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God’s Gun (1977)

by on 2011/06/19

“You deserve to be alone.”

* * *

I have this huge collection of spaghetti westerns in a big box. I bought the box a while ago, fishing it out of a discount bin at a department store. It has yielded some very pleasant surprises.

Regrettably, God’s Gun is not one of them.

This month we are not only on a western bender but I’m clearly on an evil twin bender. God’s Gun like White Comanche, features an actor playing both the good and evil brother. In this case, the actor is Lee Van Cleef.

I love Lee Van Cleef. I love his Siamese cat eyes and his flinty meanness. When he is bad, he is very, very good.

In God’s Gun, he’s not really anything at all. Not a black hat. Not a white hat. Lee Van Cleef is sort of a beige hat. Both of him.

Let me explain.

God’s Gun is about a small town named Juno City, presided over by a boozy, ineffectual sheriff played by Richard Boone, star of the great TV show Have Gun – Will Travel, a sassy saloon owner named Jenny (Sybil Danny) and the parish priest Father John (Lee Van Cleef).

Father John is a man of few words. (And the words he does say don’t really match the movement of his thin, unsmiling lips. Bad dubbing was a real distraction with this movie).

Father John is helped by a blonde, cheerful altar boy Johnny played by child actor Leif Garrett. The pews are polished, the candles are lit and the communion wine is poured. All is well in Juno City. Big white smiles, everyone.

That is until the Clayton gang storms into town.  The gang is led by Sam Clayton played by Jack Palance – who looks like he is high on nitrous oxide entire time.

This gang doesn’t just pillage, they rape as well. And Jenny’s Saloon, as well as the rest of the town are soon in the grips of paralytic terror.

A giddy Jack Palance is a terrifying Jack Palance.

The Clayton gang is so rattlesnake mean that they actually gun down a priest in full sacramental robes on a Sunday. Father John hits the dirt, leaving a traumatized Johnny to flee town to find the priest’s brother Lewis to avenge the blasphemous death.

The rest of the story is a quirky, somewhat amusing mess – like a Mexican soap opera written by people high on nitrous oxide.

Like I said on the site earlier however I’d still rather be watching a western – even a weird, mediocre one – than doing just about anything else.

* * *

94 minutes

Rate R for rape, rifles, really bad dubbing and the ridiculous grin on Jack Palance’s face

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  1. Month in Review: June 2011 « Geek vs Goth

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