You know it seem that the only countries that give us more bad movies then Japan, and ourselves of course, is Italy. Not to say some good movies haven't come from the boot, but if I stumble on a baddly dubbed movie it's usually from the land of the Rising Sun or the homeland of Mario and Luigi. This one is from the latter. Oddly enough it stars the famous French actor Alain Delon in the title role.
Now why did this movie end up here at the B-Movie Blitzkrieg you may ask. I mean on the surface it looks like it might actually be a good movie. And really it's not as bad as a lot of movies I've seen, and I've seen some stinkers. What earns this movie it's spot here is the sheer silliness of the flick. Any attempt to take this movie half way serious is constantly under minded by the movie it's self.
I mean, don't get me wrong this movie is fun, but it's fun in that kinda "Oh yeah right! Come on!" kinda way. Of Course we don't start out very good as we are treated to Zorro's theme song in the opening credits. And I tell you what folks it's not a grand sweeping Mexican tune that screams of swashbuckling action. In fact it's more like "Afternoon Delight" with lyrics about Zorro. You know maybe it's better if I just show you.
This wouldn't be so bad, but they play it EVERY time Zorro shows up, and you can imagine how often that is in a movie called Zorro. I actually went through the movie, and counting the beginning and end credits, this song is played no less then eight times in this ninety minute movie. Add to that, that it is bore into your brain catchy, it's needless to say I was walking around singing "La La La La Zorro's back." to myself for about three days after I watched this movie.
Ok putting that aside for now, if you can, let's get down to the basic story here. We open on Diego de la Vega riding through the desert. He has just returned from Spain and is going to meet his good friend Miguel Vega de la Serna (yes I did have to watch the credits to get the spelling of that name...so what?) who is all set to become the new Governor of Nuova Aragon. But when Diego arrives he finds a band of thugs, including a guy with a full out Fu Manchu, that look to be up no good hanging out around the place. We suddenly jump into a fight with no real explanation on who these guys are, how they got it, or what they want. Soon we find out though that they came to kill Miquel, and before Diego can stop them they do just that. With his dying words Miguel makes Diego swear to take his place as the Governor, but makes him promise not kill to avenge him. Diego swears and takes his ring.
Several months pass and Colonel Huerta, the man who sent the assassins to kill Miguel finally thinks the time is right to seize power and rule Nuova Aragon himself. He goes before the Council and asks them to make him the new Governor, but before he can seal the deal Diego arrives posing as Miguel, and man has he ever Nancy Boyed up. Anyway, Diego takes over as Governor and the Col. is left speechless.
Later Diego and his mute man servant Joaquin, walk in on the Col. during his fencing practice, using sharpened blades. The Col. shows his skill by taking on four men at once (No snickering in the back there. Yeah I'm talking to you) and defeats them all. Diego tells the Col. that he is fearful for his life and needs a Bodyguard. The Col. appoints Sergeant Garcia( a typical funny fat guy type. He eats a lot, he falls down a lot. He might even fart once or twice.) for the job. In the great tradition of people like Cher, Madonna, and Seal, the actor playing Garica just goes by the name Mustache. That's right...Mustache.
After returning from speaking with Col.Huerta Diego retires to his room where Miguel's Uncle's dog Assassin show him a secret door (yeah you read that right...and it's even more absurd on screen.) behind the bookcase.
I'm going to guess this is where all the Zorro stuff comes from and Miquel's uncle was in fact Zorro at one time, since we don't actually get to see where it goes and when next we see Diego he is dressed out in full on Zorro gear.
Next went find ourselves at the outdoor trial of one Brother Francisco, who is accused of selling bad furs to a local Buisness man, but Brother Francisco says that the furs where good. Of course the courpt court believes the buisness man and sentences Francisco to 20 lashes. The guards chain him up to carry out the sentence, but after just two lashes Diego shows up as ZORRO! He quickly disarms all the troops and set Francisco free. Then has the Judge and the Buisness man chained up and whipped to teach them a lesson.
There is a short sequence where Diego as the Gov omments on a picture of a beatiful woman. It turns out that this is Hortensia Pulido,(who is suppose to be his cousin. EWWWWWWW!) family while still noble, is disgraced. We then cut to Hortensia preaching to a crowd of people that have brought their livestock to be weighed about how they are being cheated. Garica tells her to stop making trouble as they have enough of that with Zorro on the loose. Then, speak of the devil, Zorro shows up. A rather funny fight follows with lots of solider tripping and falling and get things poked into their butt after which Zorro escapes again into the country side.
After stirring up trouble Hortensia returns home only to find that Zorro has stalked...I mean followed her there. Hortensia tells Zorro he must flee as she is afraid he waill be captured, and sure enough the Col's troops arrive just at that moment and Zorro slips away.
The Col then propses marriage,(to Hortensia, not Zorro) when Hortensia refuses he tries to force himself on her. Of course Zorro didn't leave and he disarms the Col and makes him beg for Hortensia's forgiveness on his knees. Hortensia and Zorro almost kiss, but Zorro is distracted by the Col riding away. He then leaves himself.
Back at the Gov Mansion the Col has come up with a plan to lure Zorro out and capture him. He will arrest Hortensia, and when Zorro comes to rescue her he will spring a trap for him. He only tells Diego disguised as the Gov. Of his plan. Hortensia is then lead from her home to the jail in a horse drawn cage, with the Col's Troops stationed all along the way, but of course Zorro doesn’t take the bait. Instead he is waiting in her Jail Cell and the two quickly escape after another goofy fight that involes Zorro riding down a ramp in a giant Barrel to escape.
Realizing that the only other person that knows of the plot is the Gov, the Col suspects that he is in fact Zorro and races back to the Gov’s Manison to try to catch him in the act, but Diego beats him back viva his secert underground Zorro entrance to the Mansion.
But seeing Diego in bed still doesn’t convince the Col that he isn’t Zorro. Diego offers himself as bait for Zorro in order to prove that he isn’t. The Col still doesn’t believe him, but agrees.
Diego and Garica go fishing in order to draw Zorro out, while the Col and his troops wait in the brush from him to show himself. They don't have to wait long as Zorro on horseback appears and the troops give chance and leave Garica to guard the Gov. As they give chance Zorro arrives at Francisco's church where he reveals that he is in fact Joaquin, Diego's man-servant in disguise. Francisco hides him as the troops arrive.
Meanwhile back at the creek Diego says he is tired and slips into his carriage for a nap, but he really changes into his Zorro outfit. He then quickly kidnaps himself, and forces Garica to drive the carriage. After freeing Francisco, who has been captured again for helping Zorro escape, Zorro takes over the regins of the carriage himself after kicking Garica to the curb. He then leads the Col's troops on a chase until he drives off the edge of a cliff and into the river below. Thinking both Zorro and the Gov dead, the Col returns to Nuova Aragon to claim the Governship and wed Hortensia.
At the wedding and angry mod led by Brother Francisco interupts the cermony, but just as the Col is about to have them all arrested Zorro appears on top of the church. Seeing Zorro the mob becomes uncontainable and breaks through the troops. The Col quickly pulls his pistol and guns down Francisco who is leading the mob, before Zorro can stop him.
Zorro then says that the death of Francisco lifts him of the oath to not kill that he made and the final duel begins. The fight ranges all over the place, but finally ends up on the roof of the church. As the Col comments how one of them must die, Zorro pulls off his mask to reveal himself. The two then lunge at each other, but only Zorro's blade strikes true killing the Gov. Zorro then rides away into the sunset and the credits roll.
In the end this actually was a pretty good B-Movie. One of the best I'll proably be reviewing her at the Blitzkrieg. It's a fun little movie even if it does jump around a bit. But speaking of that jumping around, apparetnly there is a long 120 min version of this movie, and this 90 min version had a lot of unnesscary stuff cut (Ie: the Plot) for some reason. There are proably a lot of explaintions lost in that film on the cutting room floor.
This one gets a 2 out 5 on the Cheese-O-Meter. It's not that bad of a movie actually, and it'd be a good movie to just pop some popcorn and veg in front of. It's got enough little absurd things in it to make a Bad Movie Buff laugh, but under it all it's decent.
Anyway, come back next time as we review the 1967 Godzilla rip-off "Monster from a Prehistoric Planet." Until then...See you next time on the front line.