“Infamously described by schlock film bible The Psychotronic Video Guide as “possibly the most violent Euro-western ever made”, CUT-THROATS NINE was a prime influence on Tarantino’s THE HATEFUL EIGHT and enjoys a tremendous cult reputation, especially amongst horror devotees.
Ostensibly a gothic western replete with the usual druggy staples of early ‘70s genre entries (loopy camerawork, zooms, flashbacks and really ugly actors with impressive beards), its rep is founded on its relentlessly cynical, exploitative tone and bursts of comically over-the-top carnage. It is a primarily Spanish production -- a “paella western”, if you will. It’s clear that director Merchant wanted to take the (by comparison) subdued excesses of Leone and Peckinpah into absurdist territory. He succeeds on that score totally!
The premise is magnificent: seven dangerous prisoners, all chained together, are transported across snowy mountain terrain to a more secure station. A terse hardboiled voiceover alerts us to just how badass these dudes are! Responsibility for these headcases falls to a bunch of Union soldiers, including the embittered Sergeant Brown, accompanied (unwisely, given the circumstances) by his beautiful daughter…” (David Hall, Eat My Brains)