And God Said to Cain / E Dio disse a Caino... (1970)

4.0 out of 5

Vengeful spirit Klaus Kinski rides into town upon a brisk gale and a ghostly horse; brandishing a double barrelled shotgun and a chip on his shoulder, Kinski seeks retribution with the man who sent him to the chain gang for a crime he didn't commit. Drenched in shadow, he silently creeps through the town's catacombs, efficiently dispatching the 30 mercenaries employed to protect his quarry - the doting but ultimately corrupt father of an innocent, blue eyed, blonde haired confederate son...

If Vengeance was his dress rehearsal, Antonio Margheriti truly nailed the Gothic EuroWestern second time around with And God Said to Cain. Entrusting long term collaborator Riccardo Pallattini with the moody, chiascuro tinted photography and allowing baroque interpretations of sound design to underline the atmospheric dread, the film is a stylistic feast for the senses.

Less a Western, more a dust-bowl exercise in stalk and slash, And God Said to Cain shrink-wraps the by-now-on-the-wane-spaghetti, repackaging it as a near perfect post-Django, pre- Fulci expression of frontier horror. Near perfect that is, because Carlo Savina's Tom Jones-esque title theme is somewhat out of place in this otherwise simmering, windswept essay in revenge.

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