Sunday, October 29, 2017

The Invincible Six (1970)

          To calibrate expectations appropriately, this Magnificent Seven knockoff takes place in Iran, and Elke Sommer—yes, the curvy German ice queen—plays a local, at one point fretting to an American tough guy, “You foreigners are so slow to learn our Persian ways.” Whatever you say, fräulein. Low-budget junk featuring a hodgepodge of second-rate international actors, The Invincible Six is borderline watchable, because after the confusing and dull first act, things resolve into a familiar formula, with a gang of crooks joining forces to defend a village against a local menace. Although the storytelling never takes flight, thanks to laughably thin characterizations and substandard plotting, the screen eventually fills with explosions, gunfights, and macho standoffs. Oh, and Sommer does a topless scene, but given the déclassé context, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. As for the aforementioned international actors, American leading man Stuart Whitman gets the most screen time, and the supporting players include James Mitchum, Germany’s Curd Jürgens, and England’s Ian Ogilvy.
          The picture starts off, awkwardly, with a heist, because Tex (Whitman) and Ronald (Ogilvy) try to boost Iran’s crown jewels. That doesn’t work out, so they become fugitives, eventually connecting with Baron (Jürgens) and other lowlifes in the Iranian desert. The gang finds refuge in a village perpetually besieged by marauder Nazar (Mitchum) and his goons. Around this time viewers meet Zari (Sommer), who switches allegiances from one powerful man to the next, thereby forming a credibility-stretching romantic triangle with Nazar and Tex. Or something like that. Directed indifferently by Jean Negulesco, who won an Oscar in the ’40s but was far past his prime here, The Invincible Six was edited in a slapdash manner, so never mind trying to follow the particulars of the story. Better to shut off your brain and enjoy the dumb barrage of sex and violence. However, if you have the slightest inkling you can live without The Invincible Six, then rest assured you can.

The Invincible Six: FUNKY

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