Professionals for a Massacre

George Martin, Edd Byrnes and George Hilton in Red Blood Yellow Gold
Red Blood Yellow Gold
Red Blood Yellow Gold

Aka Professionisti per un massacro (it), Los Profesionales de la Muerte (Es), Professionnels pour un massacre (Fr), Ein Stossgebet für drei Kanonen (WG), Red Blood Yellow Gold (unconfirmed)
1967
Italy/Spain
Oreste Coltellacci for Colt Produzioni, Medusa Distribuzione (Rome), Producciones Cin.cas Balcazar (Barcelona)
Director: Nando Cicero
Story & Screenplay: Roberto Gianviti, Jesus Jaime Balcazar, Vincenzo Dell’Aquila, Jose Antonio De La Loma
Cinematography: Francisco Marin {Eastmancolor}
Music: Carlo Pes
Editor: Roberto Cinquini
Set design: Juan Alberto Soler
Cameraman: Aristide Massaccesi
Release information: Registered 02.12.67. Italy (07.12.67, 90 mins), Spain (Madrid, 16.02.70), France (06.11.68 – 90′)
Spanish takings: €123.325,71
Cast: George Hilton (Tim Doley), George Martin (Fidel Ramirez), Edd Byrnes (Chattanooga Jim), Gerard Herter (Major Lloyd), Monica Randall (Annie), Jose Bodalo, Gisella Monaldi (Sister Luisa), Milo Quesada (Logan), Gisella Monaldi, Claudio Trionfi, Bruno Ukmar

Well, if you like Spanish actors playing ugly, insane Mexicans this is the film for you. Laughing maniacally with chicken gizzards dripping from their lips and stale tequila encrusted on their beards, this lot are the most sanitorially challenged bunch I’ve seen in a long apprenticeship of mutoid watching. And that’s just the women. Honestly, I spent most of this film trying to work out whether the females in this were played by transvestites or whether they really were the product of some form of unpleasant Almerian inbreeding experiment. That’s to say nothing of the laugh-a-second “let’s put this idiot into a clay pot and shoot at his head for entertainment” fun and games, or one particularly hopeless numbskulls attempts to force a dumb man to talk.

In fact, at this point something has to be said about the unwholesome predilection that such despot banditos have for burying people up to their necks in the sand. Is it some form of bastard Feng-Shui? You know, “Well, it hasn’t been that good a season on the pointless grimace and eye rolling front, but a couple of heads griddling in the sun to the North East will solve that one…” They should sell this idea down at Ikea – it would go down a storm. Authentic charbroiled heads plus beaker of water just out of reach, adds just the right sparkle of insouciance to your des res.

Oh yes, the plot. Well, Red Blood Yellow Gold entertains the enjoyable notion that just about everyone involved in the American civil war was in it for their own financial good. Most notably, the villainous dude Major Lloyd (frighteningly German looking Gerard Herter) who, along with some traitorous chums, manages to make off with a wagon load of gold from the Southern camp. Working with the reasonable supposition that to catch a thief you should use a thief, the aggrieved General decides to put not one but three habitual miscreants (Hilton, Edd Byrnes and George Martin) on the trail. Keeping them under control is Lt Logan (Milo Quesada, best remembered as the sadistic witch baiter “Satchell” in Jesus Franco’s The Bloody Judge (Il Trono di fuoco, 70)), who is himself under suspicion of being a Union spy.

Getting to the point of it in Red Blood Yellow Gold
Getting to the point of it in Red Blood Yellow Gold

Before long the aforementioned muchachos turn up to complicate matters further, but things are kept to a generally simplistic level. There are no deep meanings or hidden subtexts here, just an enjoyable horseback romp in which athleticism and pacing are pushed to the fore. There is some great photography and an incomprehensible ending that involves a Mexican village being bombarded by coffins on pulleys!

On the whole, I don’t like this as much as the other Nando Cicero/George Hilton collaboration, Last of the Badmen. It does display a similarly cynical world-view and juxtaposition between gravity and levity, but doesn’t have the underlying bleakness of the earlier piece. Considering that the director went on to be best known for helming above-average saucy comedies throughout the seventies, it seems more likely that his former outing was a youthful aberration. Edd “Kookie” Byrnes also co-starred with Hilton in Enzo Castellari’s Any Gun Can Play and looks pretty good in this agreeable nonsense.

About Matt Blake 867 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.

1 Comment

  1. You hit the nail on the head on this one Matt. It’s the least of the Edd Byrnes trio of Spaghetti westerns he made, but it’s entertaining because the action is almost non-stop. As you said, there’s no message here just an athletic romp through the Wild West.

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