Back for the second week in a row with an Anthony Steffen film. There was a bit of confusion when I started watching this film. Whoever posted the English dubbed version had the wrong title listed. They had THE MAN WHO CRIED FOR REVENGE, an entirely different Steffen spaghetti, one that costarred William Berger, another veteran of the Euro-westerns. As the film rolled, I kept wondering where Berger was and who was that kid partnered with our hero.
I got it straight finally.
DEAD MEN DON’T COUNT! is the worldwide English title, though it was also released in the U.S. as the title I use and prefer.
The two men are bounty killers and enter a town trying a bit of a hoax. There’s a fifteen thousand dollar reward for whoever killed an entire family and it’s Johnny’s bright idea to turn in Fred for the reward, later breaking him out in a Sergio Leone plot device. That doesn’t go well as three men have just been hung for that crime. They get locked up for that bit of fraud.
They get involved in a plan where someone is killing off entire families and no one knows why. You’ve got a secret leader of a gang doing the killing, we know him right away, Steve Rogers(Luis Induni), though we don’t get the reason behind it all until the end of the picture.
Fred and Johnny are released from jail when Rogers notices a gun Johnny carried, a fancy piece the businessman recognized immediately though he hadn’t seen it in twenty years. One of a matched pair belonging to Rogers’ wife’s(Maria Martin) first husband, a man the pair had set up to be murdered. The body was never found and she was forced to give up her baby son for adoption before Rogers would marry her. Johnny was closemouthed about the gun, saying only that he had found it beside the road. The intimation is that he’s the son given up for adoption and the father may not be dead.
The kid also falls in love with the daughter of the rancher trying to organize the rest of the valley to stand up to these murderers. Elizabeth Forrest(Dyanik Zurakowska) is her name, a pretty young blond. Her and her family’s fate seem to be the reason for the title I like.
Both Steffen and Damon play against their usual type in the movie. Steffen is not the taciturn, grim fellow, but laughs a lot and seems to care about more than his partner, Damon specialized in vain, cocksure gunmen in most films. Here he’s shy and unsure around Elizabeth.
Lots of action and killing in this one. Check the killcount clip at the bottom.