And God Said to Cain review by JD
Review of And God Said to Cain (1970) aka E Dio disse a Caino
The legendary and controversial actor Klaus Kinski appeared in something like 25 spaghettis, including some of the top of the genre, such as For A Few Dollars More and The Great Silence. Some of these performances were fantastic and quite intense. Others, like in many other films in Kinki's prolific and varied career, were basically a means to a quick paycheck. Although Kinski has the lead role in Antonio Margheriti's "And God Said to Cain", and plays it quite well (albeit a bit understated for Kinski), it can't help the film be as good as it could have been.
This 1969 film was directed by Antonio Margheriti (often under the name of Anthony Dawson). Margheretti's made several genre pictures, notably the kung-fu/spag Stranger and the Gunfighter, and the godawful spaghetti meets blaxploitation flick Take A Hard Ride. He's directed several others, none of them standouts.
Kinski stars as Gary Hamilton. As the film opens, we see him working hard in some labor camp, and then moments later, is released on pardon. On the way out of prison, he meets the son of the man who he is apparently going to see (a man named Acobar), while in the stage coach. He leaves his canteen in the stage coach, and when the son yells out tho him about him, he tells him to let his father know that he'll be coming by that night to get it. Acobar gets wind of this, and starts to panic, and he also tries to hide this from his son.
Eventually, as night falls, Acobar rounds up his men to be ready for Hamilton, who systematically wipes out all of them, something like 30 men, if you can believe that, and finally finishes off Acobar, who it turns out framed Hamilton for the crime that landed him in the labor camp. Finis.
I had mixed feelings about this film. It was good to see Kinski in the lead role opposed to the 5-minute walk on or customary badguy, but he was remarkably understated in his performance, something he's not really known for. His acting wasn't bad by any means, nor was the acting really bad in the film in general by genre standards.
"I grew up living in a dung heap!" (or so he says) Probably explains the over-the-top tan. Eeew.
One complaint I've read about this film is how the later part of the film is filmed in almost complete darkness. It was dark, but I didn't find it hurting the film. What did hurt it was just that "nothing special" aspect about it. After Hamilton's wiped out about 15 or so guys, ya' kinda know where it's going. And the script had some particularly bad, simplistic dialogue at times that made me wince.
In one of the more interesting deaths in the genre, a man is crushed by a giant bell. Seriously.
One thing I kept noticing (now that I've seen about thirty of these films as of the time of this writing), is the familiarity of the stock set. I'm pretty sure this is the same set as the first Sartana movie, El Desperado, Django the Bastard and probably a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head... Oh yeah.... the Dollars films. Just a thought.
All in all, a pretty stock B-movie pic for the genre. Not bad, not fantastic, and worth a watch if you're into the genre. Just don't expect any surprises.
This article is part of the A Fistful of Pasta archive