Lose the dark and murky 80's tapes and get the FrancoCleef reconstruction
After enduring ten years of hard labor for a crime he did not commit, Gary Hamilton (Klaus Kinski) is given a a presidential pardon (preposterous, but who cares?) and is let out of prison. After ten years of shoveling and smashing rocks in the hot sun there is only one thing on his mind, revenge. Revenge on Acombar, the man who framed him. Gary soon finds out that this same man is now the wealthiest land baron in the territory and is also sleeping with his wife. Gary purchases a rifle and (with what seems to be a never ending supply of bullets) sets out to extract his revenge on Acombar. But before Gary can get to him he must face 30 of Acombar's bodyguards during a conveniently well timed tornado at night.
Antonio Margheriti (better known as Anthony Dawson or Anthony S. Dawson) returns to his horror roots to direct this suspenseful revenge story. The movie has some fabulous atmosphere. The character of Gary Hamilton is treated as a supernatural by the villains. Wind picks up whenever he appears, animals make strange noises when his name is uttered and his arrival is signified by a threatening Tornando. This all adds to the horror element of the movie (also the fact that a large portion of the film takes place at night).
It's a good little western with a few atypical twists. However it doesn't all go off without a hitch. There is a very nasty pacing problem during the 45 minute storm segment where Hamilton hunts down each and every one of the villain's gunmen. Hamilton does this by firing from windows then ducking before the return fire reaches him and by firing his rifle from holes on the ground when down in a tunnel system under the town's buildings. This goes on for quite awhile. I'm sure you can agree with me when I say there is nothing more dull than some prick hiding behind a barrel and randomly picking off people every now and again. I Hate to see that in westerns. It's alright if it's used once or twice but when several action scenes are devoted to it for long periods of time something is certainly wrong.
In it's defense there are some really creative death scenes, an interesting use of a church bell as a weapon is of particular mention, however there is a severe lack of them overall. Too bad. I also thought that the virtually non-existent tornado should have played a larger role in the film as opposed to making a few cameo appearances as a gust of wind every now and again (they had a nice dust devil effect in "Matalo!". Why not here?). Perhaps the twister could have taken out a few baddies? mmm? Just a thought.
The cast is a good one. Kinski stars as the anti-hero Hamilton. It's almost a sick joke casting Klaus Kinski as a hero. The famous actor played mostly villains throughout his entire career and I have yet to see him playing a good guy in a spaghetti western. I suppose he liked the role because he would usually snag a part where he was on set for as little time as possible for as much money as possible.
Peter Carsten as the greedy Acombar does his job as a slimy no good and the pretty Marcella Michelangeli is unforgivable as Hamilton's cheating wife.
Composer Carlo Savina makes a good soundtrack here. I really like the title theme.
Despite it's faults And God Said To Cain is a welcome addition to any spaghetti western library and worth picking up.
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