One More to Hell Review (Scherpschutter)
One More to Hell (Uno di più all'inferno)
The Wards are trying to chase all settlers from what they think is 'their' valley. Only one of settlers, Steve, manages to resist them, thanks to the help of an exceptionally proficient gunslinger called Johnny King. But according to the oldest and most dangerous of the Ward brothers, every person has a weakness, and Johnny King's weakness is other people's wives. When in town, Johnny seduces the sheriff's wife, and is subsequently thrown in jail, where he comes to quarters with a cellmate, the not so successful bank robber Meredith. When Meredith finds out who Johnny really is and what he's capable of, he changes his mind and asks him to join his gang. The two men break out and quickly become successful bank robbers thanks to Meredith's experience and Johnny's dexterity, but then Johnny discovers that Steve has been murdered by the Wards ...
This is the second of three spaghetti westerns directed by Giovanni Fago, following the ambitious Vengeance is Mine (starring Gianni Garko and Claudio Camaso), preceding the exotic O'Cangaceiro (set in Brasil and starring Tomas Milian). It stars George Hilton and it's more a Hilton than a Fago movie. The character Johnny King will remind some viewers of the philandering no-good (with a good heart) Kitosh, played twice by Hilton, in J. L. Merinho's Kitosch, the Man who came from the North and Fernando Cicero's Time of the Vultures. Not only is Johnny a fast-shooting philanderer, but the movie also combines comedy elements with a violent, revenge-driven story.
One More to Hell opens with the evil Gérard Herter shooting at Mexicans with his sniper-rifle in Major Jackson style. It's a bizarre, grim opening, but otherwise the first half of the movie is fairly lighthearted, a sort of caper story with a silly barroom brawl thrown in; the brawl features Hilton as a drag queen and is actually so silly that you'll feel sorry for those involved in it. But then, halfway, all of a sudden, the helm is put over and the whole affair turned into a rather nasty revenge movie. Usually movies with a similar about face aren't very popular among genre fans, but Hilton seems to fare best in exactly those type of movies and in this particular case he gets excellent support of Gozlino (cast against type as Hilton's good-natured buddy) and Gérard Herter (inevitably cast as the meanest of the Ward brothers). Hilton's character is also quite colorful, quick-witted, quick on the draw, a gunslinger and a Don Juan, but also a nimble-fingered Houdini.
The movie was nearly entirely shot on Italian soil, most of it near Tor Caldara, South-West of Rome, with only a couple of additional outdoor scenes shot in Almeria. Nico Fidenco's score is quite nice and the theme song, sung by Gianni Davoli, is very catchy, but also pretty bizarre: it sounds like a teerjerker, has a horribly misspelled title - For Give and Not Forget - and Davoli's accent is so strong that it's virtually impossible to understand the text. One More to Hell is a modest, low budget affair, but thanks to the actors, the score and the accent it's a nice ride most of the way. Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi also provided the script with a couple of nice references to other movies: Hilton kills Herter by shooting through the telescope of his rifle, resounding the final scene of Valerii's The Taste of Killing, while Hilton's homecoming and the way he uses a rifle after his shooting hand has been crushed, are nods to Tessari's Return of Ringo. However, most references are made to Leone's A Fistful of Dollars. Hilton is seriously beaten up and uses dynamite prior to facing his most dangerous enemy, and Claudie Lange's Liz seems to echo the Marisol character played by Marianne Koch: she's threatened by one of Gozlino's man, a brute who's madly in love with her, but saved by Hilton and of course falls in love with him (unlike Marisol she's not a married woman). Problem - for Claudie - is that Hilton is not the marrying type: he can always find another sweetheart, but it's hard to find a friend, so when Gozlino rides off, he decides to depart with him instead of staying with her.