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  Death Walks in Laredo They Call Them Trinity
Year: 1967
Director: Enzo Peri
Stars: Thomas Hunter, James Shigeta, Nadir Moretti, Gianna Serra, Delia Boccardo, Umberto D'Orsi, Femi Benussi, Ferruccio De Ceresa, Vittorio Bonos, Adriana Ambesi, Gino Bardi, Gianluigi Crescenzi, Enrico Maria Salerno
Genre: Western, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Whity Selby (Thomas Hunter) has been playing cards in this saloon, and has won, which angers his opponents who turn on him. Luckily for Selby, he has a customised pistol featuring four barrels that gun down the quartet of adversaries in one go, but it does mean he is ordered to get out of town by the authorities. As he is leaving that night, a representative of his late father's appears and hands over a letter that has been some years in the delivery; on reading it, Selby discovers he has the rights to a gold mine some distance from here, as well as noting a photograph of a girl he assumes is a relative. But she is not the only relative previously unknown to him, for he has three brothers...

Death Walks in Laredo, or 3 pistole contro Cesare as it was originally titled, is unsurprisingly an obscure Spaghetti Western, unsurprisingly because such a vast amount of these were produced that it's understandable many would fall between the cracks of the common cultural consciousness, only known to the genre's connoisseurs. But why should it be better known? It was not because of its direction certainly, which made plain a plot that was very much out there as far as sense went, Enzo Peri being the man at the helm for what would be his last outing in that capacity - considering he had only ever directed one other film, a religious mondo movie, that's why he is obscure as well.

But the Italians, when churning out their genre efforts, would just as often try to find a variation on the basic style as they would try to stick to what audiences were familiar with, therefore even in the most derivative of their Westerns there would be a scene or a feature that stood out for its sheer oddity or novelty. In this little item, there were plenty as the film attempted manfully to yoke the previously popular category of their industry into the current champs (thanks to the worldwide success of Sergio Leone), so while this was a broadly lighthearted oater in spirit, the villain the three brothers encounter (yes, there were three) was anything but normal for the location way out West.

First, the other brothers: along with Selby there was Etienne Devereux, born to a French mother, and played by Nadir Moretti as a master of hypnotism and "magnetism", though how he applies these powers was none too clear. We did see him disarm foes with the power of his mentalism, however, and that was not something you would see in many a Western. Something else that was unusual for the time was an appeal to the East Asian market, so the third brother, born to a Chinese mother, was Lester Kato (!), played by James Shigeta who was one of the most popular American-Asians in movies and television for a long while. He demonstrates limited kung fu skills, but waded into the melee nevertheless, thus providing each sibling with a "superpower", if you like, to keep things interesting.

Anyway, to the bad guy, the "Cesare" of the Italian title: he was the brutal landowner, a familiar character in this landscape, played by Enrico Maria Salerno, but with the quirk that he was obsessed with Julius Caesar, therefore spent most of his time directing his legions (of black outfitted henchmen) from his bathhouse on a cliff, surrounded by his concubines and one chap who reads him history books on the subject of his Ancient Roman hero. Yes, he was essentially transplanted from a sword and sandal movie, and nobody else in this was, but it assuredly provided a reason to check this out through its sheer barmy assembly. If anything, it resembled an Italian version of popular US TV show The Wild, Wild West, only with more torture scenes and musical interludes (Delia Boccardo in her screen debut offered two as a showgirl). It was not to be mistaken for quality cinema, but sometimes you needed to see something eccentric to reset your sensibilities somewhat. Music by Marcello Giombini.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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