bounty hunter Providence (Tomas Milian) rides into town and hands over
his detainee to the local sheriff who pays up the $5000 bounty. However
Hurricane Smith soon finds
himself sprung from jail and recaptured by Providence who ties him up,
to go on to the next state that has a bounty on his head. However,
Providence soon finds himself in trouble when, first Hurricane Smith
ties him up, and then tries to claim a reward for him! Proving himself
to be who he is, Providence walks free, but Smith soon escapes too and
steals his money - Providence sets out to get it back but soon runs
into a gang of drunken ex-Confederate soldiers...
the 1970s the Spaghetti Western boom had largely disintergrated into
farces and parodies, and right there in the middle is this simply
bizarre film. Plot wise, after the rather inspired opening (the Bounty
Hunter repeatedly collecting the rewards for his criminal) the film
doesn't go anywhere new, instead moving into a rather episodic series
of adventures and fights that does seem to drag in places and is quite repetitive. Fortunately
the comic tone remains throughout with none of the awkward attempts to
make any serious points that befall many comic films - the
international nature of the
Spaghetti Westerns often meant that humour had to be kept very visual
(word gags never translate too well) and Life is Tough does rely on the audience enjoying a long run of slapstick jokes but they are generally entertaining and never too purile.
Petroni does a decent job here, although cannot do much to lift the
film above its slapstick roots - fortunately the varous stunt props
look very good, and even a couple of dodgy optical effects are
excusable. Ennio Morricone provides a good, often religious sounding
score with various famous classical music snippits.
Milian is top cast here, this amazingly versitile actor played
every sort of character in the old west and as the Charlie Chaplain
looking, German sounding and fast moving Providence, he looks superb,
as though he were born to play the role! American actor Greg Palmer is
best remebered for his occasional television work from Doctor Who to Star Trek,
and as a frequent background player in John Wayne Westerns - he gives a
very Bud Spencer like performance here and seems to be enjoying
himself. The Jess Franco regular Paul Muller makes a brief appearance as a sleazy land owner towards the end of the film.
Amusing at first, and with a few clever ideas, Life is Tough
soon becomes a rather endless string of slapstick gags that only just
retain enough originality to keep a viewer watching for the full
runtime. Fortunately the film is well made and features some superb
acting from Tomas Milian. Not generally recommended, but fans of the
purely comic Spaghetti Westerns, and Tomas Milian, might find something
to enjoy here.
Anyone famous in it?
Tomas Milian - the Cuban born actor who came to fame in the genre's early days with The Bounty Killer (1966)
Directed by anyone interesting?
Giulio Petroni - the Roman born director, best known for the impressive Death Rides a Horse (1968).
Who is it for?
Fans of Tomas Milian or the slapstick Spaghetti Westerns might find something to enjoy here.
Ennio Morricone provides a nicely written theme, and there is a mix of classical music throughout.
Original Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1 anamorphic wide-screen. Colour. The
image is good - light grain and only slight speckling with some good colours
English and Italian mono tracks. The English track is generally good, although there is a persistance hum in the background that is not on the Italian.
The disc includes:
Interview with the director about this film. In Italian only with no subs. 15 minutes.
Still photo and poster gallery, presented as a video file with soundtrack backing.
Original Italian trailer.
The disc box includes an insert containing a complete cast listing for the film. (in Italian).