Massacre Time / Tempo di massacro (1966)

3.5 out of 5

Lucio Fulci's first spaghetti western may not have all the stylistic tropes of his later more popular work, but there is enough bloodshed and brutality on offer to surely satiate the desires of his later fans. A beating scene in the middle of the film is a precursor to the one Fulci would employ to greater effect in Don't Torture a Duckling and the climax features some brutal shootings and deaths. People get shot multiple times here. One or two bullets are never enough in a Fulci western!

Fernando Di Leo's script is a bit laboured at times, this is a film in no rush to reach it's conclusion, but stick with it as the rewards are rich and plentiful. If there were any doubt by critics of Fulci's directing talent point them in this film will dispel such a notion. The framing, cinematography and camera angles all very much show a director of extreme talent at the top of his game.

Franco Nero is more Django-like here than any other non-Django western he starred in, George Hilton is magnificent as per usual and a sadistic over-the-top performance by Nino Castelnuovo as the antagonist steals the show.

Fulci and Nero famously fell out with each other a few years after this with Fulci branding Nero "A piece of shit".

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