MASSACRE TIME a.k.a. Tempo Di Massacre, Colt Concert, The Brute and the Beast, Le Colt Cantarono a Morte E Fu Tempo Di Massacro.
1966, S/P-Fernando Di Leo, LBX, 92 min.. Cast: France Nero, George Hilton, Lynne Shayne, John M. Douglas.
This early Fulci western features France Nero (famous for his Django character) as Tom, a gold panner who receives a note from a family friend to return home. His brother, Jeff, owns the family lands, but upon returning Jeff is nowhere to be found and the area is now owned by Mr. Scott. The townsfolk don't take too kindly to strangers and Mr. Scott and his son, Jr., have a sort of reign of terror going against the townspeople. When one family wants to move away, Scott asks why leave the town where your dead are buried? When the old man replies he has no dead buried in this town, Jr. shoots the old man's son saying he does now. It becomes obvious that the backbone of this terror is played out at the hands of Jr. and Scott is reluctant to play along.
Tom locates Jeff and his Indian maid and they quickly tell him to leave immediately. Tom says he won't go anywhere until he finds out why Carradine sent the note for him to come home. But before Carradine has a chance to tell Tom, Scott's men shoot him and his whole family. When Tom finally meets with Scott, he gets in a fight with Jr. and is almost whipped to death. Later that night, Scott's men come and the Indian maid is killed, so Jeff and Tom head out seeking revenge.
It turns out that Scott is Tom's real father and he had the note sent as he wanted them to be together, but Jr. wanted everything for himself and was trying to keep Tom away. For revenge against the death of his father, Jeff kills Scott, and the two head out after Jr. After killing off about 30 of Scott's men, Jr. takes a nasty little fall to his death.
This is a pretty decent effort on Fulci's part. By no means is this a necessity for western fans, but it offered some nice touches keeping me interested throughout. There are of course plenty of western clichés; the music, shots of guys on horses in the sunset, a not so nice town, etc.) but a good film nonetheless.
The characters of Jeff and Tom are a nice paradox, and is even more believable once discovering they have different fathers. Jeff is a drunken bum with no ambition or cares, constantly looking for liquor and oblivious to the people around him. One thing is for sure, he can sure kick some ass when the time is right, even when completely drunk. Tom is much more well mannered and calm. He has a curiosity about him that won't let things go unsolved. Mix that with a strong determination and you've got a pretty tough character. The two are brought back together for the dilemma at hand, but knowing that they really have nothing in common anymore, it is obvious they will again be going their separate ways though still knowing they can rely on each other if need be.
This is a nice effort from Fulci and the underlying 'brotherhood' theme made it that much more enjoyable.