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EXECUTION (Domenico Paolella, 1968) **

4/10
Author: MARIO GAUCI (marrod@melita.com) from Naxxar, Malta
8 September 2006

Altogether a mediocre offering, this dreary Spaghetti Western has a muddled if unusual storyline but little real feeling for the genre. John Richardson stars in a dual role as an outlaw who's been on the run for nearly 5 years - after which he can no longer be pursued by bounty hunters - and his look-alike younger brother. The latter's deliberately confusing introduction - a gunfight in a saloon in which both opponents are killed (they are traveling entertainers offering a novel form of spectacle) - comes off as unintentionally funny. Being mistaken for his grey-haired and bespectacled brother, he's tortured by a horde of Mexican bandits (who are after the gold hidden by the latter) by way of a studded ball-and-chain; in fact, an interesting aspect of the film is its inventive deployment of weaponry - others include a knife at the end of a billiard stick, and a number of guns and rifles strategically placed on the floor above the saloon - which the younger Richardson then uses to shoot the bad guys, through the cracks in the roof! When the two siblings finally meet, the kid persuades his elder brother to give himself up - leading to a rather weak ending in which he rages over the death of his performing partner (who he had to 'execute' himself for having turned traitor)!! At least, the music score is pleasant enough...

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