One of my favorite sw & the best I’ve seen in a while. I have always known that this movie was held in high regard, but for financial reasons, took a while to get my hands on. I love the dark/gothic spags with these horror inspired overtones. I would even challenge that while most sw’s that fall in the debatable ‘gothic’ sub-genre (which I agree there is) only have gothic moments, this movie I would say could actually be a horror movie (Jaws is considered one). There are more horror elements in this one than western elements. The crows, the storm, the dark caverns with spider webs, the carnage, the bell tolling, the wind, the music, he appears & disappears into the dark & seems invincible. He stalks & kills just about everyone. He shoots, strangles & hangs his prey. The only thing western is the backdrop. I didn’t even care exactly what his motivation was for revenge to make this movie great. You don’t always have to have everything spelled out for you. In some case it’s even irrelevant. The contradiction between the storm (which of course is a metaphor for Kinski’s character’s revenge) & the pristine, upscale interior of the house while Kinski’s murderous rage unfolds outside was great.
I guess I’ll have to update my top 20 list again.