Helmuth Schneider) family and their sons and hoodlums . Chuck is reintroduced to his family but things go wrong . There he learns that has been paid to avenge against nasty villainous , as he has to kill a wealthy owner , but then to be aware he results to be his father .

    This exciting Spaghetti contains noisy action , thrills , riding pursuits , shootouts , brawls at saloon in Hill/Spencer style , and turns out to be a passable Western and entertaining enough . There is a breathtaking final showdown between the protagonist , his friends and their enemies , as well as a dramatic result when things come to a tragic denouement . The picture is starred by Leonard Mann as the young man who has lost his memory , an amnesiac who hopes to find out who he is and where he comes from . Mann is good in his usual two-fisted role , he starred two classy Pasta western : ¨Gunmen of Ave Maria¨ and ¨Vengeance Is a Dish Eaten Cold¨. Other colleagues who escaped from prison are the followings convicts : George Eastman or Luigi Montefiori as his partner . Luigi starred as an extra but Italian westerns soon followed , usually under the pseudonym "George Eastman" . He once reportedly missed out on a role in a Franco Nero western because his height made Franco Nero look too short . As he performed several Pasta Westerns , such as : ¨Django Taciturno¨, "Django Sees Red" , ¨Keoma¨ , "Humpty Dumpty Gang" , "The Unholy Four" , and "The Three Musketeers of the West". Never quite "typed" , Luigi played some of them as main actor , others as secondary player . Soon moved into other film genres playing good guys , bad guys, and good-bad guys . These parts often exploited his athletic physique by having him remove his shirt, perhaps most memorably in Lina Wertmüller's Belle Starr (1968) . And the American Woody Strode who starred the John Ford classic , ¨Sergeant Rutledge¨ , and other Spaghettis as ¨Boot Hill¨ , ¨Shalako¨ , ¨The deserter¨ , ¨Keoma¨, among others . And Peter Martell who starred a lot of Spaghetti , such as : ¨Two Brothers, One Death¨ , ¨Two crosses in Condor Pass¨ , ¨Long day of massacre¨ , "His Name Was Pot... But They Called Him Allegria" and ¨Forgotten Pistolero" along with Leonard Mann . Charismatic acting for the whole support cast . Secondary cast is plenty of familiar faces from Spaghetti Western , such as : Luciano Rossi , Enzo Fiermonte , Remo De Angelis, Roberto Del'Aqua , Romano Puppo and the beautiful Evelyn Stewart or Ida Galli .

    Emotive as well as thrilling musical score by Riz Ortalani , this soundtrack is one of the best parts of the film , plenty of catching and attractive sounds , including an attractive leitmotif . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Mario Montuori . The motion picture was well directed by Barboni . Barboni was a good professional , a nice craftsman who directed various films of all kinds of genres . He began working as a prestigious cameraman who turned to filmmaking and creating the super hit ¨Tritiny is my name¨ , following ¨Trinity is still my name¨ and a third sequel : The troublemakers¨ , besides other Terence Hill , Bud Spencer vehicles .

1Mario Montuoricinematographer
2Riz Ortolanicomposer
3Enzo Barbonidirector
4Eugenio Alabisoeditor
5Franco Rossettiwriter
6Mario di Nardowriter