1971-1980Enzo G. CastellariEuro WesternsItalyWestern

Enzo G. Castellari – Keoma (1976)

A half-breed ex-Union gunfighter attempts to protect his plague-ridden hometown from being overridden by his racist half-brothers and a Confederate tyrant.

After the civil war’s conclusion, a half-breed returns to his home town only to discover that the ruthless gang is now in control and terrorize the locales.

Keoma was co-written and directed by Enzo G. Castellari, who’s other notable films include Street Law, High Crime and The Inglorious Bastards. Key collaborators on Keoma include cinematographer Aiace Parolin (Seduced and Abandoned, Baba Yaga), composers Guido De Angelis and Maurizio De Angelis (Torso, Alien 2: On Earth) and screenwriter George Eastman (Rabid Dogs, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead).

Like most of his contemporaries Enzo G. Castellari ‘cut his teeth’ as a director working in the Spaghetti western genre. With the first five films that he directed being within this genre, the most notable of these films being, Any Gun Can Play. Years later he would return to the genre three more times, Father Jackleg, Cipolla Colt and Keoma. The latter two were in line with the Spaghetti western / Comedy hybrids that rose to prominence in the early 1970’s, while Keoma is unlike any other Spaghetti western that had come before or since its release.

If just viewed for what is on the surface, Keoma’s plot is fairly routine. And yet the result is something that greatly transcends its anemic plot and one-dimensional characters. Fortunately all the short comings of the plot are quickly forgotten due to the film’s tremendous amount of atmosphere and the way it puts an existential take on this genres familiar themes.

From an action stand point this films does not miss a beat and when compared to other Spaghetti westerns this film is easily near the top when it comes to violent set pieces. As mentioned before there is never a shortage of atmosphere in this film. Whether it be this film’s use of flashback’s and juxtaposition of images, this film’s visuals are pitch perfect throughout. If any area of this film is lacking, that honor would go to this film most unusual score.

Reportedly, this film made up its screenplay while they filmed and while that could have spelled disaster for most films. That is unless those hypothetical films did not have a leading man like ever reliable and charismatic Franco Nero (Django, The Mercenary) in the role of this film’s ‘Jesus Christ’ like protagonist Keoma. Other notable performances include William Berger (Face to Face, Five Dolls for an August Moon) in the role of the man who raised Keoma and Olga Karlatos (Zombie, Murder Rock) in the role of Lisa, a woman who’s befriended by Keoma, after she’s accused of having the plague.

3.00GB | 1 h 40 min | 1024×436 | mkv


Language:English, Italian
Subtitles: English

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