I always enjoy seeing British actor John Steiner (left, above, beside - wait, who is that?) pop up in a movie.
here). He had worked with Caligula director Tinto Brass on other films, and, it develops in the featurette, had a long career in Italian exploitation cinema, which I only began to mine a few years ago...
Tepepa is a "tortilla western" - set in Mexico during the revolution - that co-stars Steiner, Thomas Milian, and, yes folks, ORSON WELLES (in brownface, playing a corrupt Mexican comandante!). The production has also sorts of colourful anecdotes behind it, like Welles supposedly calling Milian a "dirty Cuban" and stealing film to use on his shoot of his own film, Chimes At Midnight. What makes it truly interesting for Steiner fans, tho', is that, like Marat/ Sade, the film, as co-written by Battle of Algiers screenwriter Franco Solinas, is very much also a questioning of the viability of revolution, a probing of the pros and cons, with Milian as a heroic, Che-like figurehead on the one hand and a murderous rapist on the other. The theme of whether bandits and criminals were actually revolutionaries of a sort was also explored by Solinas in his more prestigious collaboration with Francesco Rosi, Salvatore Giuliano, and to a lesser extent in his other spaghetti's, like Corbucci's uneven The Mercenary. If I were programming a double bill of classics of political cinema, I would probably slam Marat/ Sade and Tepepa together for the light they throw on each other, and for the sheer oddness of the pairing (though thematically they play on each other brilliantly, and like I say, they have a cast member in common!).
The latter, apparently. Mr. Steiner informs me of the following: "So often when a new sale occurs the distribution wants a redub. I did not remember that I had a German accent in this one. If there is one now then it was added as an afterthought."
Tell the world, folks! They've dubbed John Steiner!
(Many thanks to John Steiner for scratching my geek itch on this one...).