The Barrett Identity
Luke Barrett (Antonio Sabato) comes to in the middle of the desert with a rifle by his side, a dead body not far away and vultures ready to attack. But Luke doesn't remember anything, how he got there, what happened or where he is, all thanks to a bullet grazing the side of his head. After making it to town Luke discovers he was expected and is hired to kill a man. The thing is that the man he is hired to kill is his own brother Victor (Klaus Kinski). Struggling to make sense of the situation Luke tries to find out more about himself by seeking out the family home only to discover his father has been murdered.
"Twice a Judas" is a western which might feature a character suffering from amnesia is in fact built on the need to know set up and so keeps you in the dark for as long as possible whilst not always bothering to answer all the questions it poses. Its a technique, which I have to say, only works for so long as after a while you begin to suspect the unanswered questions is not a case of great writing but lazy writing. And the longer this goes on not only does it get on your nerves but it means that trying to make sense of things becomes an act of futility as the whole amnesia aspect, no matter how unusual for a spaghetti western, means they can twist things anyway they like at any time.
But whilst the story to "Twice a Judas" is flawed director Nando Cicero and cinematographer Francisco Mar├şn deliver visually a nice looking spaghetti western. Time and again we get a wonderful character shot but one which has the magnificence of the surroundings as a stunning backdrop and every time it grabs your attention. In fact it is not just the big backdrop scenes which impress as even the more intimate, close up scenes work which adds to the frustration over the mystery storyline.
As for the acting? Well both Klaus Kinski and Antonio Sabato deliver solid performances with both playing their character in a silent, men of few words sort of way. But truth be told about 70% of their performances is down to the cinematography such as the way that Mar├şn has captured Kinski's eyes in the long shots.
What this all boils down to is that "Twice a Judas" certainly has a spaghetti western look and its two stars play their parts well. But the mystery storyline surrounding a man dealing with amnesia ends up flawed due to it keeping the audience in the dark for far too much of the movie.