TEQUILA!, or the other American title FUZZY THE HERO, is an odd movie. It came at the end of the reign of the spaghetti western. The genre did drag through a few more years with a handful of films, but was mostly played out. It had it’s comedic elements introduced with the success of the Trinity films amid a great deal of violence. Roberto Camardiel plays the sidekick Fuzzy and Anthony Steffen the redoubtable bad man Shoshena. I say redoubtable because, as usual with this type, he inevitably does the right thing in the end.
When the film opens in an old ghost town, we find Fuzzy scurrying around in the middle of a gun battle, men trying to kill him and each other. Fuzzy ends up robbing the dead when it’s all over, including a pocket watch and chain. When the cover opens, it plays a musical tune, one known all over the west. It had belonged to a deadly gunman named Jaguar, so dangerous that the sound of that tune was enough to freeze everyone that heard it in their tracks.
Shoshena is a bank robber looking for a new partner, one to watch his back, while he worked. He was a well known safe cracker that utilized a doctor’s stethoscope to listen for the clicks of the tumblers as he spun the dial on a safe.
The town they pick has an officious banker, DeKovan, played by spaghetti vet Eduardo Fajardo, who’s making a play to grab the whole valley. He’s grabbed most of the ranchers’ mortgages by less than honest means and is demanding payment. He doesn’t really expect, or want them paid off. Just the land. He has a son, Rush(José Luis Zalde), with the hots for the daughter of one of the ranchers. Beatrice Lohsman(Maria Elena Arpon) has no interest in the young man who comes off like a spoiled brat, believing because he wants something he’s supposed to get it.
Shoshena and Fuzzy’s first attempt to rob the bank ends badly. You see, the ranchers’ money is put in on the same day each month, then transferred first thing the next day to a more fortified bank in a larger city. There’s only a limited window for them to get the job done. Shoshena is successful, unlocking the safe amid a large number of guards surrounding the building, only to have Fuzzy accidentally bump the door in his joy to hug his partner at the sight of over seventy thousand in cash. Not enough time left to do it again and they sneak out, leaving evidence of their work behind.
DeKovan is alerted and when word comes that a gang of brothers is robbing banks in the area, headed their way, he decides to move the cash to his ranch for safety. Our two bank robbers have to wangle a job guarding the money to get at it. No easy task as Shoshena had already turned DeKovan down on an earlier job offer.
And the gang of brothers coming didn’t help either. The watch the infamous Jaguar had sported had once belonged to the eldest brother until the outlaw had killed him for it. Fuzzy, as the supposed Jaguar, was forging a reputation, aided mostly by Shoshena who knew the truth, though he kept that to himself. The watch alone did most of the work for him.
The violent finale leaves evryone but our two herose dead and the ranchers about to string them up until Shoshena buys their freedom with the bank loot.
The film must be a rarity these days. The Spaghetti Western Database listing has no review and a link to a Spanish language review site, 800 Spaghetti Westerns. The IMDb’s listing has no reviews at all. And there’s not a trailer on Youtube either.