Director: Franco Rossetti
Starring: Andrea Giordana & Franco Giornelli
More Info: IMDB
Tagline: They dealt in violence and death!
Plot: Set during the last days of the Civil War, an outlaw finds a dying Confederate officer. As the officer expires, he tells the outlaw about a cache of gold hidden in his blind father's home. The enterprising thief takes the dead man's clothes and tricks the father and his housekeeper into believing that he is the son. He is just about ready to begin looking for the gold when an outlaw gang comes to town and forces him to help them rob an army payroll wagon.
My Rating: 6.5/10
Would I watch it again? Yeah, but I've got hundreds of Spaghetti Westerns to get through before that happens.
#17 on Dusk to Dawn Drive-In Trash-o-Rama Show Vol. 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)
Spags. I love 'em and this one's not too shabby. The pacing's not bad, it looks good, there's some great camera shots, some decent fights, lots of innocents killed, and, of course, the prerequisite one-on-one dual in the street at the end.
Some standout scenes...
In a bar fight that Steve (aka Desperado, played by Giordana under his laughable Americanized fake name, Chip Corman) initiates, the piano player gets interrupted by a falling bad guy. He stops playing long enough to throw him off and he's back to playing. Nicely done and funny, but not that over-the-top silly that's prone in these things.
I guess this is where they get the title.
The last 20-30 minutes really take off when Steve starts picking off the Asher gang one by one. This particular dual starts at the top of a hill and Steve's about to plug the guy when the guy starts saying he'd never kill an unarmed man and shit. Steve tosses the guns down the hill and commence to scrappin', eventually rolling down the hill where the each grab a gun in the midst of the scuffle.
Meet Asher, bad guy numero uno!
Meet Steve, our bland hero!
...and that's where my problem lies. Giordana just doesn't cut it as the lead. Now I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say perhaps it's the English dubbing that made the performance underwhelming but then the dubbing on this one, by and large, is above average. I didn't have access to the original Italian track with subs which could have made the difference. Nope. Just look at the guy. Slap Franco Nero or Tomas Milian or, hell, even Giuliano Gemma (not one of my favorites) and that would have improved it by another point.
I almost forgot...Gianni Ferrio's outstanding score. The movie's worth watching just for the catchy theme song. Desperaaaadoooooo. Classic.
But despite Chip Corman's (ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha) performance, it's still a much better than average spag. It's interesting to note that this is director Rossetti's sole spag as director. But wait! HE FUCKING WROTE THE SCREENPLAY TO DJANGO THE YEAR BEFORE?!?!!??!! That makes it all the more sadder that Nero wasn't attached to this. Sigh. Excuse me while I take that piece of info and digest it while I watch the next film, as dreadful as it is, THE GROOVE TUBE (1974).