BUDDY GOES WEST is not the best spaghetti western I’ve seen. Nor is it the worst, though it skews closer to the bad end. A flat-out comedy, it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. No one dies, there’s very little gunfire. Mostly it’s Spencer shooting the guns out of the bad guys’ hands before fisticuffs break out. This film came late in the spaghetti cycle and the parody is now eating itself.
Bud Spencer goes without his oft times partner Terence Hill, this time being the one who has the comic foil for him to play straight man. Cocoa(Amidou) is his Indian partner and his depiction will surely offend a lot of folks. Completely goofy, he talks most of the time in gibberish and uses hand gestures. He speaks at times in good English, but that may simply be the English dubbed over the Italian.
We see our heroes first when a troop of cavalry is escorting a prison wagon and they sudden;y seem surrounded by Indians on the cliffs overlooking the canyon they’re passing through. Sunlight keeps them in shadows except for the big one riding toward the troop. He’s dolled up in full get-up with a full war bonnet, including buffalo horns, and a red bandanna masking the bottom of his face. We know it’s Spencer. One of the troopers says Mescaleros and I call bad. I’m no expert and it’s possible I’m wrong, but I believe war bonnets were mostly the plains tribes. At least not Apache. Spencer makes motions that he wants the prisoner freed or they’re all dead.
Buddy wants to get rid of his partner and dumps him as he plans to board the train at their stop. Cocoa sees a man with a large case boarding that refuses to turn loose of it, saying “It’s worth it’s weight in gold.” It gives him an idea and he races ahead to set things up.
Buddy has entered the dining car, filled with the hoity-toity dressed to the nines and he in dusty range clothes toting a saddle. Just as he’s about to tuck into a large meal, the train slams on it’s braked, everyone but him sliding to the back of the car. It’s Cocoa who’d built a fire on the tracks and set up some of his cardboard Indians, while he keeps popping up in the window when someone looks out, his face painted, and a menacing scowl.
He comes in and grabs the case, then demands a hostage, taking you know who.
Buddy doesn’t get to eat, a running theme in the film, always interrupted by some bit of action. In one scene, a character asks him how he can eat all that. He says “you have to approach eating scientifically.” There’s one sequence in town where he engages in an eating contest with the local sheriff.
The case Cocoa stole from the gentlman on the train turned out be doctor’s surgical instruments and he is mistaken for a doctor, welcomed as a hero to the dying town.
An outlaw gang led by a man known as Colorado Slim(Riccardo Pizutti) is terrorizing the town, driving people out. Colorado Slim seems to be completely incompetent judging by his every action during the fights. The former sheriff had been shot in the back while digging a new well for the town and his daughter hates the new sheriff, her father’s former deputy, who was supposed to be watching the sheriff’s back.
There’s plenty of fist fights, two Rube Goldberg-like sequences, and Buddy and coca finally start to get a handle on things when Cocoa spots the sheriff climbing down into the abandoned well his predecessor had been digging, fetches Buddy, and they spot him climbing from a second well a hundred yards down the street. Cocoa falls in, makes his way to the other well, and climbs out with bits of gold stuck to his face.
I’ve seen worse, but not often.