A priest and his twin brother take turns defending a small town from the vicious Clayton gang.A priest and his twin brother take turns defending a small town from the vicious Clayton gang.A priest and his twin brother take turns defending a small town from the vicious Clayton gang.
Apparently, we are too far away from Spaghetti Westerns...
The spaghetti western is/was a very specific genre, and by the standards of the day, they were a huge departure. The first several - A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, to name a few - all in the unique hands of director Sergio Leone - are classics. Those that came after - including this one, Diamante Lobo (God's Gun) - not so much. The problem starts with the script, which leaves a lot to be desired. In Leone's films, he realized that he was working with a lot of actors for whom, however good they might or might not be, English was not their first language, if in fact they even spoke it at all. So he wisely devised an approach that required very little dialogue, depending mainly on action, atmosphere, style and - yes, violence. A lot of it. In Leone's hands, this combination spoke volumes. When it came to Gianfranco Parolini (aka Fred Kramer), the magic touch just wasn't there. For Diamante Lobo/God's Gun, the script was just awful - clichéd situations, cheesy dialogue, bad continuity. This saddled some of Hollywood's most reliable actors with a difficult assignment - making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. To a great extent, they were constrained by the director, and they fell back, as actors will, on their shtick, to get them through. For some (Sybil Danning, Jack Palance, Leif Garrett), it worked better than others (Lee Van Cleef, Richard Boone). For Van Cleef, the spaghetti western was familiar territory. But playing sort of against type in such familiar surroundings - good an actor as he was - just doesn't ring quite true. Boone, in one of his last films and probably already in poor health, in addition to being miscast, was just plain disappointing. Palance chews up the scenery, as he was wont to do in many films before and after - too broad, and yet it worked. Garrett, one of Hollywood's most promising young actors at the time, hit most of the right notes. Danning - well, she didn't have much to do, but she handled it quite well. The production values were inadequate. The town looked very well turned out for a dusty old stage stop. The post production just made things worse - bad dubbing, in some cases laughable voice replacement, second-rate scoring, editing that worked against the script (although perhaps in spite of it - who knows?). In short, there was a film in there somewhere, but it didn't have a chance to show itself. Two final thoughts: Although Van Cleef was a veteran of the genre, he wasn't the best choice for role(s). Leif Garrett was quite good when allowed to be. Too many reviewers just hate on child actors as a matter of course. And quite a few deserve it. They may be cute, but they are not good. But some are genuinely talented. Garrett was among them until the music thing overtook him. One can only wonder what might have happened had he not gone the teen idol path. As an actor, he sure had the chops.
- Dec 23, 2016
Contribute to this page
Suggest an edit or add missing content