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The Hellbenders
The Hellbenders
Actor: Joseph Cotton
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Classics
NR     2007     1hr 29min

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF DJANGO, THE GREAT SILENCE AND COMPAÑEROS Screen legend Joseph Cotten (THE THIRD MAN, SHADOW OF A DOUBT) stars as the fanatical patriarch of a family of ex-Confederate killers who massacre an army convo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Joseph Cotton
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Classics
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Classics
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 03/13/2007
Original Release Date: 11/03/2009
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 6
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Another good Corbucci spaghetti western hits DVD
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 04/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Hellbenders is another very good spaghetti western from the other Sergio, Corbucci, that has finally hit DVD. In the months following the Civil War, a Confederate colonel, Jonas, and his three sons, the Hellbenders, massacre a Union convoy carrying over a million dollars that is to be burned. Jonas and his sons hide the money in a coffin and along with a woman pretending to be Jonas' daughter, try to drive the coach carrying the coffin to their home on the Rio Hondo River, all in hopes of reviving the Confederacy and starting the Civil War all over again. But along the way, the Hellbenders must go up against Union soldiers, posses, bandits, Indians, and even themselves as they try to secretly transport the money. And not one to disappoint, Corbucci gives an excellent twist ending. This is not your typical spaghetti western, but it still has those spaghetti touches. The movie features a trumpet-heavy score from Ennio Morricone that fits the film perfectly. Overall, its short on action, but so many scenes are dripping with tension you won't even notice. Take advantage of finally getting a DVD release of The Hellbenders and give this movie a try!

With a few exceptions, The Hellbenders does not feature any familiar faces you might have seen in other spaghetti westerns. Joseph Cotten stars as Jonas, the Confederate colonel who is trying single-handedly to restart the Civil War. Jonas is as driven as they come and will stop at nothing to get the money to safety. Julian Mateos gives an excellent performance as Ben, one of Jonas' sons who was born of a different mother than his brothers. Along the way, Ben begins to question if what they're doing is right and just how far Jonas will go. Norma Bengell plays Claire, a female gambler who unknowingly gets trapped into helping Jonas and Co. as they transport the coffin. Angel Aranda and Gino Pernice play Nat and Jeff, Jonas' other two sons who come to be consumed by greed during the journey. Spaghetti fans should look for Al Mulock, Aldo Sambrell, and Benito Stefanelli, all three have good bit parts, some more important than others. Part of the fun of the movie is those bit parts, which add some nice little touches to the movie.

The newly released Anchor Bay DVD is not great overall, but it is good to have it available in this format if nothing else. The high point of the DVD is the widescreen presentation of the movie, it looks cleaned up and has little to no scratches. The only extras are a Sergio Corbucci notes biography and a trailer for the movie. It's somewhat disappointing because other AB DVDs have had some pretty good special features, but don't let that stop you from getting the movie. The DVD is worth it just for the beautiful-looking widescreen presentation. Don't miss The Hellbenders!"
A Classic Spahetti Western - one of the greats
Laurence Staig | UK | 02/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Fantastic news that this is now appearing in a restored version. One of the spaghetti greats and perhaps one of the best non Sergio Leone westerns. Fabulous moody score from Morricone, a terrific plot with a twist and tragedy on a par with Greek arena stuff. Symbolism and allegory raise this above the norm, OK it's slow - but it's a spaghetti gem and the ending still brings shivers to the spine."
The South's Gonna Rise Again........Maybe.
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 10/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Joseph Cotten, along with his three sons and a female accomplice, wipe out an army convoy, steal their money and stuff it into a coffin. They plan on travelling across the country to get back home and use the cash to restart the civil war and hopefully have the South win this time. Sounds easy enough, right? Nope! Making it across the country under the guise of transporting a dead soldier for burial turns out to be no easy task, as it seems everything is destined to screw up their plans. They overcome many of these obstacles for the most part however until their newly hired "widow" starts making things more difficult. This is another satisfying western from Sergio Corbucci who gave us the great spaghetti westerns Django, Companeros, and The Great Silence. And lets not forget he made Superfuzz too!! This one is different from his other westerns in the sense that there is no lone gunslinging outlaw, but rather a determined family of murderers. This is a very entertaining western with good music, good performances(by Cotten especially) and an ending worthy of a Tales From The Crypt episode. Awesome stuff."
Corbucci does it again
O. Pineda | 08/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film isn't really like Corbucci's ( Companeros, Django, The Great Silence )wilder westerns but it's definitely a fun good time that's worth a look. Good story, beautifully shot, great performances, great direction, and great score. This story practically gives you everything you want . In his westerns you get alot of moments that you wouldn't really expect. Some tragic moments or some incredibly almost impossible uplifting moments. It's a cool film. If you like spaghetti westerns, please check this out."