Although he penned both "Any Gun Can Play" and "Payment in Blood," scenarist Tito Carpi doesn't provide any back story for either the heroes or the villains in Italian director Enzo G. Castellari's "Kill Them All and Come Back Alone," a snappy, straightforward, but shallow spaghetti western set behind enemy lines during the American Civil War that partially resembles Robert Aldrich's "The Dirty Dozen." Carpi co-wrote the screenplay with Castellari, Francesco Scardamaglia of "Johnny Hamlet," and Joaquín Romero Hernández of "Zorro the Avenger." Chuck Connors of "The Rifleman" leads a gang of amoral low-lifers in the service of the Confederate Army on a secret mission behind enemy lines to steal a fortune in Union gold. This colorful horse opera comes packed with lots of explosions, shoot-outs, and double-crosses as well as a surprise or two. Frank Wolff of "Once Upon A Time in the West" and "A Stranger in Town" co-stars as a Confederate Intelligence officer who utters the immortal line when he tells Connors the objective of the mission: "Kill them all and come back alone." This Castellari western isn't the blast that "Any Gun Can Play" and "Payment in Blood" were, and it lacks any women with speaking roles.
Clyde MacKay (Chuck Connors) and his five mercenaries infiltrate a Confederate army camp. Systematically, they eliminate any opposition without actually killing anybody. Stealthily, they converge on the post headquarters and surround the impressed Southern General Hood and his Counter-Intelligence Office, Captain Lynch (Frank Wolff) who had earlier doubled the guard for just such a contingency. This opening sequence resembles a similar scene from "The Dirty Dozen" where Lee Marvin's criminal misfits proved their value by capturing Robert Ryan's U.S. Army Command post during a crucial war games exercise. Nevertheless, Captain Lynch expresses his doubts about MacKay's men: "What is it makes you think we can trust such a band of bandits, killers, and convicts." MacKay retorts: "Isn't that just what you need? Don't underestimate them." MacKay's misfits include an expert with dynamite, Deker (Leo Anchóriz of "Seven Guns for the MacGregors") who is the smartest of the bunch; Blade (Giovanni Cianfriglia, a.k.a., Ken Wood of "Superago and the Faceless Giants") a half-breed who hurl s knives like a wizard casts spells; lightning fast gunman Hoagy (Franco Citti of "The Godfather"); muscle bound Bogart (Hércules Cortés of "Spy Today, Die Tomorrow") who "is strong enough to break a man in two"; Kid (Alberto Dell'Acqua of "Son of Zorro"), will kill at the drop of a hat.
This cut and dried low-budget horse opera features plenty of fast action, with a couple of surprises and revelations. Rugged Spanish location substitutes as always for the arid American southwest and the actors look like they were really perspiring in the sun. If you prefer your westerns with a lot of grit, violence, and no nonsense double-crosses, you'll get a kick out of "Kill Them All and Come Back Alone." Connors makes an effective hero.