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A MAN CALLED AMEN (Guido Zurli, 1968) **1/2

Author: MARIO GAUCI ( from Naxxar, Malta
31 March 2007

This little-known Spaghetti Western turned out to be a routine effort all round, but one that is mildly enjoyable nevertheless. It features a nice score and is enlivened by the intermittent appearances of a 'phantom gunman' figure (curiously, also to be found in MATALO! [1970], which followed this viewing) and the numerous plot twists at the end. The most renowned actor in the cast is, of course, Akim Tamiroff - playing a tramp/town drunk called Pigsty (although his Italian moniker is literally "Stench"); actually, many of the characters have been given colorful names: Amen, Solitaire, Dean Light, Johnny Siringo, etc. Comedy relief is also present in the form of some over-the-top hard-boiled dialogue (one character is referred to as "mountain of filth", for instance) and the antics (usually subservient but, on occasion, assertive) of the chief villain's meek and long-suffering barber. The only other Zurli film I had watched was the admittedly dismal poliziottesco TARGET (1979); still, one effort of his I'd like to catch is the horror film THE MAD BUTCHER (1971) - starring Victor Buono.

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