The pitiless gang of the notorious Mexican bandit, Monetero, attacks a gold-laden railway convoy, unbeknownst to them, however, that the dauntless bounty hunter in black known as the "Stranger" is after them. But, shiny gold is always tempting, and as one of the thieves hides the loot, the hunter decides to team up with his prey after saving him from the gallows, and Clayton, a duplicitous bank employee, joins Monetero and the Stranger in a dangerous treasure hunt. Now, the reluctant companions are in search of a fragmented medallion that leads to the hidden treasure. Will they find the gold, and live to tell the tale?Written by
"Any Gun Can Play" (1967), directed by Enzo G. Castellari, is a very good pastiche of Spaghetti Westerns, especially Leone's. The first half is great, which, apart from the opening which is a direct nod to "For a Few Dollars More", with Monco, Colonel Douglas Mortimer and El Indio lookalikes walking into a ghost-town and then promptly killed by a Bounty Hunter called "The Stranger", is entirely serious, with great gunfights (especially the train-robbing scene), fast and furious action and nice performances from Gilbert Roland, George Hilton and (who manages well, considering that he is badly miscast) Edd Byrnes. But then, when the film reaches the half-way mark, there is a jokey fist-fight between Hilton and Byrnes. It isn't very funny, and is the weakest part of the film, but it throws everything you have seen previously in a new light. You realise that in fact the whole thing is a spoof of Spaghetti Western conventions, and in retrospect, the first half is so well done that you completely miss this spoof undercurrent. What now follows is a more obvious parody, with even some acrobatic jumping around from Brynes that predates all those seventies Circus Westerns. The ending, a complete send-up of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" climax, is very well done, as in other hands it could have been very silly. So, a pretty fun Spaghetti Western, that doesn't take itself too seriously. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Spaghetti Westerns.
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