After selling his cattle in town, ranch owner Morgan unexpectedly dies, and his foreman Pike has to deliver the payroll to Sonora, despite the perilous journey during which he's followed by many shady characters who want the money.
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Lee Van Cleef,
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Rugged trail boss and reformed criminal Pike promises his honest wealthy employer Morgan that he will venture across the desert to deliver $86,000 dollars in payroll money to a ranch in Sonora, Mexico. Pike makes an uneasy alliance with smooth, yet shifty gambler Tyree in order to successfully complete his dangerous mission. During their perilous trek Pike and Tyree encounter desperate prostitute Catherine and her loyal ace martial artist half-breed companion Kashtok. Meanwhile, ruthless bounty hunter Kiefer and numerous greedy others give dogged chase. Written by
Thrilling Spaghetti/Paella Western co-produced by US , Italy , Spain and shot in Canary Islands
Offbeat Western deals with tough and two-fisted African-American Pike (Jim Brown) must complete promises his upright wealthy employer Morgan (Dana Andrews) that he will venture across the desert to deliver $86,000 dollars in bankroll money . As Pike will have to ride across Mexican border to a ranch in Sonora, Mexico . Pike attracts a motley bunch of comrades for his trip , as he makes an uneasy alliance with smooth, yet suspicious card gambler Tyree (Fred Williamson) in order to execute successfully his risked assignment , meanwhile the dudes run afoul of bounty hunter Kiefer (Lee Van Cleef) . During their perilous trek Pike and Tyree pick up a couple of strays and desperate waifs , meet harassed whore Catherine (Catherine Spaak) and her loyal Kung-Fu fighting Indian companion Kashtok (Jim Brown) , while a vast army of pursuers chase after the loot . Along the way they face off ruthless bounty hunter Kiefer , a shifty marshal (Barry Sullivan) and numerous greedy chasers who give a dogged pursuit .
This is a rather passable attempt to expand the Spaghetti/Paella Western blending the blaxploitation and Kung-Fu markets . Action Western in which a rugged trail boss as well as reformed criminal makes an uneasy alliance with an offbeat group of roles for his journey and to transport large payroll throughout Mexican border , being mercilessly pursued by a nasty bounty hunter who wants to take a heap of money . The film stands out the breezy chemistry between Jim Brown and Fred Williamson . Nice personalities wasted in a mediocre screenplay . The storyline is uneven but has its agreeable moments here and there . The picture takes part a little genre in which during the 1970s achieved splendor and mingled Spaghetti Western and martial arts with influence of David Carradine-Kung Fu series . Good stunts , including people falling from heights , slam into railings , throw themselves just in front of camera , bridge explosion and many other things . The notorious filmmaker , producer and stuntsman Hal Needham was brought in to coordinate stunts on the film , though he was promptly removed from the production . The support cast is pretty well , formed by a colorful team of characters full of bandits , sheriffs , deputies , desperadoes and outlaws such as ace martial artist half-breed Jim Brown , veteran Harry Carey Jr , Hollywood star Barry Sullivan , Robert Donner , and usual Spanish secondaries from Paella Western as Jorge Rigaud and Ricardo Palacios , both of whom worked with Lee van Cleef in Margheriti's previous Western : ¨Blood Money¨ or ¨Karate , colt and impostor¨ , being shot in Almeria , Spain . Adequate and sunny cinematography by Riccardo Pallottini , it is well set , in fact the town set from the opening scene has been become a sort of western theme park and , nowadays , everything is there exactly as it was in the movie , the main street houses and church . Filmed on location Canary Islands , Gran Canaria , Lanzarote , as surrounding area was used extensively, utilizing the black, volcanic sand of the island and also the dunes of Maspalomas on the southern coast . Fun and great musical score by maestro Jerry Goldsmith , he did one of his best for the genre . Jerry creates an absolutely fantastic score but was actually criticized for making a score superior to the film.
This oddball motion picture was professionally directed by Antonio Margheriti who was born in 1930 , Rome, and died in 2002 . He was a director and writer , known for Yor (1983), Virus (1980) and Horror castle (1963) . Italian writer-director of horror and exploitation films, a former university engineering student who began in films in 1956 . He was also an expert in special optical effects and model-making . Often used the pseudonym 'Anthony M. Dawson'. He directed all kind of genres such as Wartime : The last hunter , Tornado , Code Name : Wild Geese , Commando Leopard , Der Commander ; Sci-Fi : War of planets , Planet on the prowl , Criminali Della Galassia ; Action : Operazione Goldman , Indio , The Squeeze , Cyberflic ; Terror : The Virgin of Nuremberg , Virus or Cannibal Apocalypse , Alien from the Deep , Flesh for Frankestein and Spaghetti : Joko , Dynamite Joe ,The Stranger and the Gunfighter , And God Said to Cain .
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