Peter Lee Lawrence in Garringo (1969) (aka: Dead Are Countless)

Soldier Killer

When Johnny (Peter Lee Lawrence) was just a boy he witnessed his father's killing at the hands of soldiers who accused him of high treason. Now having grown up Johnny has become an outlaw who goes around killing any soldier he comes across. Lieutenant Garringo (Anthony Steffen) finds himself assigned the task of finding out who ever is slaughtering soldiers and bring him back alive. Whilst a soldier himself Garringo is as brutal and savage as any killer who will do what ever it is needed to get the job done even if that means almost drowning a woman to get her to give over information.

It starts with that wonderful sound of a cornet which shifts to the sound of organ whilst the whole time being accompanied by the classic twangy guitar. I am on about the opening music to "Garringo", which is also known as "Dead Are Countless" and it certainly grabbed my attention. Unfortunately "Garringo" is one of those spaghetti westerns which whilst grabbing my attention slowly lost it with a storyline which truth be told is relatively simple as we have Johnny cold heartedly killing soldiers out of blind hate and then we have Garringo who borders on the sociopathic when it comes to his relentless killing and brutal actions in order to get the job done. Basically it is a movie which asks the audience to chose between two bad men, which is the lesser of two evils, to side with.

Anthony Steffen in Garringo (1969) (aka: Dead Are Countless)

Unfortunately if the dilemma of who you chose doesn't grab you then the storyline which sees Garringo being cared for by the man who ended up raising Johnny doesn't deliver what you need. In fairness it is well written with some nice drama and a nice turn of events but I suppose the dialogue heavy nature of the movie especially during the first half makes this hard work. Yet despite that both Anthony Steffen and Peter Lee Lawrence deliver solid performances giving their characters a nice amount of depth which leads to you changing your feelings towards the characters as we see different sides to their characters.

What this all boils down to is that "Garringo" ended up just a good spaghetti western with an okay story, some nice action, some decent direction as well as good performances. But it is a western which unless you get drawn in to the two central characters and their personalities early on you end up struggling to stay interested in it.