Here at film fest HQ, we have one rule and one rule only: put the dvds in the spinner rack, give it a whirl, and let God sort it out. Except when we break that rule by picking a lot of Batman-related movies. But in the case of 1978's Inglorious Bastards (a.k.a. Quel maledetto treno blindato), it was chance mixed with luck and a dash of karma that led to our screening of the film.
It's the film Quentin Tarantino would probably call, "the film I will loosely base my next project on, except I'm stealing the name, the concept, and many of the situations from it too. Because it's Italian and it's awesome."
Here at film fest HQ, we watched the film in various states of nervous disquiet, wondering if Fred The Hammer Williamson would help the film live up to the potential expressed in it's tagline: "Whatever the Dirty Dozen did, they do dirtier!" And the film is just like The Dirty Dozen, except with half the men, and significantly less awesomeness. It's a poster child for the notion that a cool idea does not a good movie make.
If you haven't seen the movie, and you probably haven't, then we at film fest HQ want you to know what you're missing. It's a rag-tag band of POWs who end up fighting on behalf of the VERY ARMY THAT WANTED THEM LOCKED UP. During WWII. And with naked girls shooting guns. And that's not all, because, unlike The Dirty Dozen, Inglorious Bastards does climax with the storming-the-castle sequence. The storming-the-castle is just the middle, as the team of sleazy misfits goes on to blow up a bridge, steal an evil weapon of evilness from a speeding train, and confront the nazis in a showdown of not-really-all-that-epic proportions.
If any of that sounds like it would make a good movie, you're 35% correct. The other 65% of the movie is filled with filler moments on par with some of the lesser episodes of Baywatch Nights. If you like your silences awkward and your character interactions lifeless, then Inglorious Bastards will tickle your satisfaction glands.
Here at film fest HQ, we like it for its concept, but we don't really feel the need to screen it anytime soon. Although the soon-to-be-released special edition dvd looks tempting.
Next up: Shoot 'em Up (2007)