Four of The Apocalypse is a 1975 spaghetti western based loosely, very loosely, on two Bret Harte stories, The Luck of Roaring Camp and The Outcasts of Poker Flat. It starred Fabio Testi as Stubby Preston, Lynn Frederick as Bunny O’Neill, Harry Baird as Bud, and Michael J. Pollard as Clem.
This is one of those films restored by Blue Underground with scenes never used in English language releases, thus never dubbed. Therefor those scenes are in Italian with English subtitles.
Gambler Stubby Preston,looking for a game, arrives in Salt Flat at just the wrong time. He’s promptly arrested and thrown into a jail cell with Clem, the town drunk, Bunny a pregnant prostitute, and Bud, a black man who sees ghosts.
Jail turns out to be the best place for them as a vigilante group cleans the criminal element up that night, shooting or hanging most of them while the sheriff eats his supper.
The next morning the sheriff puts them on a wagon, after “accepting” Stubby’s $1,000, and sends them out of town. They decide to head for the next town two hundred miles away.
Along the way, they pass a group of “Bible” people, exchanging pleasantries, and soon encounter the bandit Chaco(Tomas Milian). At first things seem fine as he hunts meat for them. Then when they are attacked, another side shows.
Shooting their attackers, Chaco finds one still alive and tortures him, slicing strips of skin off until the man dies. That should have been a warning as the bandit turns on them after feeding them peyote buttons and alcohol.
Tying them up, raping the pregnant Bunny, shooting Clem in the leg, he leaves them to die and takes everything, laughing.
Milian was unlike any other character I’d seen him play before. Granted, I’ve not seen a lot yet(I have a couple more I haven’t watched yet), but all those I have seen, he usually played a slightly comedic character. Here he has long hair and beard and is especially sadistic. He wipes out the”Bible” people, men, women, and children.
As our four “heroes” make their way on foot, Stubby and Bud toting Clem on a makeshift stretcher. The four begin to die off, culminating in the birth of a boy in a mining camp full of men, Bunny dying, the miners adopting “Lucky” as their own, and Stubby silently vowing revenge on the monster responsible for it all.
The movie is relentlessly violent in a bleak landscape and Chaco is a particularly reprehensible bandit deserving of what’s coming his way.
I’d not seen a movie like this before, not in this genre anyway, despite the spaghetti western’s propensity for violence and blood. There are other things happening I’d never seen in a western, though I know that sort of thing did happen. Of course there are many more out there that might ramp up the gore. I don’t know. I’ve still got five new acquisitions to go.