Death Rides a Horse

(Da uomo a uomo)
Italy 1967. Director: Giulio Petroni
Cast: Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law, Mario Brega, Luigi Pistilli, Anthony Dawson

A Quentin Tarantino favourite — Kill Bill Vol. 1 is sprinkled with references and hommages to it — Giulio Petroni’s Death Rides a Horse is a fast-paced, action-filled Spaghetti Western with a powerful Ennio Morricone score and a fine script by Luciano Vincenzoni, who co-wrote several of Leone’s Spaghettis as well as Corbucci’s The Mercenary. John Phillip Law plays Bill, a vengeful young man out to hunt down the gang that slaughtered his family — in front of his eyes — 15 years before. Lee Van Cleef is Ryan, the outlaw who is after the same gang for reasons of his own. “Replete with baroque torture and acid flashbacks, Death Rides a Horse unfolds in a starkly primitive world — if not a desert on the planet Mars. The Morricone score is among the maestro's most striking, full of choral chanting and pounding kettle drums” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). “A one-of-a-kind blend of Western, horror, and film noir with a clever flashback structure, and one of the most hallucinatory and haunting of all Italian oaters” (American Cinematheque). Colour, 35mm. 114 mins.

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REVIEWS

"Replete with baroque torture and acid flashbacks, Death Rides a Horse unfolds in a starkly primitive world—if not a desert on the planet Mars. The obligatory Ennio Morricone score is among the maestro's most striking, full of choral chanting and pounding kettle drums."

Village Voice | full review