A man is running through swampy land through mist and trees. Behind him, riding in slow motion comes our "iconic" anti-hero. The man keeps slipping but eventually turns to shoot at the slow motion hero on a horse. He barley raises his hand when our hero throws a hatchet that in turns slices the mans arm right off.
Yes, that is the opening of Mannaja (aka A Man Called Blade), and from that violent opening sequence, you know the film could only come from Italy. Oh Spaghetti films hold a special place in my heart. No other country is this no-holds-barred when it comes to violence and Mannaja is just plum full of Italian film clichés. We get an unlikable anti-hero, bad dubbing, extreme violence, a plot holed story, and a surreal atmosphere. Everything we Italian film fanatics love!
Mannaja, one of the very last Spaghetti Westerns, is actually one of the more entertaining of the genre I have encountered. It actually makes more sense than other films from the Country. Our anti-hero who is known as Blade...yes a man called Blade...travels to a small western town where he gets on the bad side of the towns crooked ruler after betting him in a bet. It ends up this guy tries to kill our antihero.....a bad mistake. Sure it's predictable but what Spaghetti Western isn't other than Leone's? This is just plain and simple Spaghetti Western fun and nothing more. If you like the genre, then you deserve to have Mannaja in your collection.
The major thing is what does the title Mannaja have to do with the movie? The word or name "Mannaja" is never mentioned in the film. How do you even pronounce it? I feel like a fool every time I try to say the name. Also, make sure and check out the theme song to the movie....ifs just hilarious.