After the Civil War, Michael “California” Random, is released from prison and goes to Missouri with his partner William. He is killed by bandits. California decides to return the belongings to his family and help them against outlaws.
User Reviews: Dark, moody, angry, filty, windy, dusty, bloody Spaghetti Western that highlights the plight of the Confederate army following the end of the Civil War. Why would that be dark?
Guiliano Gemma is one such soldier. Just like the rest of them he’s miles from home with no money and no job and one cigarette that he can only take one draw of a day. Gemma doesn’t want anything to do with anyone, but ends up travelling with a young guy called Willy, who earned himself a medal for valour during the war and is now looking forward to heading home to his family.
It’s not easy when everyone hates you. They also keep crossing paths with a bunch of ruthless bounty hunters who kill everyone they are tracking down (led by giant German Raimond Harmstorf, who is most famous for crushing a raw potato in his hand on television). A random fight with some relatives of a Yankee soldier lead to a sudden death and Gemma trying to find redemption.
The only light that shines through the darkness is when Gemma and Willy try to catch frogs for dinner, because after that it’s short tempered gunfights and trekking across the land, hostage situations and the spectre of the war hanging over everyone. The stupidest thing about all this is that despite me watching The Master Touch, I was still taken aback by the ferocity of the fight between Romano Puppo and Gemma – they guys must have loved using each other’s bodies to destroy things.
It’s a shame that the Spaghetti Western died a death, because these late-era films are amongst the best. It’s like directors like Fulci (Silver Saddle), Martino (Mannaja) and Lupo decided to pull out the stops give the best they could. Pity they couldn’t save the genre. If you look at the films produced around this time that were more popular, sex comedies were top of the list.
Maybe they should have put some boobs in there.