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FIVE BLOODY GRAVES

title: FIVE BLOODY GRAVES
year: 1970
cast: Robert Dix, Scott Brady, John Carradine
rating: ***

A more suitable title for this exploitation-Western would be VALLEY OF DEATH, as a ragtag group consisting of cowboys, hookers and a preacher get picked off by Indians who appear from the rocks whenever the dialog runs its course. Add to this a jazzy game-show score and Death as the narrator, philosophizing why each character must die, sometimes even giving it away but that's alright, because in this doomed situation: death is the main character. A campy yet brilliant low budget Western with some terrific actors like Scott Brady (who dies gallantly), Jim Davis as a scumbag rapist, and John Carradine as a pistol-wielding preacher, but none work too hard except John Bud Cardos in duo-roles as a friendly Indian and a bad one, the latter battling star (and writer) Robert Dix, firmly strident throughout, in the knife-wielding climax that begins on a cliff top and winds up in a river and down a waterfall: THE QUIET MAN be damned.
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