Five For Hell/DVD/German DVD Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
< Five For Hell | DVD
- Review of the German Koch Media DVD of Five For Hell, which has the English language track (PAL / Region 2 DVD!)
- German language version here
- Buy now: From Amazon.de
The story is fairly simple. Lt Hoffman (Garko) gathers up a ragtag group of below-average soldiers for an Allied mission behind enemy lines. They have to steal Nazi attack plans from a Mansion in the occupied areas of northern Italy. The mansion is inhabited by General Gerbordstadt and the SS villain Mueller (Kinski), who leads a cruel crusade against the armed underground resistance. The source and contact person of the Allies is the General's secretary Helga (Margaret Lee), who does not shy away from sleeping with the SS to defeat the Nazis. The group infiltrates, disguised as SS soldiers, the area and gains entrance to the compound with tricks and acrobatics, but Mueller senses danger....
Review: There is quite a difference between Inglorious Bastards and this movie. The Macaroni Combat genre offers campy movies just as well as the Spaghetti Western genre. Five for Hell is one such camper. It does have nice moments and a certain charm but the actors are relatively horrible, the music is too upbeat and the movie comes across as too clumsy - although you can see the good intentions. Margaret Lee in a see-through dress and a General with a funny name cannot save this movie, which is not one of the better representatives of said genre, but fares among the average. Especially funny are the German-speaking parts in the English dub. Speaking of which, the German dub is horrible, with plenty of stupid jokes that were invented and put over the picture. The film does not take itself very serious (one of Parolini's trademarks), but there's some difference between the language tracks, the Italian one being the most serious. Basically, the film can be recommended to curious fans who want to discover this genre, but you should not expect an Inglorious Bastards or Battle Squadron.
Sometimes I wonder where all those flawless Koch Media releases are coming from. There are too many. This genre hit also arrives with a perfectly remastered transfer in audio and video, it is uncut and offers German, English and Italian dubs. The picture leaves no room for complaint and the sound quality is equally good. The picture is almost too good I have to say, as it takes some of the trash factor away.
The core of the bonus features is a 45 minute interview composition with Garko, Parolini (aka Kramer) and Borgese, who talk about the film and their personal experiences. Unfortunately, there are no English subtitles on hand for this Italian feature with optional German subtitles. The DVD also offers restored Italian and English trailers for the film as well as a nice gallery of promotional artwork for the film.
Five For Hell will find its admirers, but there are without a doubt better films from this genre. The international box office hit offers lots of fun and trashy moments, but is too upbeat for my taste. The DVD by Koch Media can absolutely be recommended as there's probably no better way to watch this film (PAL/Region 2 equipment are a prerequisite, too bad the interview footage offers no English subtitles).
This DVD was provided by Koch Media. Package Artwork or liner notes could not be considered for this review.
Sebastian, co-founder and admin of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb). He also started The Spaghetti Western Database (SWDb), The Quentin Tarantino Archives, The Robert Rodriguez Archives, Nischenkino and Furious Cinema. Outside of movies, he works on the intersection of technology and policy. He lives in Berlin, Germany.