KINO LORBER BLU RAY RELEASE: God’s Gun (1976)

I had no idea that this Italian Western was an Israeli co-production and just a few years before they’d make it to the USA, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus would work with The Irwin Yablans Company and Cannon Film Distributors to bring this movie to screens all over the world.

Sam Clayton (Jack Palance, as always, a grinning force of complete menace) and his gang have taken over Juno City, stabbing men and assaulting women before leaving the town in the bloody dust. No man will ride out to stop them, except Father John (Lee Van Cleef), a holy man who rides out unarmed and takes the guilty gang members to jail.

The gang breaks them out of jail and kills the priest, sending a young boy named Johnny (Leif Garrett!) to Mexico to bring Lewis, the twin brother of the dead man of the cloth, and he comes back with vengeance on his mind, even if it turns out that Clayton ends up being Johnny’s father.

Also known as Diamante Lobo and A Bullet From God, this is Lee Van Cleef’s last filmed Western (and second movie with Garrett). It was a rough film for Richard Boone, who had started having health problems, then got drunk and walked off the set, leaving the Israeli location before he even dubbed his dialogue. He’d say in an interview, “I’m starring in the worst picture ever made. The producer is an Israeli and the director is Italian, and they don’t speak. Fortunately it doesn’t matter, because the director is deaf in both ears.”

That deaf director was Gianfranco Parolini, better known in America as Frank Kramer, and the maker of some wild stuff like SabataYeti: Giant of the 20th CenturyKiss Kiss, Kill KillThe Three Fantastic Supermen and writing If You Meet Sartana… Pray for Your Death. It was written by John Fonseca, whose career is all over the place, acting in The Uranium Conspiracy (also produced by Golan), serving as a dialogue coach and even shooting stills on the sets of Don’t Open Till Christmas and Slaughter High.

How did I get this far without telling you Sybil Danning is in this movie? Am I slipping?

This may not be the best Italian Western you’ve ever seen, but honestly, the end with Palance rambling in a cemetery and alternating between being paternal and horrifying, well, that’s worth the price of this blu ray. And Lee Van Cleef? Always just right.

The Kino Lorber blu ray release of God’s Gun — I’ve never seen it look this good, as I own it on multiple Italian Western public domain sets — has a brand new 2K Master, audio commentary by Repo Man filmmaker Alex Cox (!), a trailer, subtitles and a great reversible cover. Here’s to more movies like this coming out on blu ray! You can get this from Kino Lorber.

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