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Four of the Apocalypse

3.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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(Dec 18, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Four of the Apocalypse - Having survived a vigilante slaughter, four hard-luck strangers-gambler Stubby Preston (Fabio Testi), a pregnant prostitute (Lynne Frederick), the town drunk (Michael J. Pollard) and a madman who sees dead people (Harry Baird)-escape to the lawless frontier. But when they meet a sadistic bandit named Chaco (Tomas Milian), the four are plunged into a nightmare of torture, brutality and beyond. In a land that screams with the pain of the damned, can four lost souls find redemption and revenge?
Due to its graphic violence, Four of the Apocalypse was banned worldwide and never seen in America. Meanwhile, fans-and Lucio Fulci himself-considered it to be on of the greatest films of the maestro's career. This presentation of Four of the Apocalypse is complete and uncut, featuring scenes omitted from all previous English languages releases. Because these scenes were never dubbed into English, they are presented here in Italian with English subtitles.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Fabio Testi, Lynne Frederick, Michael J. Pollard, Harry Baird, Adolfo Lastretti
  • Directors: Lucio Fulci
  • Writers: Bret Harte, Ennio De Concini
  • Producers: Edmondo Amati
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2001
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005R24L
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,529 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Four of the Apocalypse" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 18, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For it's time (1975) I Quattro dell'Apocalisse (Four of the Apocalypse) was considered so graphically violent that it was banned or shown largely edited in most countries when it was released and was never released in the United States. Now on DVD, it is shown uncut for the first time, and while it is a very violent film, it certainly isn't anything shocking by today's standards. It's a solid spaghetti western though, with some terrific performances by Fabio Testi, the beautiful and doe-eyed Lynne Frederick, and Harry Baird. There's also a typically quirky performance by Michael J. Pollard (probably the only actor in this film most American viewers will recognize), but the show is absolutely stolen by Tomas Milian as Chaco, a brutally sadistic outlaw the four encounter in the wilderness who terrorizes them then leaves them for dead. This is a good solid western, with good performances, some great action sequences, some truly disturbing scenes, and also some very touching ones. The only downside to the film is one sequence where Chaco hunts by shooting birds and rabbits--and it seems to go on FOREVER. Seemed totally unncessessary and cruel and could have been easily cut out of the film. The film would have lost nothing by removing this tasteless scene. The other downside to the film is the soundtrack. The instrumentals work well, but the songs that include vocals are horrid. So bad, in fact, that they nearly ruin the movie. Instead of the moody and ethereal soundtracks associated with most films of this genre, I Quattro dell'Apocalisse has a soundtrack that sounds like something out of a 70s easy listening radio station--just awful.Read more ›
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Spaghetti westerns are, in my opinion, generally the best fictional films about the American West. You can argue that John Wayne made a bunch of great movies about life in the Old West, and you would be right to say so, but for some reason the Italians captured perfectly the specific elements of the era that made their movies seem more realistic. The frontier was a dirty, violent place full of unsavory types trying to get rich quick. Italian westerns capture this mood expertly whereas American films portray characters whose outfits look like they just came back from the dry cleaners. Hollywood films also tend to apply a black and white dichotomy onto their characters, the old "good guys wear white, bad guys wear black" philosophy that obscures the reality of the time and place. Not so in Italian films, where even the good guys often have distinctly unsavory traits. It's too bad spaghetti westerns went the way of the dinosaurs a few decades back; I never tire of watching these films even though I am not an expert on the genre. "Four of the Apocalypse," part of the larger Anchor Bay "Once Upon a Time in Italy" spaghetti western box set, serves as an excellent example of how powerful the genre once was. Too, none other than goremeister Lucio Fulci directed the picture.

Fulci's contribution to the spaghetti western genre contains some of the great cult classic actors of the Italian film era. Fabio Testi, who later teamed up with Fulci again for the mobster picture "Contraband," plays a renegade gambler named Stubby Preston. Testi's character looks the part; he wears the clothing of a dandy, possesses an oily smile that could melt steel, and has four or five decks of marked cards tucked away in his suitcase.
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Format: DVD
Three hippies and a brother run away from a bad scene in a lawless town. They meet Charlie Manson in the desert, who turns them onto some peyote. The trip turns into a bummer and Charlie Manson turns cruel.

Only the names were changed, baby. There are four refugees and one requisite Bad Guy in FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE, a rambling yet entertaining spaghetti western from the Italian Lucio Fulci, who is best known for directing such Italian horror classics as A LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN and DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING.

The Manson reference comes from something Tomas Milian, who plays the evil Chaco, said. (All bad guys in Italian westerns never have a last name, or much of a first name, either.) Milian said he took a make-up cue from Charles Manson, who had notoriously carved a swastika in his forehead, and drew a blood red cross beneath each eye. Constrained by time and driven by Method, it seemed the thing to do, and it works.

Chaco is a brutal character, and he's involved in a couple of grisly scenes, cut from the original English release, that have been restored with subtitles on the dvd. The scenes may have been a little much for audiences in 1975, but they're unlikely to raise many eyebrows three decades on. A little skin flayed here, a little cannibalism there. Been there, done that, excuse me while I stifle a yawn.

The characters in FOTA, a gambler (Fabio Testi), a prostitute (Lynne Frederick), a town drunk (Michael J Pollard), a mentally challenged mortuary assistant (Harry Baird) and a few plot points may have been ripped from current headlines, but the movie also borrowed heavily, with attribution, from the works of Bret Harte.
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