The Hudson River Massacre: MVD Classics [Blu-ray]
(George Martin, Luis Marin, Pamela Tudor, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1965) 2020 / VCI Video - MVD Visual)
Overview: Victor, chief of the fur hunters rebels, kidnaps Ann from the ruthless landowner as a bartering tool.
Blu-ray Verdict: Canada, Nineteenth century. The Hudson Bay Company, with James Sullivan (Santiago Rivero) at the helm and supported by the British Mounted Police, impose unacceptable conditions on native trappers.
A group led by Leo Limoux (Franco Fantasia), rebel in retaliation. Victor DeFrois (George Martin), a trapper who, until the execution his brother by the British soldiers had remained neutral, kidnaps Ann Sullivan (Giulia Rubini), daughter of the ruthless owner of the Hudson Bay Company, to use as a bartering tool while the rebels seek to disrupt and gain control of the company's business.
George Martin stars as a beefy frontiersman who joins up with a rabble of hunter/prospector types operating along the US/Canadian border and running afoul of the Royal Mounties for some reason that escaped my high school textbook German.
Things come to a head when they kidnap the only blond haired woman within a thousand miles as a bartering tool, who it turns out is all too happy to be removed from the clutches of the local land baron that paid good money to have a trophy wife sent up north to him.
In this classic spaghetti western written and directed by Amando de Ossorio (Tombs of the Blind Dead), Martin makes an appealing if somewhat ordinary he-man sort of lead, and more enjoyment is found watching the contributions of cult movie icons Franco Fantasia and Raf Baldessare as two of the frontiersmen.
The costuming and equipment carried by the players is also amusingly odd: Nobody seems to be wearing any clothes more than a week old, and modern day police special pistols are used alongside of prop-ish looking firearms with little or no concern about authenticity.
Characters use knives that are brand new, reflectively shiny and don't appear to be sharpened. The main point of the costuming and props seems to be to set the two societies apart: The Mounties wear funny Mountie hats, the frontiersmen wear fur hats fashioned from raccoons and leather vests.
That all aside, and more interestingly is the location work, probably filming in the mountains of northern Spain as a substitute for Canada, and fans of the 1974 Peter Fonda movie 'Open Season' will recognize the lake that much of the action is set around as being the location used for that movie's exteriors as well.
In closing, 'The Hudson River Massacre' is an incredibly obscure movie that has probably never gotten more than Cowboy Matinée showings on cable in it's English language form, if even then.
But it would be right at home alongside such fare, sort of cunningly disguised as a cheapo 83 minute Western with lots of gunplay, dopey frontier romance and a musical interlude to get things going! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
'The Hudson River Massacre' Trailer