by Jaime Grijalba.
How’s everyone doing? Are you liking the Western Countdown? Are you liking the Obscure Westerns? Please, tell me in the comments if this is a worthwhile endeavour that I put myself through every week. Feedback is good guys, don’t be ashamed of putting a comment down below if you are willing to do so. So, we’re approaching the last 20 films of the countdown, and that means that we only have 4 more obscure westerns to look at. So, today we dwelve once again in the crazy world of spaghetti western, and made in a year when the best italian western that I’ve seen was made, of course I’m talking about ‘C’est una volta il west’ (1968), but that’s besides the point. Today we are dwelving once again in the western revenge film, similar to the one discussed last week, but obviously it immediatly seems like the quality is absolutely different, just by seeing the top picture used, and while it isn’t exactly promising, I assure you, at least it’s loads and loads better than that Al Adamson film that we talked about the last time. As we are used to, we have a personal and exclusive review key for this series, where every movie has one of four possible ratings. This is the image, thanks to Bob Clark for the design and editing,
‘L’ira di Dio’ (1968), released internationally under the title ‘Wrath of God’, similarly titled to the northamerican western ‘The Wrath of God’ (1972), and for a second I thought this was the original film and the later movie was a remake of this, but they have absolutely nothing to do one with the other. This is really a decent italian western, it starts in a similar fashion to the movie that we talked about last week (I don’t even want to mention it because I just shudder to the mention of its name), it starts with a man coming home, just like the other one started with a couple going home after getting married. This man is coming home after a long time, he has made a lot of money working and he also has some money in his house, and he can’t wait to arrive so he can go with his wife and buy a large piece of land to cultivate, on the way home he finds an old friend, whom he saves from certain death from a cobra (you know, the classic scene, the character behind says ‘don’t move’ and pulls out the gun, the person that is being pointed at raises his hands and finally when the other guy shoots, he’s shooting something that’s behind him, a bit clichéd and stock, but it works, for sure). The thing is that he goes home and he finds that his wife has been killed and raped (well, maybe not in that order) and the money that he had robbed, and he also is ambushed by five robbers who try to kill him, but he manages to survive. There’s a couple of shots that reminded me of ‘Kill Bill Vol. 1’ (2003), when the Bride was on the ground looking up to his five killers, neat stuff and a clear influence for Tarantino.
The movie continues with his search for revenge, killing everyone that he finds responsible for the death of his wife, and there’s obviously a big twist at the end, discovering the real culprit of all the atrocities commited (though a bit obvious with this review as to point who it is), but it truly came as a surprise to me as I was watching it. The film has some beautifully photographed sequences, there’s a fight in the dessert, where the shot is above the characters fighting, and we see as well as understand the choreography, and at the same time marvel at the figures that they seem to draw with their movements, there’s also a classic poker scene (every spaghetti western that I’ve seen so far has a poker scene, but I can’t say the same about every american western film) where there’s never a true play of the game, as it serves more like a menace and a demonstration of the power of our protagonist and the cowardice nature of one of the people who killed his wife. The film, nevertheless, has some weak moments, specially since we understand that he has revenge and when he finds himself with the first bad guy, there are some good twenty minutes, and practically everything that goes between the acts of revenge and killing is somewhat boring, and only towards the end it picks up some speed and interest. That brings down a film that could’ve been certainly better. This becomes an interesting picture with a nice revenge plot and worth seeing if you ever find it.