Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)

Matt Cimber is an example of the individuals that I refer to as a nexus point, as he unites so many different films that I end up writing about so often. Blaxpolitation? He made The Candy Tangerine Man and The Black Six. Late 60’s and early 70’s pre-porn revolution sex movies? As Gary Harper, he made The Sexually Liberated FemaleHe & She and Man & Wife: An Educational Film for Married Adults (an “educational” movie made in Sweden that does have actual intercourse). Strange “it’s kinda, sorta horror”? He made The Witch Who Came from the Sea with cinematographer Dean Cundey. Sword and sorcery? He made Hundra. He was also pivotal in the lives of Pia Zadora (Butterfly) and his wife Jayne Mansfield (Single Room Furnished) and helped create the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling.

So when it comes time to write about Italian-style Westerns, it stands to reason that Matt Cimber should have made one of these films as well.

The best reason to watch this movie is Laurene Landon, who has been in more movies on this site than I realized. She was a featured skater in Mark Lester’s Roller Boogie before showing up in the wrestling film …All the Marbles, Full Moon HighAmerica 3000Maniac CopManiac Cop 2Wicked Stepmother and in one of the commercials in The Stuff. She was also in Cimber’s Italian-American-Spanish barbarian film Hundra, complete with an Ennio Morricone score, pretty much making it a legitimate Italian film.

Here, she plays the titular blonde half-Native American Yellow Hair, who is out to find the gold of Tortuga and battling numerous outlaws and Mexican soldiers, including her arch-nemesis Colonel Torres. Helping her out is her sidekick the Pecos Kid.

This is a weirdly put-together film, as it starts like a movie serial and ends like one, including crowd noise and cheers as the characters are introduced. Even the final movies are told like a cliffhanger instead of a narrative and the violence is often staccato in nature, with gunshots and people being shot shown numerous times in succession.

While this film seems like it could be one of the kids — seeing as how basic and silly the story is — it’s also filled with plenty of ultraviolence, including people being launched off cliffs, lynched and their heads dipped in hot gold before being lopped off.

How Italian is this movie? Numerous snakes and horses have had to have been hurt making it. That said, it is nowhere near the highpoints of the genre, but I read someone say that if you happened upon this movie when you were a pre-teen on a Saturday afternoon, you’d be obsessed about it as an adult.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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