This was one of the oddest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s reputation as the weirdest spaghetti western ever made is well deserved. It stars Tomas Milian as the Stranger, the only thing we ever hear him called. Despite the title, it bears no relationship to the popular Django and was used simply to take advantage of that movie’s success(as were thirty or so other “unofficial” sequels).
We first see the stranger clawing his way out of a grave as two Indians are prowling through the wreckage of a camp salvaging what they can. They rescue and nurse him back to health.
In a flashback sequence, we learn what happened. The Stranger was part of a gang that robbed a shipment of gold nuggets and dust. Betrayed by the gang leader, Oakes, he and the Mexicans in the band are shot down and buried. One breaks away with a machete and attacks the horses before dying, gutting and hamstringing a number of them. Most of the gang is left on foot, the few horses left loaded with as much of the gold as they can carry as they set off across the desert.
When the stranger recovers, he learns the two Indians have used the gold left to mold bullets for his pistol. “Gold bullets go deeper!” he is told(I know, odd). They bundle him up and take off across the desert after the gang. They can only be headed for “the unhappy place” the Indians tell him.
And a strange town it is. We can see that as the gang enters. A naked boy standing in the street, a man with his boot on the neck of another boy, a third in a window biting an arm.
The whole town rises up and a running battle with the gang develops, each being strung up as he’s killed. By the time, the Stranger arrives, Oakes is the only one left alive, shooting it out with the townspeople from a building. He finishes him off with his gold bullets.
A brief word here about the DVD. It’s from Blue Underground and has been restored. The American version was edited, some of the goriest scenes cut. These are back and, having never been dubbed in English, are in Italian. They aren’t long enough to distract and are easily followed.
The gold has disappeared and the movie starts to get really weird from this point. Director Guilio Questi has filled it with all sorts of things not normally seen. Templar, the bar owner, and Alderman, a pious old goat have the gold.
Alderman has a woman locked up in a room of his house. Claims she’s his wife and crazy. There’s a rich landowner who dresses in white and is named Zorro. His “muchachos” are all dressed in black trimmed with silver and, as the movie goes on, are obviously gay.
The movie keeps piling it on with torture, plain bloody violence, sexual depravity, greed, betrayal, the Stranger strung up in a cell wearing a loin cloth, sharing it with vampire bats, a scalping in all its bloody glory, an Indian with a blow gun.
Through it all, the Stranger has a dignity that seems to escape everybody else in town. And he’s an outlaw!
An odd movie and probably not for everyone. Horror crossed with western, a back comedy at times. Not the best movie I’ve ever seen, or the worst for that matter, I liked it.