Friday, May 13, 2011

Death Rides a Horse (1967)

Director: Giulio Petroni

Starring: Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law, Mario Brega, Luigi Pistilli, Anthony Dawson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: When You've Waited Fifteen Years To Find A Man... It's A Shame You Can Only Kill Him Once!

Plot: The gunmen who killed five defenseless people made one big mistake. They should have killed six! John Phillip Law lives for one purpose - to avenge the massacre of his family by the four bandits who occupy positions of authority in the new "civilised" West. Now, fifteen years later, he meets Ryan (Lee Van Cleef), a man who was just released from prison and is seeking the men who framed him. Together they form an unholy alliance - a dynamic duo combining raw, untamed youth and the experience only a master gun-fighter can offer in the Wild West.

My rating: 8.5/10

Will I watch it again? Si! Si! Si!


How about that tagline? It's one of the all time greats in my book. And how about that trailer? Pure man food! This is one of the best Spaghetti Westerns EVER! Cleef is in top form. You feel for this guy. His goal is just, his character, Ryan, has a well-grounded story arc, and his resolution is fantastic. I really dig how focused he is and, like a lot of his characters of this genre, he commands confidence, fear and respect, depending of course what side you're on - Cleef's good side or his dead side.

The story moves along at a good clip, the set pieces are well constructed, and there are plenty. Ennio Morricone's superb score is primal and raw and really gets to the nerve of the picture. I really dig this flick. It's too bad you have to have connections in order to get your hands on a beautiful widescreen print. As far as I know they only way this is commercially available on DVD is in shitty pan and scan copies. That's too bad because this picture needs to be seen. It deserves it. Besides, with two amazing taglines (the other being, "This is revenge...and there's nothing sweet about it!") and a fanfuckingtastic trailer, this is one film that lives up to them. It's THAT good!

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