One More in Hell

Nothing like a bit of melon in the morning, One More in Hell
Nothing like a bit of melon in the morning, One More in Hell

aka Los machos (Fr), Django – Melodie in Blei (WG), Uno di più all’inferno (Italy)
1968
Vittorio Martino & Leo Cevenini for Flora Film, Luciano Martino for Devon Film
Director: Giovanni Fago
Story: Ernesto Gastaldi, Luciano Martino
Screenplay: Ernesto Gastaldi
Music: Nico Fidenco (C.A.M.), the song ‘Forgive and not Forget’ by Cassia and Fidenco is sung by Gianni Davoli and Nora Orlandi’s 4+4
Cinematography: Anton Giulio Borghesi {Cromoscope – Eastmancolor}
Editor: Eugenio Alabiso
Set design: Enzo Bulgarelli
Release information: Registered 01.08.68. Italy (17.08.68, 93 mins), France (04.03.70, 85 mins), West Germany (11.04.69, 87 mins)
Cast: George Hilton (Johnny King), Paul Stevens [Paolo Gozlino] (Meredith), Claudie Lange (Liz), Gerard Herter (Ernest Ward), Paul Muller (George Ward), Carlo Gaddi (Gary), Jim Clay [Aldo Cecconi] (Herman Ward), Piero Tordi (Father Steve), Adrian Giuffrè, Ferruccio Viotti, Krista Nell (the saloon girl), Lino Coletta (Bill, a bandit), Rex Purdom, Gill Roland [Galimberto Galimberti] (Sean, one of Meredith’s men), Angela Ellison, Ugo Adinolfi, Mirko Valentin, Renato Piciroli (the bank director), Adolfo Belletti, Silvio Bagolini, Robert Anthony, Franco Aloisi, Pino Sciaqua, Rudolph Valadier

“I could kill to get me a pretty woman, but not for money…”, a line which could well have been an epitaph for George Hilton, who displays his trademark easygoing charm in this likable oater with a technical crew that reads like a ‘Best Of’ compilation. Assistant Director Michelle Massimo Tarantini went on to direct such fare as 7 Hours of Violence and Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, Ernesto Gastaldi must have had a pen for a pineal gland and editor Eugenio Alabiso was regularly to be found chopping and splicing these things. Perhaps the most obscure character is the director himself, a bit of a shame really as Giovanni Fago also helmed two other nifty genre entries – For One Thousand Dollars Per Killing (67) and Magnificent Bandits (70).

One More in Hell
One More in Hell

The ruthless Ward brothers are ‘buying up’ everybody’s land. Everyone, that is, except for Preacher MacGregor. Preacher MacGregor, you see, has an adopted son, Johnny King, who happens to be a whip sharp marksman. As he is played by George Hilton, he also has one weakness: women, particularly of the married variety. After being set up for a local murder he is thrown into jail, where he meets Meredith (Paolo Gozlino), a bandit. Before long they escape and join up with the outlaw’s gang.

After organising an elaborate, bloodless robbery, Johnny takes his share of the loot home, only to find that the preacher is dead and already buried. Suddenly he starts dressing in black (“like a priest”) and being a lot less fun than previously. After he kills one of the villainous brother in a duel, the other two realise that they need some extra help and send for the best gunman that they know…Meredith!

There are a lot of nice touches in this. An excellent barroom brawl brought back memories of the old Vittorio Cottafavi Hercules movies, complete with Hilton in drag and lots of elaborately attired showgirls. There is an intriguing relationship between the two main characters in that they are friends who have no intention of taking advantage of the other, a rarity in the cynical world of the spaghetti western. Paolo Gozlino is an enjoyable performer who was more often used as a villain, perhaps best so in Sergio Garrone’s Django the Bastard. He was reunited with Hilton for the Hallelujah movies in the early seventies.

Despite the light-hearted veneer, there is also a distinct aura of sadism lurking beneath all of this, with Fago seeming to relish sequences which often verge on the plain nasty. Several characters get bullets in the eyes – always unpleasant, I believe – and one is even shot through the sight of his rifle. Gerard Herter, always Ger-maniacally evil, plays the viciousness to the hilt by strutting around ranting about how there isn’t anyone worth killing anymore while blowing away melons strapped to peon’s heads in an opening straight out of Django (66). Eurotrash stalwart Paul Muller also puts in an appearance as an equally vile character who dies in a REALLY unpleasant way.

All in all, pretty good. The ending is better than normal, too.

7/10

About Matt Blake 873 Articles
The WildEye is a blog dedicated to the wild world of Italian cinema (and, ok, sometimes I digress into discussing films from other countries as well). Peplums, comedies, dramas, spaghetti westerns... they're all covered here.

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