Perche uccidi ancora (1965)

Anthony Steffen had a big career through the 1960s and 1970s. He was often compared to Clint Eastwood in terms of physical appearance and style, and his work even supposedly influenced Eastwood into creating films such as High Plains Drifter. Steffen mostly appeared in Italian Westerns, starring in 27 of them (often as the replacement for Franco Nero in Django films) and achieving considerable fame in Europe and Brazil. Unfortunately that popularity was never quite matched in the United States, and Steffen remains much more of a cult actor here.

In Perche uccidi ancora, AKA Stop the Slayings, Steffen plays a man named Steve McDougall, an amoral anti-hero who has gone AWOL from the army to get revenge on the rival Lopez clan for the murder of his father. The Lopez and McDougall families have been feuding for a while, but the Lopez are rich and can hire hitmen and mercenaries. So in what he thought was a stroke of genius, the Lopez tied Steve’s father to a post and had all of their men ride up and take a single shot at him…all 20 of them. Steve comes back for revenge despite the protests of his sister and uncle, all while a troop of soldiers are searching for him to bring him back. And then there is the beautiful Pilar, Lopez’s daughter who loves Steve and wants the feud to end.

The villains in this movie make one crucial mistake and never attack en masse early on, giving Steve time to whittle down their numbers, three here, then two, then an ambush that kills four, etc. He’s often amoral about his killing, surprising his enemy and catching them off guard with a bullet…which suits things just fine, as they’re not much nicer. Eventually the Lopez clan gets killed off, but in the process Steve murders the brother of a man called the Gringo, and he proves to be much worse than Lopez.

This is a Western for folks who have already seen a bunch of Westerns and just want another one to seek out just because; it doesn’t really do anything new with the genre and there doesn’t seem to be much special about it. There’s comic relief in the Undertaker character, some awkward cuts, and some really terrible timing with the sound effects and dubbing at times. The plot is thankfully coherent but never really does anything to stand out beyond the cruelty of how Steve’s father is murdered. Still, you looked like you could use your Westerns in your life, so here you go.

Unfortunately, I can’t find a trailer for this one. Sorry, folks!

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