Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
The Last Death Throes of the Spaghetti Western.
on 21 January 2013
Originally released as "Botte Di Natale" (Troublemakers, 1994), it amazes me that Terence Hill (born Mario Girotti) was able to muscle up the financial clout for this film given the Italian spaghetti western had long since run it's course. I guess this is testament to the popularity of Hill and his old sparring partner Bud Spencer (born Carlo Pedersoli) in their native Italy, popularity gained as a result of their many lucrative collaborations such as the Trinity films. Somehow he managed to raid German funds to finance the film, possibly using contacts he had made whilst making films in that country in the sixties. Some of this budget was spent on location filming in New Mexico and not in Spain the ancestral filming home of so many spaghetti westerns.
Hill simply reprises the wacky characters he played in the Trinity films and the well known "My Name Is Nobody", that he co-starred in with Hollywood legend Henry Fonda. Both the stars were starting to get a bit long in the tooth, with Bud approaching his mid sixties. They play two brothers who attempt to see their mother on Christmas day, but this does not prove so easy as they get sidetracked with both robbers and the law. The film is basically an excuse for mostly badly misfiring offbeat humour. There is an awful lot of unconventional fisticuffs and general falling about. Perhaps most odd is the boys mother who is a dead ringer for the 'wicked witch of the east'. The films Christmas theme is aimed at a family audience and its slapstick approach may appeal to younger watchers......errrr....but I doubt it! They will be too busy playing computer games! The film contains a rocking chair scene that is very original and very funny, but perhaps not worth buying the film for. You can't really criticise the enthusiasm of the cast and the stuntmen who earned their bread, but unfortunately they can't save this one as a contender for a golden turkey. This is the spaghetti western in its last death throes! If you are brave enough to buy it look out for the unusual Christmas tree! Two stars for the rocking chair scene and because it is a western!