3 July 2012 | heybhc
Surprising quasi-western is worth a look!
I just saw a nice widescreen Italian language version of this seldom seen 1971 adventure. It had English subtitles and although the stills I'd seen from this film looked strange and bizarre, the story is very straightforward and accessible. It's very much in the style of the spaghetti western, stars SW staple Tomas Milian as cow loving peasant Espedito, who is outraged at the massacre of his village by Federales (the Brazilian Army in this case). More than that, they killed his cow. He is wounded and rescued by a Rasputin-like hermit who convinces him that he (Milian) is The Redeemer who will lead his people to freedom. Milian buys this line of reasoning and soon has taken over a band of Cangaceiros, bandits, and is on his way to fulfilling this prophecy. A European mercenary convinces him to work for the government by wiping out the other bands, which he does with relish. But the Government wants the oil underneath a village that Espedito is protecting, and havoc breaks loose. Nicely directed by Giovanni Fago, the music is appropriately Brazilian. Milian's get up is right out of carnival and the locations are eye-catching and unique. Not filmed in Almeria, in other words. Definitely worth a look for spaghetti western enthusiasts, and casual viewers will enjoy it too.