Forgotten Action Cinema: Call Him Mr. Shatter



On paper, the idea of combining the spectacular abilities of Hammer Films and Shaw Brothers must have seemed like super swell idea. A twisty British spy flick working side by side with the elaborate kung fu madness of a Hong Kong action picture, in theory, is like pure, uncut cinematic cocaine, the type of stuff that can instantly collapse your nostrils and flash fry your otherwise sparkling brain pan. However, Michael Carreras’ wonky 1975 framed assassin epic “Call Him Mr. Shatter” (aka “Shatter”) is one chest pain away from cardiac arrest, a virtually lifeless little picture laced with drowsy fight sequences and a plot straight out of a weekend creative writing course available at your local community college. Stuart Whitman, God bless him, tries his best to look tough and manly, but he’s entirely out of his element during the film’s slim selection of martial arts tomfoolery. Additionally, if you’re overly concerned with things like characterization and story, perhaps you should look elsewhere for an evening’s worth of entertainment; the only thing missing from this production is an on-screen score board detailing the number of recycled ideas and plot points available to you at any given moment. Those of us who ritualistically mainline bad cinema while sitting on the toilet, meanwhile, may find a few slices of tender enjoyment buried deep within this forgotten chunk of Hammer lore, but I seriously doubt “Call Him Mr. Shatter” will appeal to your average, everyday popcorn-munching movie drone. It’s fun, but it’s also dumb as hell.

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