Four of the Apocalypse (I quattro dell’apocalisse) (Lucio Fulci, 1975)

It is easier to read this film as an elegy for the Spaghetti Western (considering it arrives almost too late for the party); and to deduce which of its four main characters represent which of the four horsemen alluded to in its title; and to fantasize that Tomás Milián literally stumbled in on the action of this film in a peyote-and-whiskey haze from a sweat lodge in the mountain range just over the horizon where he was preparing for another role in a different film; and to imagine that he performed narrative witchery to alchemize what is essentially a lamer (and weirdly tamer) version of Stagecoach as directed by Howard Hawks into Sergio Corbucci’s McCabe & Mrs. Easy Rider; than it actually is to feel at ease with this film’s often violent shifts in tone. At times mournful and cringingly beautiful, at times achingly brutal, it can, unfortunately, be also hysterically sedate and emptily meaningful.

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