Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Halloween 2023


31 Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Walter Battistelli

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Walter Batistelli was an Italian child film actor born sometime in the 1960s. Unlike most child actors Walter later worked behind the scenes as a set designer and in special effects. His film career consisted of three films from 1973-1975. Two of those films were Spaghetti westerns “Kid il monello del west” (Bad Kids of the West) in 1973 directed by Tonino Ricci starring Andrea Ballestri and “L'ostaggio” (Young Guns Go West) in 1975 directed by Luigi Valanzano starring Claudio Aponte and Aldo Ballanti.  Walter played ‘The Left-Handed Kid’. He was slated to appear in another Spaghetti western “Zorro the Kid” in 1978 but the film was never made.

The last mention of him was in 1982 where he worked on special effects on “1990: I guerrieri del Bronx” (1990: The Bronx Warriors) directed by Enzo Castellari and starring Mark Gregory and as set designer on “ Sangraal, la spada di fuoco” (The Sword of the Barbarians) directed by Michele Massimo Tarantini which starred Pietro Torissi, Yvonne Fraschetti and Mario Novelli.

BATTISTELLI, Walter [Italian] – SFX, film actor.

Bad Kids of the West – 1973

Young Guns Go West – 1975 (The Left-Handed Kid)

Zorro the Kid – 1978 [Film was never made.]

Covarrubias bets on housing the legacy of Simi and Sad Hill

 The City Council and the family of the Italian set designer, author, among others, of the design of the cemetery of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', take the first steps to create a museum where his work can be exhibited

Diario de Burgos

October 18, 2023

[Guiditta has seen first-hand the space in which work is being done to house this collection with the help of the municipal architect, Javier Sánchez, and the councillor Yolanda Cuevas.]

The Sad Hill cemetery travelled, and continues to do, the Arlanza region around the world through The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. A film set that Carlo Simi designed more than half a century ago and that hosted the filming of one of the most iconic scenes in the history of cinema, not only of the western genre. Although it is perhaps one of his best-known works, the Italian architect and artistic director had a long career creating and drawing sets, costumes and props for directors such as Sergio Leone, Corbucci and Sollima in numerous films. An interesting and valuable material that could have as its final destination Covarrubias, where steps have begun to be taken to create a museum to house his legacy.

After some of these documents were exhibited in cities such as Los Angeles, Rome and Paris, the family discovered the public's interest in Simi's work and began to consider the possibility of creating a permanent exhibition with all of it. The destination was clear to them, the Arlanza region, partly thanks to the trust generated in them by the people who have worked on the recovery of the cemetery.

Fate, as Guiditta, Simi's daughter, cited, has made Covarrubias the place where this museum could be. "I also have a special bond with this town, since I was conceived at the Hotel Arlanza in the summer of filming," joked the woman, who has been able to see first-hand the space in which work is being done to house this collection, the so-called San Tomás square, a disused building next to the church of the same name and whose cession for the next 100 years has been requested from the Archbishopric by the of the City Council.

[Carlo Simi’s daughter, Guiditta, and Joseba del Valle, one of the protagonists of the documentary “Unearthing Sad Hill”.]

With the help of the municipal architect, Javier Sánchez and the councillor Yolanda Cuevas, he toured the building, structurally in good condition, with stone walls and wooden beams that offer a very western aesthetic, but which needs a good reform. "Nice molto," he said almost at every turn, worrying about what the lighting would be like and whether the plans and drawings could be hung on the stone walls. Also photographs of the filming or those that Simi previously took of the locations to later make the designs.

Between cinema and reality. The most advanced aspect of the project is the design of the building, as the architect later presented, enthusiastic about this museum that could be named Simi-Sad Hill. The access to it would be through a garden and it is intended that the silhouette of Clint Eastwood welcomes visitors, who would then literally walk between steel tombstones (converted into information panels) and that would simulate the famous cemetery.

The ground floor would be a kind of subterranean world, a darker space, like a kind of cemetery. When you enter the first floor there will be more light and from there you will go up to a second floor. "There will be the real knowledge of cinema, an area of library, film library and documentation and research room."

Dynamic. The large amount of material available has led to the suggestion that it will be mainly the one related to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly that will be part of the permanent exhibition, although there could also be other films. "Later, temporary exhibitions could be made with other material, so people who have visited it will do it again because it has different content," explained Joseba del Valle, one of the protagonists of the documentary Unearthing Sad Hill and involved with the implementation of this project, for which the idea of a dynamic museum is being worked on. that hosts screenings or presentations, and the form of management could be as a Living Museum.

The rear outer area, the Garden of God, will also be important. A landscaped place, with steps placed in a semicircle reminiscent of Sad Hill and which will also be adapted, among others, with the planting of junipers, so that it resembles the original even more.

The first site that was thought of as the headquarters of Carlo Simi's museum was San Pedro de Arlanza. However, the idea had to be scrapped because part of it was committed to the Park House and there was not enough space. At that time, the City Council of Covarrubias took a step forward "because the opportunity that this collection was not in the region could not be missed".

A project of 300,000 euros that the Board is already aware of. Once the predisposition of the family and the City Council of Covarrubias to make the project a reality is clear, other steps have begun to be taken. The initiative has already been brought to the attention of organizations such as the City Council of Burgos or the University of Burgos, as well as verbally by Agalsa. They have all shown their intention to collaborate with her. The latest institutional breakthrough was made yesterday through a meeting between staff from the General Directorate of Cultural Policies of the Junta de Castilla y León and the architect Javier Sancho; Councilwoman Yolanda Cuevas; the daughter of Simi and Joseba del Valle. "The feelings behind it are very positive, as they found it a very interesting proposal," explained the latter.

The promoters of the museum explained that they are considering an investment of close to 300,000 euros to adapt the building, as long as it is ceded by the Archbishopric, in addition to everything that its musealization entails. To do this, they will try to apply for different lines of aid. The agreement between the Simi family and the City Council of Covarrubias to address the use and management of the material has also yet to be finalized.

Why One of the Best Spaghetti Westerns Ever Was Never Released in the States

 This 1960s Spaghetti Western subverted every genre trope, and U.S. distributors were not happy.


By Aled Owen

October 7, 2023

While Sergio Leone's "Man With No Name" trilogy climaxed in the mid-1960s with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, another Spaghetti Western director was experiencing his own international success story. 1966's Django made such a huge splash for director Sergio Corbucci that nearly 40 other Spaghetti Westerns set to release in the following years were renamed to include the name "Django" and ride on the coattails of Corbucci's success. Of course, it also went on to inspire 2012's Django Unchained written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, and the 2023 series from Sky/Canal+. In 1987, Corbucci would eventually direct the only official sequel, Django Strikes Again, but his true follow-up came only two years after Django when he made Il Grande Silenzio — also known as The Great Silence.

The '60s were a time of great change worldwide, both culturally and politically. As such, Hollywood's long line of conservative Westerns (a la John Ford and John Wayne) were oppressed by the gritty reality of "mud and blood", as Corbucci himself put it. Shot largely in Italy, the Spaghetti Western's disassociation with the real American West setting gave it the perspective to tell its stories in an unadulterated warts-and-all manner. Although Corbucci expressed disdain for the hippie culture of the '60s, he was an undeniable leftist and anti-authoritarian. His films explored his politics but were largely consumed by conservatives, making for the perfect Trojan Horse for his ideas. However, with The Great Silence, its pessimistic ending was too much, and the film was not released in the United States until the new millennium.

From the very opening of The Great Silence, Sergio Corbucci flips the script. In an era when bounty killers became the only conceivable way of policing the great frontiers, groups of innocent "outlaws" hid in the wild, weathering the elements in the hopes of evading the bloodthirsty, money-hungry men paid to kill them for profit (led by Klaus Kinski's Loco). That's where our hero comes in, a mute known only as Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant). As a killer of killers, Silence becomes a symbol, striking fear into the hearts of those who make money from senselessly killing men and women without a trial. From the very start, the film swaps the traditional archetypes, showing us a world much grayer than the black-and-white world of '50s Westerns, and the poignancy of this idea continues to this day.

According to Repo Man director and Corbucci historian Alex Cox, "Corbucci apparently was moved, not by the more celebrated murders of Robert Kennedy or Dr. Martin Luther King, but by the deaths of Che Guevara and Malcolm X. He was something of a leftist, and he apparently made Grande Silenzio as a tribute to those two revolutionary fighters." Shot in the Italian Alps (doubling for 1899 Utah), the story also sees Silence fall in love with the widow of one of Loco's victims, a strong-willed African-American woman named Pauline (Vonetta McGee). Their interracial romance alluded to the ongoing Civil Rights movement in the United States, but that wasn't what made 20th Century Fox refuse to release The Great Silence in the States.

The U.S. distribution rights were bought by 20th Century Fox as a gift for actor Clint Eastwood whose success in Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns made him Hollywood's go-to gunslinger and a successor to the aging John Wayne. The idea was for Eastwood to star in an English-language remake of Il Grande Silenzio in the role of the mute gunfighter. 20th Century Fox's Darryl Francis Zanuck was shown a screening of the Italian original and was offended by its cynical ending in which the wounded Silence tries and fails to save the innocent outlaws and is killed alongside his lover at the hand of the brutal and unstoppable bounty killers.

"He swallowed his cigar and said, '20th Century Fox would never release this picture!'" stated Cox, who went on to reveal that Corbucci had expected this and shot two alternate endings for the film, as seen in the Blu-ray release. One sees the hero effortlessly kill all his enemies and liberate the bounties, making for an unearned happy ending "of such cynical and bizarre proportions that it's unbelievable." The second alternate ending feels somewhere in-between, with Silence being shot and one of Loco's men leaving the building calmly. This bittersweet ending is vague and bizarre. As a result, Fox released the film in foreign territories but not in the States. As for Eastwood, the project was developed into a completely unrelated movie called, Joe Kidd.

For decades, the film endured, being passed around during its second life on home video, and even garnered a cult following. It became a legendary film, sought out by cinephiles and collectors until 2012, the year of Tarantino's Spaghetti Western part revival, part homage Django Unchained. With Spaghetti Westerns back in the zeitgeist and audiences hungry for the original movies that inspired the new Tarantino film, the demand for The Great Silence was prevalent. Under license from Beta Film, the film experienced its first U.S. theatrical release, when an English-dubbed 35mm print was toured around the country. Tarantino's follow-up The Hateful Eight would take lots of direct inspiration from The Great Silence specifically, with Little White Lies reporting, "With its snowed-in setting, homicidal bounty hunters and original Ennio Morricone score, [it] bears a striking resemblance to Italian director Sergio Corbucci’s blood-soaked Spaghetti Western from 1968."

The Great Silence subverted every trope established by the genre before it, stripping it down to reveal what truly matters in the genre. It exchanges the great Western desert plains for the snowy wasteland of the 1899 blizzard. It swaps the roles of the traditional law enforcers and the man in black. It gave its female heroine a three-dimensional character. And of course, most shockingly, it subverts expectations by having the villains win and the hero loses. How then can this possibly be part of the Western genre if it breaks almost all its rules? Because, in short, it's only by deconstructing the genre that we are able to truly define it, and in the case of The Great Silence, Corbucci makes it clear that all a Western needs is a character with a moral view of right and wrong who lives and dies by that code... even if it's not to 20th Century Fox's liking!

Monday, October 30, 2023

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Douglas Bates

[These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Douglas Bates was a British actor who appeared in only two films in his career. He appeared in the role Constable Sanderson in the 1940 film “North West Mounted Police” directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gary Cooper, Madeleine Carroll and Paulette Goddard. His only Euro-western appearance was 25 years later in 1965’s “Carry on Cowboy” as a rider.

BATES, Douglas [British] – film actor.

Carry on Cowboy – 1965 (rider)

Spaghetti Western Locations Then and Now ~ “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

In the photo below from 1966’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” we see Sergio Leone and the crew setting up the bunker scene when the battle for Langstone Bridge. 

The same location as seen this year in July 2023.

European Western Comics – Assi dell'Audacia


Axes of Audacity

This comic book series contains 44 issues with #1-#6 just a magazine, without cover data, containing 48 pages with various characters, some of whom continue their stories in successive numbers. 4 consecutive numbers now doubly numbered (#1=#7): public Paulino (PA) from Lombardy, Kid Sullivan (KS) by Guido Buzzelli and A. Torrisi, Tullino (TU) by Tullo Palasciano, Robin Hood (RH), Zenone Coccodrillo (ZE) by Franco Privitera. #29 and #31 were written by Gianfranco Scatassa and designed by Vincenzo Ciolfi, respectively. #43 and #44 were by Francesco Privitera (Frank) and Tullo Palasciano.

This was a weekly publication starting with issue #1 in January 1954 and ending with issue #44 in December 1955. The comic book was published in Lombardy and Rome by the publishing house of G. Gioggi & C. Editore under the direction of Gabriele Gioggi. Each issue contained either 16 or 48 black and white pages with color covers.


01 (00.00.55) - senza titolo

02 (00.00.55) - senza titolo

03 (00.00.55) - senza titolo

04 (00.00.55) - senza titolo

05 (00.00.55) - senza titolo

06 (00.00.55) - “Super Strenna” (Super Strenna)

07 (01) (00.00.55) - “Il segreto dei pesci rossi” (TU) (The Secret of the Fish)

08 (02) (00.00.55) - “Kid Sullivan, il figlio del Texas” (KS) (Kid Sullivan, the Texas


09 (03) (00.00.55) - “Tullino e il fantasma” (TU) (Tullino and the Ghost)

10 (04) (00.00.55) - “Il duello di Robin Hood” (RH) (The Duel of Robin Hood)

11 (00.00.55) - “L’ultimo dei bandoleros” (The Last of the Bandits)

12 (00.00.55) - “Sterminio sul fiume” (Stermino on the River)

13 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e le ricerche sottomarine” (TU) (Tullino and Underwater


14 (00.00.55) - “L’arrembaggio della Pilar” (KS) (The Pillar Attack)

15 (00.00.55) - “La superstizione di Pablo” (Paul’s Superstition)

16 (00.00.55) - “La gola di fuoco” (The Growing Up)

17 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e il siero della forza” (TU) (Tullino and the Sierra Dela Forza)

18 (00.00.55) - “L’astronave scomparsa” (The Astronaut Scompars)

19 (00.00.55) - “Pallino il distratto” (PA) (The Distracted Pallino)

20 (00.00.55) - “Il rapimento di Julie Dray” (The Rapids of Julie Day)

21 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e Bibbo fra gli esquimesi” (Tullino and Bibbo among the


22 (00.00.55) - “Carovana d’eroi” (Caravan of Heroes)

23 (00.00.55) - “Pallino e la casa stregata” (Pallino and the Haunted House)

24 (00.00.55) - “La frontiera dell’odio” (The Frontier of Hate)

25 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e Bibbo nei guai” (TU) (Tullino and Bibbo in Trouble)

26 (00.00.55) - “Avventure allegre” (Merry Adventures)

27 (00.00.55) - “L'assalto dei Sioux” (The Assault of the Sioux)

28 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e Giannetto nella dimensione “K” (Tullino and Giannetto in the

     “K” Dimension)

29 (00.00.55) - “Gli arditi moschettieri” (The Bold Musketeers)

30 (00.00.55) - “Tullino e il naufragio” (Tullino and the Shipwreck)

31 (00.00.55) - “Fiamme Garibaldine” (Garibaldine Flames)

32 (00.00.55) - “Pallino” (Pallino)

33 (00.00.55) - “Zenone il coccodrillo fra i Mamba Conga” (“Zenone the Crocodile

     Among the Mamba Conga)

34 (00.00.55) - “Arlecchinata” (Harlequinade)

35 (00.00.55) - “Agguato nel deserto” (Ambush in the Desert)

36 (00.00.55) - “Mio Mao” (My Mao)

37 (00.00.55) - “Zenone coccodrillo golosone” (ZE) (Zenone the Greedy Crocodile)

38 (00.00.55) - “Tullino eroe per forza” (TU) (Tullino Hero by Force)

39 (00.00.55) - “Bolidi sull’asfalto” (Rads on the Asphalt)

40 (00.00.55) - “I moschettieri di Guascogna” (The Musketeers of Gascony)

41 (00.00.55) - “Zenone cocodrillo e le sferotrappole” (ZE) (Zenone the Crocodile and

      the Spherotraps)

42 (00.00.55) - “La pista infallibile” (The Infallible Trail)

43 (00.00.55) - “Massimiliano Bandito Gentiluomo” (Massimiliano Bandit Gentleman)

44 (00.12.55) - “La grande strenna di Bingo e Frugolino” (The Great Gift of Bingo and


Sunday, October 29, 2023

RIP Stephen Kandel


Prolific American writer Stephen Kandel died in Boston, Massachusetts on October 21st. He was 96. Born in New York City on April 30, 1927. He began his career in Hollywood in 1958, writing for the TV series ‘Sea Hunt’ with Lloyd Bridges. His vast filmography includes series such as ‘Star Trek’, ‘MacGyver’, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘Batman’, ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘Hart to Hart’, ‘Iron Horse, ‘Six Million Dollar Man’, ‘Barnaby Jones’, ‘Mannix’, and many others. He also wrote the feature Euro-western film “Cannon For Cordoba” and “The Battle of The Coral Sea” and won the Humanitas Award for his television movie ‘Sonrise’. As mentioned above Kandel was a writer in the 1970 Euro-western “Cannon for Cordoba”.

From the WAI! vault.


Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Anne Bataille, Denise Battaille

 [These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.] 

Anne and Denise Bataille were most likely French actresses with a short careers Most likely they were models who were hired for roles as an extra for background and crowd scenes.

Anne’s career consisted of two films from 1975-1977. Her only Spaghetti western appearance was as a saloon girl in 1974’s “The White, the Yellow, the Black” directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Giuliano Gemma, Tomas Milian and Eli Wallach.

BATAILLE, Anne [French] – film, TV actress. sister of actress Denise Bataille.

The White, the Yellow the Black – 1974 (saloon girl)


Denise Battaile had a somewhat longer career as she appeared in six films and television appearances from 1965 to 1980. Like her sister Denise appeared in only one Spaghetti western along with her sister in 1974’s “The White, the Yellow, the Black” directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Giuliano Gemma, Tomas Milian and Eli Wallach.

Whatever happened to the sisters is unknown.

BATAILLE, Denise [French] - film actress. sister of actress Anne Bataille.

The White, the Yellow the Black – 1974 (saloon girls)

New German Blu-ray release “Wie ein Schrei im Wind”


“Wie ein Schrei im Wind”

The Trap



Director: Sidney Hayes

Starring: Oliver Reed, Rita Tushingham


Country: Germany

Label: Pidax

Region: B

Aspect ratio: 2.35:1, 16:9

Languages: DTS-HD MA 2.0 German, English

Subtitles: None

Running time: 104 minutes

Extras: Oliver Reed on-set-interview, picture gallery


Available: October 29. 2023

Who Are Those Singers & Musicians? ~ Jacques Higelin


Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin was a French composer and singer. Born in Brou-sur-Chantereine, Seine-et-Marne, France on October 18, 1940. His father, Paul, was a railway worker and musician of Alsatian descent. He introduced his two sons to various forms of music, while his mother, Renée, of Belgian descent, raised them both.

Higelin's entertainment career began at age 14, when he left school to work as a stunt double. While playing a number of minor roles in motion pictures, Higelin was taught to play the guitar by Henri Crolla, a French-Italian jazz guitarist and a composer of film scores. By the early 1960s, Higelin was attending the René Simon drama school, where he won the François Perier award.

For two years beginning in 1961, Higelin served in the French military in various countries. Upon returning to France, he resumed his film career but increasingly began to focus on music. By the end of the decade, he had become very active in the artistic underground in Paris and began to channel his music towards radical activism.

Higelin began attracting popular attention through his live concerts, typically held in smaller venues, and released his first solo album in 1971. By the middle of the 1970s, Higelin had become one of France's most successful pop musicians, and he remains influential to this day.

In the 1970's Higelin was in a relationship with a French-Vietnamese woman called Kuelan Nguyen. She accompanied him during the recording of an album at Château d'Hérouville Studio, where Iggy Pop was also recording his debut solo album "The Idiot". Iggy Pop became infatuated with Nguyen, who rejected him, but the incident inspired the song China Girl, which later became a hit when re-recorded by David Bowie.

In all Higelin recorded 20 albums before his death in Paris on April 6, 2018. He was 77.

HIGELIN, Jacques (aka Jacques Igelin) (Jacques Joseph Victor Higelin) [10/18/1940, Brou-sur-Chantereine, Seine-et-Marne, France - 4/6/2018, Paris, Île-de-France, France] – composer, singer, stuntman, actor, father of writer, composer, singer Arthur H. (Arthur Higelin) [1966-    ] with Nicole Courtois [1940-    ], actor Ken Higelin [1972-    ] with Kuelan Nguyen [1950-    ], actress, singer Izïa Higelin [1990-    ] with Aziza Zakine, married to Aziza Zakine [1956-    ] (2001-2018).

Another Man, Another Chance – 1977 [Sings: “La complainte du nouveau monde”]

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Spaghetti Westerns Podcast Season 6 episode 2 #115

 Please join me today at high noon PST for the “Spaghetti Westerns Podcast Season 6 episode 2 #115. I’ll be covering a couple of rare, 1964 seldom talked about films “Okay Sheriff” and “Die for a Dollar in Tucson” in our ongoing segment “History of the Spaghetti Western”. We’ll also talk about “Whatever Happened to… Ken Wood. “Who are Those Guys?” will feature Italian actor Fernando Rey. The film of the week will be the classic Lee Van Cleef “Sabata” from 1969. The LP/CD of the week is also “Sabata” by composer Marcello Giombini and we’ll have an autograph of the week, book of the week and wrap things up with a jam-packed News of the Week. So join us today at 12 noon PST.

From the WAI! vault


Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ José Bastida

 [These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

José García Bastida was born in Tetuan, Morocco on January 2, 1936. He worked as a supporting and character actor, especially in the 1960s and 1970s and was highlighted in mainstream films. José’s first film was “La mano de un hombre muerto” (1962) directed by Jesús Franco and starring Ana Castor and Howard Vernon. Bastida would go on to appear in over 30 films before his final appearance in 1984’s “Serpiente de mar” (The Sea Serpent) directed by Amando de Ossorio and starring Timothy Bottoms. During his 20-year career he appeared in seven Euro-westerns: “Rebels in Canada”, “Renegade Gunfighter” (both 1965) “A Fistful of Songs” (1966), “Kitosch, the Man Who Came from the North”and “Kill the Wicked” (both 1967), “White Comanche” (1968) and “Long Live Your Death (1971). Where he died was not reported. 

José Bastida died in Spain on August 4, 2012 at the age of 76.

BASTIDA, José (aka Jose Bastida, Sal Bastida) (José García Bastida) [January 2,1936, Tetuan, Morocco - 8/4/2012, Spain] – film, TV actor.

Rebels in Canada – 1965 (executioner)

Renegade Gunfighter – (Clark henchman)

A Fistful of Songs – 1966 (piano player)

Kitosch, the Man Who Came from the North – 1966 (Corporal Bates)

Kill the Wicked! – 1967 (padre)

White Comanche – 1968 (Garcia henchman)

Long Live Your Death – 1971 (deputy)

RIP Richard Moll


Richard Moll, who portrayed the towering and tenderhearted bailiff Aristotle Nostradamus “Bull” Shannon on all nine seasons of the popular NBC sitcom Night Court during its original run, has died. He was 80. Moll died in Big Bear, California on October 26th. He was 80. Born Charles Richard Moll in Pasadena, California the 6-foot 8-inch actor played an abominable snowman alongside Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach in the comedy feature “Caveman” (1981), and he was a scary, decomposing Vietnam veteran in the horror film “House” (1986).

Moll also did lots of voiceover work, with a regular gig as the immortal bodyguard Norman on the syndicated series Mighty Max and turns as Harvey Dent/Two-Face for three Batman cartoons. Moll appeared in two Euro-westerns. He acted in an uncredited role in the TV min-series ‘The Adventures of Smoke Bellew’ in 1995 and provided additional voices for the animated 1997 TV series ‘The Legend of Calamity Jane’.

The 'Zorro' series will shoot some scenes in Toledo: it will be between November 2023 and January 2024


An audiovisual project that is expected to premiere between 2024 and 2025



By Alejandro Martín Carrillo

October 24, 2023

It's news that SER Toledo is advancing... The 'Zorro' series will shoot several scenes in Toledo in the coming months. Precisely, this new audiovisual project is looking for extras during this Thursday and Friday, with the aim of filming several days in the capital of Castilla-La Mancha. Filming is expected to take place between November 2023 and January 2024. However, this project will also shoot different scenes in Almeria.

Specifically, this series is expected to premiere between the years 2024 and 2025. However, it has nothing to do with the series filmed in Gran Canarias, where the actor of the series 'Elite', Miguel Bernardeau, will play the fox and, also, has the starring role of Renata Notni. In this way, Bernardeau will take over from Antonio Banderas to reincarnate the character of Zorro, in a series that will be set in Mexico in the nineteenth century. With this, it so happens that there are two projects of Zorro to transfer it to the small screen.

The new 'Zorro' series can be seen on French television

For its part, this new project in the ‘Zorro’ series will have a Franco-Spanish production and will be shot entirely between the locations of Toledo and Almeria. A project that is expected to premiere at the end of 2024 or in 2025. In principle, this series would be broadcast on one of the French television channels, although it is not ruled out that it could be marketed to other television channels in the world, as well as on streaming platforms.

A project that has nothing to do w”th t’e one that can be seen on Amazon Prime Video and, subsequently, on TVE and that is produced by Secuoya. Precisely, the premiere of this last project is expected for the first half of next 2024.

Casting of extras underway

In this way, the production company is casting dozens of people in the courtyard of the Toledo City Hall to look for extras for the filming that will take place in the imperial city. We have spoken to some of them in 'Hoy por Hoy Toledo' and many of them were attending a casting of this type for the first time. However, they all had in common their love of series and movies.

Spaghetti Western Locations for “Bad Man’s River”

 We continue our search for locations for “Bad Man’s River”. A stagecoach is seen racing across the prairie while inside Maria totals the money with a pencil and a pad of paper. Across from her is an older man drinking from a flask. She looks up and says, “How am I doing papa?”, he replies, “Just like your dear mama!” and sneezed into his handkerchief. 

In the black and white closing credits the King gang is scene riding after the coach exchanging gunshots with the robbers.


Filmed at Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, Spain.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: http://y-yasuda.net/film-location.htm  and Captain Douglas Film Locations http://www.western-locations-spain.com/

Friday, October 27, 2023

Spaghetti Western Trivia ~ Michele Girardon


Michele Girardon, named “the most photogenic girl in France” by age 20, appeared in 1965’s “Treasure of the Aztecs,” starring Lex Barker and “I’ll Sell My Skin Dearly” (1968) starring Mike Marshall. Unfortunately, she committed suicide in 1975 at age 36.

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Dony Baster

 [These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Donato Di Sepio aka Dony Baster was an Italian film and television actor. His parents and grandparents were actors. He appeared in fifteen films and TV series from 1964 until 1972 among which were six Spaghetti westerns. He resembles Luigi Pistilli only with a tougher mobster type look. He usually played minor character roles.

He was or is married as he has a daughter actress Sabrina Di Sepio born in 1961 who was a child actress who appeared in 1965’s Juliet of the Spirits” and today serves as a Justice of the Peace in Rome.

Whatever happened to him is unknown as I can find no biographical information on him.

BASTER, Dony (aka Donato Baster, Dony Batner) (Donato Di Sepio) [Italian] – film, TV actor, married to ? father of child actress and Justice of the Peace Sabrina Di Sepio [1961-    ].

The Last Gun – 1964 (Paquito) [as Dony Batner]

7 Magnificent Pistols for Timothy – 1965 (Stranton henchman)

Death Sentence – 1967 (bartender)

Hate for Hate – 1967 (Driscoll) [as Donato Baster]

The Two Faces of the Dollar – 1967 (gold wagon shotgun guard)

Have a Good Funeral – 1970 (barber)

"Ringo Forever"


Profile of legendary Thai actor Krung Srivilai


Krung Srivilai played heroes in action movies. When Mitr Chaibancha died in 1970, Thai producers were looking for new stars to replace him. Krung Srivilai was one of them but also Nard Poowanai, Phairoj Jaising, Yodchai Meksuwan. Krung Srivilai was different from 1960s muscular shape actors as he was more slender. Krung Srivilai was born  in Bang Phli, Thailand on February 7, 1946. He played his first cinema role in 1971. He made his first movie "ลูกยอ" with Petchara. It was the last 16mm Thai movie. Krung is said to have played in more than 400 movies and TV series. He even played in international HK Thai productions such as "Big Boss 2"! Krung Srivilai became a politician in 2007 joining the "Peua Thai" party  under the name of Natee Suthinphuak in 2010. He is married to Phanwipha Srivilai since 1980 and is the father of actor Kamonwan Srivilai [1981- ] and actress Sawakorn Sutinpuek [1988-].

Krung Sriwilai, birth name is Natee Suthinphuak. This name is unknown to no one, especially people aged 45-70 years of age, he is a popular hero of Thailand. His fervor has even set a single-day record for nine films, barely adapting to the dramatic role he has to play.

He is a descendant of a Samut Prakan farmer. Signed as bowler for the sports Thai Rath team. As a teenager with a gangster heart who before playing movie heroes had to hide from the hitters.

'Luk Yod' is the first movie in his acting career, where he took the name Krung Srivilai, his character's own name in the movie. Hundreds of parts followed. At his peak, he never played the villain, and in the roles that he played, there was no bullying and no rape of women, which was his personal choice.

He became an Asian star after starring alongside Hollywood star Greg Morris and Vietnamese actress Miss Thiem Tun Hang [Thuy Hang Tham] in “S.T.A.B.” aka “Thong” (1973), for Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest (HK). With the comedian 'Wheel Tok', the duo is very close. The city would call him 'Daddy' every time, and together they created a new drama in the movie. Super Luk Country is famous as a firework and is the origin of the Super Luk Country band that created a phenomenon to collect 10 baht per night ticket for hundreds of thousands.

As the years passed, only his great past remained. Krung stepped into the political arena, becoming an MP for Samut Prakan for the first time in 2007. Ready to announce himself as the bodyguard to protect 'Big Tu - 'Big Pom'.

Krung Sriwilai’s lone appearance in a Spaghetti western was La tigre venuta dal fiume Kwai (Tiger from the River Kwai) directed by Franco Lattanzi and starring Gordon Mitchell and George Eastman. Krung plays the role of Thai a secret agent from Thailand who goes to the United States on a mission to find out why a Mr. Stone died and bring his ashes and fortune, a jeweled elephant, back to his homeland.

Gordon Mitchell said Krung was difficult to work with on the film because he wasn’t skilled in how to pull his punches or kicks, therefore Gordon and Eastman felt the full blow of his martial arts skills. They were pretty well bruised by the time filming was finished and often had to hold there tempers and not punch back for real.

[Submitted by Michael Ferguson]

Manuel Zarzo: A nonagenarian waiting for the icing: the last great role


October 8, 2023

"The camera has loved me", summarizes the man who has been in front of it for 75 of his 91 years and who reviews in a notebook each and every one of the films in which he has appeared: 126 as soon as he notes the last one, “La Fortaleza” (The Fortress). These pages document one of the most recognizable faces of Spanish cinema: his style on horseback in the westerns, the days when he rubbed shoulders with Marcello Mastroianni and Alberto Sordi and even a rogue shoot in which he became food for leeches. But he says he is still waiting for that great role that has been denied. And he has a plan for it, he reveals here.

The residents of the colony of los Carteros, in the Madrid neighborhood of Ventas, were the first spectators of Manuel Zarzo (born Manuel López Zarza, Madrid, 1932). His mother disguised the children of the neighborhood and made them interpret stories that she invented. The teacher also helped, although with another intention: "One day he told my father: you put the child as a clown, there is no one who can stand him," says the actor in the video documentary “MuchaVidaQueContar”. It is not surprising, then, that when he turned 16, the young Zarzo and his sister Pepi enrolled in a youth stage company, Los Chavalillos de España, with which he toured the country for three years. "A new world for a kid from a working-class neighborhood." 

Then he discovered cinema. Or the cinema discovered him. The kids debuted in Madrid and in one of the functions the director Antonio del Amo noticed him playing "boy of the Rastro, half lame, who likes football" of “Día tras día” (Day After Day) (1951). It was his first film – 19 years old – and he continued to be amazed: "That was the wonder of the world." Del Amo then called him to do four more. And Carlos Saura, for his film premiere, “Los golfos” (1960). Zarzo says he has no favorite movies, but he keeps the scripts of “Los golfos” and “Día tras día”, and reviews them with love for the video.

The pages of the notebook where Zarzo writes down his feature films began to fill with titles, some certainly unusual. The time of co-productions arrived, "a luck for many Spanish actors and technicians". "It started another world for me," he says. He shot in France, in Italy, in the jungle of Cambodia... "I had a hard time there. I had to remove 17 leeches from my leg with a straw ..." In Angola he faced Ettore Scola in a film with an endless title: “Conseguirán nuestros héroes encontrar a su amigo misteriosamente desaparecido en África?” (Will Our Heroes Manage to Find Their Friend Who’s Mysteriously Disappeared in Africa?) (1968). The hero was Alberto Sordi and Zarzo, is in charge of helping him in his task of finding Nino Manfredi. Scola then took him to Italy to work with Marcello Mastroianni in “El demonio de los celos” (The Demon of Jealousy) (1970). The Italian language, he says, is spoken right away. "I didn't worry about English, and I don't forgive myself for that."

The experiences of his childhood in the colony of Ventas were very useful in the westerns: "I had learned to ride on a very nice donkey that my uncle Simon had". And with that base, in the ramblas of Almeria he managed to ride a horse "better than anyone". Zarzo's flexibility and agility, which allowed him to ride without a double, also saved his life in an event that has marked his biography and that his bones still remind him of daily. The actor, who was then 28 years old and had just buried a daughter within two months, ran into a fire on Carretas Street in Madrid with a fire in textile workshops on the fourth floor. Employees jumped from windows onto blankets trying to cushion the impact. Zarzo instinctively tried to grab one of the workers, who fell on his shoulder. "I ran out of breath and noticed my body explode," he describes. "I was in plaster for almost two months. They gave me a wonderful tribute, the whole acting industry was there."

To justify his professional longevity, the actor finds several explanations. One: "The camera has loved me and wanted me to be bad, good, son of his mother, bullfighter or priest. Photogenics is a mystery." Another, the teachings of the best. And quote: José Bódalo, José María Rodero, Fernando Rey, Adolfo Marsillach, José Luis López Vázquez, Paco Martínez Soria... "I haven't tried to copy any, because I haven't been able to, but I learned how to do things."

Now Zarzo is the one who teaches lessons on the sets. Witnesses of them have been Mario and Hugo, two of his five children, the youngest, linked to cinema from the technical side as director of photography and machinist, respectively. "To be looking through the viewfinder of the camera and seeing that photogenic, that presence and that strength that my father has is very exciting," Mario explains in the video. "It's beastly to see him perform. How emotions flow, gestures, those curious things that my father has," Hugo adds.

"I've been a worker in this job and I've done it with the greatest dignity in the world, even if the character wasn't anything important." But Zarzo's balance sheet hides a point of bitterness about which he is sincere: "I think that, in some ways, life has not been fair. It hurts me that I didn't have the great role, the one that says: I can die peacefully. I've lacked that, I'm still missing and I'm not going to have time, at 91 years old. Although there is a possibility, I have had the script for a year. He's a wonderful character, perfect to enjoy as an actor." Zarzo expands, explaining the nuances of that dream role with which he would put "the candle in the center of the cake". "Only the money is missing, but I'm still playing EuroMillion just in case."


YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozo1QENChu4

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Little Known Spaghetti Western Actors ~ Ivan Basta

 [These daily posts will cover little known actors or people that have appeared in more recent films and TV series. Various degrees of information that I was able to find will be given and anything that you can add would be appreciated.]

Ivan Basta was born in Zabreb, Croatia, Yugoslavia on January 13, 1940. He was a film character actor. He appeared in 34 films beginning with a role as a gypsy in the 1961 film “Drakut il vendicatore” (Drakut the Avenger) directed by Luigi Capuano and starring Burt Nelson and Mario Petri. His last documented film appearance was in the 1969 action film “Zorro alla corte d’Inghilterra” (Zorro at the Court of England) directed by Franco Montemurro and starring Spyros Fokas and Dada Gallotti where he plays a guard in the hanging scene.

Basta started out in small roles in Italian films made in Yugoslavia and apparently moved to Italy in 1962 to pursue his career. There he achieved some success but only receiving small roles in crowd scenes and as gang members, etc.

Of the 34 films of record that he appeared in six were Spaghetti westerns where he usually played supporting roles as a henchman.

What happened to him after 1969 is unknown. Maybe he became disenchanted with how his career was going and returned to Croatia.

BASTA, Ivan [1/13/1940, Zagreb, Yugoslavia -     ] – film actor.

Blood for a Silver Dollar – 1965 (sergeant)

Django – 1965 (Rodriguez henchman)

7 Magnificent Pistols for Timothy – 1965 (Stranton henchman)

Ringo and His Golden Pistol – 1966 (Perez henchman)

A Rope for a Bastard – 1967 (Foster henchman)

Revenge for Revenge – 1968 (Bower henchman)

Voices of the Spaghetti Western “Shoot to Kill”

 As we know most of the Euro-westerns were co-productions from Italy, Spain, Germany and France which incorporated British and American actors to gain a worldwide audience. The films were shot silent and then dubbed into the various languages where they were sold for distribution. That means Italian, Spanish, German, French and English voice actors were hired to dub the films. Even actors from the countries where the film was to be shown were often dubbed by voice actors for various reasons such as the actors were already busy making another film, they wanted to be paid additional salaries for dubbing their voices, the actor’s voice didn’t fit the character they were playing, accidents to the actors and in some cases even death before the film could be dubbed.

I’ll list a Euro-western and the (I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German and (F) French, (E) English voices that I can find and once in a while a bio on a specific voice actor as in Europe these actors are as well-known as the actors they voiced.

Today we’ll cover “Shoot to Kill”

[(I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German, (F) French, (E) English]

Jim James – Edmund Purdom (S) Paco Valladares

Lance Thompson – Frank Latimore (S) Félix Acaso

Pancho – Fernando Sancho (S) Luis María Lasala

Mary Thompson - María Silva (S) Ángela González

Thompson – Luis Induni (S) Salvador Arias

Kathrin – Laura Granados (S) María Romero

Colonel – Tomás Blanco (S) Benjamín Domingo

Luis María Lasala  (19?? – 1992)

Little information can be found on the voice actor Luis María Lasala. He was a film and television actor and a production manager as well as a voice actor and Spanish dubber. He was sometimes credited as Luis Mª La Sala. Luis died in Spain in October of 1992. Another overlooked and forgotten contributor to Spanish cinema.