12 May 2015 | detflygandespaghettimons
Mediocre, light-hearted Spaghetti-Western flick
The movie opens with the familiar scene of Mexican highwaymen robbing an army wagon. These bandits have assistance though, as you then see them divide the loot between themselves and an American associate.
Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Two Arrows, a dastardly youth named Loring Vandervelt (Peter Lee Lawrence) is trying to find his way in life. All while a mysterious stranger, sporting a black hat, has just moved into town (Luis Dávila).
There is not as much violence or skullduggery as one might expect from a Spaghetti flick, despite a fair share of shootouts. Instead the tone of the movie is more akin to it's American contemporaries, rather than the purposely cynical Italian western's made around this time. The humor of the film varies in quality. Many jokes fall flat but a few (like the Mexican general drawing storyboards for his attack-plan) are genuinely funny.
The actors all do a fine, serviceable job. Lawrence depicts the naive, yet optimistic and charismatic role his character calls for, while Luis Dávila nails the part as a laconic loner.
The same can be said for the movies directing and cinematography. The plot moves along at a solid pace, sporting enough twists-and-turns to keep you interested, with a few genuinely surprising moments to stir things around a bit.
The English title, "Death on High Mountain", is completely nonsensical, and do not reflect the film at all.
Lastly, there are some rather undignifying portrayals of Mexicans in this movie, even by the standards of the day. The Hispanic gunmen are basically crude, jocular, caricatures.
Overall, it's a pretty average flick. 6/10