Mannaja (also known under the English title A Man Called Blade, USA) is an Italian western film from 1977 directed by Sergio Martino. The main role, Blade, is played by Maurizio Merli. Other central roles are played by John Steiner, Sonja Jeannine, Donald O’Brien, Philippe Leroy and Martine Brochard.
Mannaja is an unusual spaghetti western, in that it contains some symbolism and emotional scenes that give the viewer the feel of an adventure or horror film, particularly in the opening scene in the swamp, and the scene in the cave. Mannaja has been compared to a contemporaneous film called Keoma (1976). Like other spaghetti westerns it is sometimes rather brutal, and contains fairly graphic depictions of murder with an axe. It was banned in Sweden.
Maurizio Merli (the iconic star of the 70s Italian cop movies) stars as a hatchet-wielding bounty hunter with a dark past and an even more desperate future. But when he disrupts the balance of power in a corrupt mining town, he unleashes a firestorm of brutality, betrayal and cold-blooded murder. Now, on man stalks a savage land where justice walks a razor and no bullets slice deeper than vengeance. He is A MAN CALLED BLADE.
John Steiner (SALON KITTY, CALIGULA) and Donal O’Brien (RUN MAN RUN, KEOMA) co-star in this muddy, bloody and extreme ‘Spaghetti Western’ that is truly a cut above the rest. Co-written and directed by the notorious Sergio Martino (TORSO, MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD), MANNAJA: A MAN CALLED BLADE has been fully restored from original Italian vault materials including its infamous ‘eyeball torture’ scenes.