Captain Apache (1971) starring Lee Van Cleef, Carroll Baker, Stuart Whitman, Percy Herbert, Elisa Montés, Tony Vogel, Charles Stalmaker directed by Alexander Singer Movie Review

Captain Apache (1971)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Lee Van Cleef in Captain Apache (1971)

Captain Corny

Captain Apache (Lee Van Cleef) is a full blooded Apache US Army officer on the search for answers over the death of an agent. He learns that the man's last words were "April Morning" which intrigues him and leads him to try and find out the meaning of them. The trouble is that every time Apache finds some one who might reveal what happened and what "April Morning" means they end up being killed. Eventually Apache meets businessman Griffin (Stuart Whitman) who might be able to help but might also have dark ulterior motive involving an assassination.

Have you ever heard Lee Van Cleef sing, just watch the opening credits to "Captain Apache" and you will hear him singing the title music, although in truth coolly reading the lyrics seem a more apt description. But whilst you watch those credits you can also work out whether "Captain Apache" is going to be your sort of movie because immediately you will realise that this is a western with more of a touch of spoof about it.

Carroll Baker in Captain Apache (1971)

Now unfortunately the opening, which in truth is corny, is in fact the most entertaining part of the movie as what follows tries to entertain but never quiet pulls it off. Part of the trouble is that the storyline itself is not interesting enough to keep you involved in what is going on. For me this is down to being thrown straight in with no real build up or introduction to the characters and so we are forced to try and make sense of it all as we go along.

But the real trouble comes from no one being able to make the jokes work with it almost becoming funnier watching the mishandled humour than the intentional humour itself. In a scene where Apache is having dinner with Maude, played by Carroll Baker, she mention something about studying savages with Apache responding "How". The joke is just said and the next line is moved on to before we can realise the joke was there. This happens time and time again with the jokes being there but the delivery not. If it wasn't for the fact the constant misfiring is funny "Captain Apache" would be unwatchable.

What this all boils down to is that "Captain Apache" is a bad movie, there is no disguising that fact. But because it does some things very badly again and again it ends up often amusing for being bad, well that and Lee Van Cleef singing.