Massacre Time / Tempo di massacro (1966)

3.0 out of 5

Acting on a message from an old family friend, prospector Tom Corbett, Franco Nero, returns to the town of Laramie after some years away and finds it in the thrall of the corrupt Mr Scott, Giuseppe Addobbati, and his psychotic, sadistic son 'Junior', as played by Nino Castelnuovo. After one atrocity too many Tom teams up with his boozy brother Jeffrey, George Hilton, to take these villains down. But why does Scott appear to be protecting Tom from murder at the hands of Junior and his men?

Hot on the heels of Nero-starrer Django, Lucio Fulci's first entry into the western stakes has a lot going for it. The pairing of Nero and Hilton – long before the latter's giallo leading man days – is as much fun as one might imagine and Castelnuovo's Crispin Glover-esque performance as the insane Junior has to be seen to be believed. There's enough shoot-outs and fist fights to keep any oater addict happy and Fernando Di Leo's script has enough quirks to mark the film out from the trillion other Italian westerns released in the period. Under the title Colt Concert, Fulci's film was once something of a holy grail to UK VHS collectors.

Not quite in the same league as Maestro Leone's westerns, but let's face it - very few films are.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics