17 January 2015 | Leofwine_draca
Workmanlike with some neat stylistic touches
A fairly successful Euro western, DUEL IN THE ECLIPSE occupies a fairly middling position in the sub-genre, its quality eclipsed (pun intended) by the Leone classics along with the endless Django and Sartana films. This is a Spanish/Italian co-production with plenty of weird style to recommend it, although it's not quite as weird as CAPTAIN APACHE! The film was made on the cheap and it shows, and yet it holds a certain charm despite the deficiencies present. Square-jawed Canadian star Lang Jeffries plays a gunslinger clad in a leopardskin who makes it his job to take out a gang of sadistic ruffians led by the boorish Fernando Sancho. The presence of an expect black-clad shooter allows the film it's German title, REQUIEM FOR DJANGO, although the original title was the more generic REQUIEM FOR A GRINGO.
DUEL IN THE ECLIPSE was directed by a pair of Spaniards who are better known to fans of the Euro-horror film; Jose Luis Merino made the excellent Gothic horror shocker KILLERS OF THE CASTLE OF BLOOD, while Eugenio Martin handled the all-time classic HORROR EXPRESS. Thus the film's horrific and sometimes sadistic overtones are all the more welcome and the style generally makes this a winner, although there are some crucial mis-steps along the way (including an interlude with the zoom lens which must have made Jess Franco a happy man!). The storyline might be simple and familiar, but as a whole this is a workable western with some neat, unique elements, not least the titular event.