Friday, January 26, 2007

Cinebomb #3: Deadlock

The Kid (Marquard Bohm) wanders into a desolate wasteland of a town with a bullet in his arm and a million bucks in his briefcase. He's found by Charlie Dump (a.k.a The Rat)(Mario Adorf)and rehabilitated in Dump's rotting junk yard. The Kid tells Dump that Mr. Sunshine (the fantastic Scot Anthony Dawson) will soon be coming for the money. Throw in an old crazy lady and her feral but beautiful daughter and you have a peculiar but thrilling slice of Euro-nihilism.

Roland Klick was one of the darlings of post-WWII German cinema. His early '60s films were counterculture gems - rarely screened outside of Germany - but it was this 1970 flick that put him on the map. With a tumbling soundtrack by Krautrockers Can, Deadlock joins Matalo! and Django... Kill! as the most unusual off-shoots of Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And you don't get much higher praise or psychedelic credit than having Alejandro Jodorowsky describe your film as, "fantastic. A bizarre, glowing film."

Being a Western, Deadlock is as much about the swirling dust of the landscape as it is about Manifest Destiny. But Deadlock's also a crime film and the land is useless, it's the money and the women that the men who inhabit this desolation are after. Cat and mouse games, deception, it all adds up to a protracted and nihilistic ending. Hell, even The Ending. Deadlock remains an obscurity - a Spaghetti Western with Beckett-like gangster tropes, stunning camerawork and a Can soundtrack. Surely, this is a cinebomb ripe for rediscovery.

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