HOUR X SUICIDE PATROL (1969)
DIRECTOR: Gaetano Quartararo
CAST: Pierre Richard, Gordon Mitchell, Luciano Catenacci, Massimo Righi, Luciano Catenacci, Jacque Stanyslave and Katia Moguy.
The only film directed by minor Italian actor Gaetano Quartararo turns out to be one big bore. It's no small wonder he never directed again.
The film has a very loose plot, concerning some American commandos who stay behind on a Greek island to wreak havoc on the German invaders.
A really lousy and boring excuse for a movie, with little acting talent presented and almost no plot. The film features a couple of decent actors, including Gordon Mitchell in a throwaway role as a stereotypical, tough Army sergeant. Pierre Richard (HELL IN NORMANDY) is very wooden as the American commander. And I think that's Pierre Richard in the lead as the US officer, but I've not seen him in a film before. Massimo (Max Dean) Righi from THE BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN pops up a few times, too. At least, I THINK it's Massimo Righi, that's only name I could match from the credits with a face. Watch also for familiar Euro-actor Luciano Catenacci in a minor role (well, every role in the movie is minor since it's so SHORT) as another commando. Jacques Stanyslave (VON RYAN'S EXPRESS) is on hand as well.
What really galls me about this movie is that it's under 90 minutes long, and about a fifth of the running time is taken up by pointless stock-footage sequences. The commando group is huge, which gives each character only a few lines of dialog, and then the film wnaders around the monks they hang out with and the Germans, too! I mean, the script has no focus, so it's hard to really be involved with what's going on.
Secondly, there's hardly any action to keep the proceedings the least bit exciting. There's one quick, boring and and unsurprising shootout near the end which resembles - well - a fortress-storming scene from any other movie.
Quartararo tries to make a commando movie, which had already been done too many times by aspiring film directors. It was his first and only directorship; you'd think he do something original rather than rip off other, better works?
Saw this on a decent video from ZIV International. The colors are dull and a little out of focus, and there's occasional HUGE flurries of speckles and scratches, but it's an acceptable transfer.
Try to engage yourself to the awful romantic music score. Strain your eyes for a familiar face in the cast. Listen for some well-dubbed dialog. Look for a character you can relate to, at all. Try not to fall asleep as the lack of action drives you insane. Really, it's a boring movie. At least it's not as bad technically as BRIDGE TO HELL , but if it puts you to sleep it's just as bad.
Sorry that this review repeats itself. But there's not much to say about this movie.
SGT. SLAUGHTER'S RATING: 2 Bullets