El Chunco, quien sabe?
This expansive and beautifully structured spaghetti western exists within a sub-genre of westerns in the 1960’s and 70’s that dealt with the subject of the Mexican revolution. This tumultuous period in Mexican history offered politically motivated filmmakers the opportunity to comment allegorically on the various social and political upheavals of the day. Unfortunately very few of these films also managed to be wonderfully entertaining but A Bullet for the General succeeds admirably in this department. The political subtext of the film can be laid squarely with the communist leanings of Franco Solinas who adapted the story by Salvatore Laurani to suit his outlook. Earlier in the year Solinas had penned The Battle of Algiers (1966), and this western works through many of the same themes and concerns. Clearly director Damiano Damiani (best known to horror buffs for Amityville II: The Possession (1982)) is sympathetic with this attitude and would return to politically motivated material with his excellent How to Kill a Judge? (1976). Damiani brings an invigorating and commercial approach to material that could have become staid and preachy in the hands of a lesser filmmaker.
© Shaun Anderson 2010