Arrow Video may be best known for their blu-ray releases of cult horror cinema, but they’ve had a fine line in Westerns over the years; here’s a couple of releases from them I’ve found particularly interesting, both from the boom of Spaghetti Westerns that followed Sergio Leone’s classic Fistful of Dollars and its sequels. These two are particularly interesting for the very different attitudes they have – one is morbidly nihilistic and melancholy, the other is intensely moral (but not without reservations).
Cemetery Without Crosses
Our story begins with Ben Caine (Benito Stefanelli), husband of Maria (Michèle Mercier), falling foul of the brutal Rogers family; they kill him and force Maria to watch, and then go and burn the ranch house that the Caines shared with Ben’s brothers.
Before the disaster, Ben and his siblings seem to have scammed the Rogers somehow; the surviving brothers make sure to split the loot between themselves and Maria. She takes her share and brings it to Manuel (Robert Hossein), who used to be a good friend to Ben and her. Manuel is a strange, haunted gunslinger who lives in a ruined ghost town and who always puts on a single black glove before he’s about to get violent. Maria commissions him to help her get revenge – which comes in a form she didn’t expect, but is more than happy to exploit if it will twist the knife in her enemies’ hearts. In the long run, a terrible confrontation is inevitable.