The Civil War has ended, but not for Jonas, a ruthless Confederate soldier, whose dead set on continuing the fight against the Union. With the help of his sons, Jonas plans on helping to reorganize the confederate forces in the Southwest. As Jonas and his boys travel through hostile territory, they carry a large sum of stolen money hidden in a coffin, said to contain the body of his dead son. Intent on revitalizing the confederacy, the men run into many obstacles on their way. Sergio Corbucci's The Hellbenders is a tense, exciting spaghetti western which dazzles as both a superb visceral experience and a tragic tale of disillusionment. Sergio Corbucci's visual style is omnipresent from start to finish, using a hodgepodge of zooms and exquisite framing to create this unique experience. Hellbenders is blistering with tension from start to finish, with almost every scene finding these men near seconds from being discovered for their true intentions. On their travels they face threats from Union soldiers, a group of Mexican bandits and Indians, yet their ongoing strife among themselves is what leads to their ultimate undoing. These men are truly ruthless individuals who kill anyone or anything which stands in their way and Corbucci doesn't shy away from the violence, frequently fixating on the bloody aftermath of these men's actions. Joseph Cotten is great as Jonas, a disillusioned man who won't accept that the Confederacy is finished. His disillusionment and greed rub off on his children, which inevitably leads to his downfall in a perfectly executed finale. Sergio Corbucci is frequently praised for his aesthetic choices but with Hellbenders he creates a strong portrait of a man whose blinded by his ignorance.
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