‘Nest of Vipers’ showcases Giulio Petroni’s complex plotting and atmospheric set pieces

Nest of Vipers (Night of the Serpent)

Directed by Giulio Petroni

Italy, 1969

Though Giulio Petroni has only rather few titles to his name when compared with his prolific, and better known, counterparts, the Italian director does have the bragging rights of working with both Lee Van Cleef (Death Rides a Horse, 1967) and Orson Welles (Tepepa, 1969).

It’s Petroni’s Nest of Vipers, recently released alongside Pierro Pierotti’s less successful Tails You Lose (1969), by Wild East Productions, that showcases the director’s talent for complex plotting and atmospheric set pieces.

Similar to the earlier Ringo series by Duccio Tessari, and to the now time-honored traditions of Leone and Corbucci, the structure of Nest of Vipers pits the outsider (here, and often, the“gringo”) versus a band of outlaws, where a largely unassuming and tight-knit community is caught in between and unawares.

Luke Askew, probably best known for roles in Easy Rider and Cool Hand Luke,
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