By Kay Kilingsworth
ROME – Europeans have always taken their Westerns seriously and a halfbreed has sprung up now to fill the demand: the Eastern Western.
The title, the equipment, the acting, the lingo is Wild West. 100 per cent the producers
Hope, but the shooting-by six guns and camera, takes place on the plains and in the mountains of Yugoslavia and Spain.
Two factors created the Eastern Westerns. The Westerns made in California and Arizona often tops boxoffice lists in Europe. Then film production is cheaper over here about one-third of the U.S. Western costs by one estimate.
So, with one more U.S. actors involved the result is Yugoslavia Westerns with such others as “Massacre at the Grande Canyon” and “The Tramplers”. The Germans were the first to act but now several Italian Yugoslavian productions are in the movie houses or before the cameras.
One man behind the films American producer Albert Band. For “Massacre” he had as star James Mitchum, son of Robert Mitchum and hopes to sign other U.S. players for another Western in Yugoslavia. Band said he made the film in eight weeks at a cost of $500,000.
Band hopes the Eastern Westerns will take over the spot held by the Italian made Hercules and Maciste spectaculars now saturating world markets.
In general however, Band thinks the Eastern Westerns will go the way of the Hercules spectaculars.
‘They’ll make too many and they won’t be good. But I’m in the business. One to make money, and two to make good pictures.