Killer Kid (Leopoldo Savona, 1967)

Is this film (killer Kd) fully to beconsidered a Zapata western? I didn’t think it was set in the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolutio. Is it?

And what exactly is a Zapata western? Yes, I know what it really is but there are different interpretations. I believe for a Spahetti to be a Zapata western, i has to be set in a Mxican Revolution (186?-1867 or 1910-1920) and it has to feature a Gringo educating the peon, not the peon educating the gringo. This is the reason I don’t consider Tepepa a true Zapata western. Tepepa has Milian trying to convince the gringo to believe in the revolution. Much like the Hollywood formula for the Revolution.

I think Killer Kid is one of the strangest revolution westerns ever. Steffen’s character is really an anti-hero, cause he works against the poor peones.

I just watched a greek VHS of Killer Kid under the title “Captain Morrison”. I don’t like Steffen very much, but i think he was quite good on this one. Problem was that the movie sucked. I’m not very fond of the Zapata Westerns and this one imo had one of the lamest storylines in the sub-genre. The action scenes were not shot well at all and the soundtrack was intensely absent at some important moments. My VHS copy’s going to gather a lot of dust… 5/10 and i’m being very generous.

Agree that Steffen was pretty good in this but totally disagree that the rest of the film sucked. I thought the score was understated rather than absent, the plot a little more simplistic than many Zapatas but certainly not lame and any shortcomings (of which admittedly there were some) were made up for by Fernando Sancho at his blustering best. Considering the obviously low budget I thought this was a pretty good effort which I thoroughly enjoyed.

In fact I was just in the middle of writing a review of this one and have now finished it. It’s actually a film I enjoyed a lot. Anyhow, here’s the link to the review. Interested to know others feelings about this film.

Nice job as always Phil.

Excellent review Phil. Completely agreed on all points from my end. I thoroughly enjoyed Killer Kid, and would like to add some more substance to my comment, but I haven’t watched it since I first got the Koch disc. I have however, been wanting to watch it again lately, and this is the perfect excuse.

Regarding the thoughts about historicaly relevance to the revolution(s), I just watched the documentary L’America a Roma the other night, and perhaps this falls more under the kind of Revolutionary spaghetti mentioned in this doc- where it is really representing the underclass Italian people than the Mexicans… then, I have no basis to say this and perhaps not, but just a thought since I just gave this doc a viewing

You could well be right mate. That ‘Mexicans as Italian underclass’ idea mentioned in L’America a Roma could easily fit. I certainly believe the film’s target audience, who were largely lower class italians, would have identified with its sympathies either way.

Nice work, Phil
I had not planned to buy this release (Steffen you know …), but now I’m in doubt
Steffen in a revolution western is a bit of an odd idea, but it does sound interesting

About this Mexican/Italian thing: I read Spanish audiences (and distributors) sometimes had problems with the way Mexicans were portrayed in SWs, after all Spaniards and Mexicans are both Latin people. One of the defences of the Italian film makers was that the Mexican bandits portrayed in the movies, behaved as Italian as they behaved Mexican (or Spanish for that matter). One of Leone’s scriptwriters (I think it was Vincenzoni) also said that the Mexican bandits in Leone’s films (the leaders as well as the foot soldiers) were modelled after Italian types from Trastevere Leone had met when he was young. The spaghetti westerns were very popular in Southern parts of Italy, where a lot of underpriviliged Italians live(d), and they most certainly identified with the Mexican peons. Otherwise the films wouldn’t have been popular among them, because I don’t think many of them had a decent knowledge of Mexico, Zapata, Villa or peons, nor did they care much for that far away country. Maybe we only care for people when we can identify with them to some extend, when we feel we have at least something in common. Italians aren’t different in this aspect, I guess.

I thought this one was much better than I anticipated. Despite the revolution underpinnings, the film never seemed to reach the heights of even the most average entries in that subgenre. I never really considered it to be a zapata western, but I guess it is, yes? I did think it was one of the better Anthony Steffen films. His W DJANGO and APOCALYPSE JOE being my two faves of his so far. Plus, it was great to see Giovanni Cianfriglia in a major role. He played the lead superhero in two Superargo films (I wish I could get my hands on these again) and the main villain in HERCULES, THE AVENGER (1965).

I first saw Killer Kid on TV, now the 10 min longer uncut version.

It’s a good western now. For once Anthony Steffen gives a convincing lead (he wears a bigger hat this time than usual) and contrasts nicely with a Fernando Sancho who hams up his difficult role as a likeable asshole. Ken Wood is also rather well cast as a brutish army officer.

If viewed as a revolution western, it is only a minor entry.
An interesting aspect is of course that Steffen, despite his sympathies for the revolutionaries, sabotages their objectives in accord with his undercover mission.
But the here from resulting conflict is a bit carelessly handled. Mainly because the main interest of the film is to be another action vehicle, as which it works quite well on a moderate level, so that the action and the “content” don’t work smoothly together.

The film should have been shot in Spain with a bigger budget, instead the Rome sandpit locations are used with the usual “low on atmosphere” effect. But I have to admit that several Almeria bound Spagies aren’t better looking, and Savona had done the best out of the limitations.

All in all, there was the potential for much more. 3/5

The trailer to this one is really nice

It’s in the DB, check it out:

Very nice yes, but this

“kappa come killer, kappa come kid, kappa come killer kid”

is a bit like those tooters at the Confederations Cup in South Africa

kappa come irritating

Love it. That could very well be the perfect Steffen trailer. They fit 4 ‘roll and shoots’ in there and a ‘smouldering stare from under the hat brim’. ;D

Reminds me that these “roll and shoot” scenes in KK are rather funny, as the rollin part is always absolutely unnecessary and Steffen rolls in a pretty lame way, grandpa style.

Probably he was practising for Django the bastard and rolling like a ghost

On the subject of these ‘roll and shoots’, I just watched Pistoleros this morning and Ghidra could have given Steffen a couple of lessons in this area. He pulls off a couple of very effective ones. Or maybe his stuntman does.

The trailer is brilliant!

He’s not only good a roll+shoot, but he also shows how to use a hat SW-style firstly covering the eyes with the brim then lifting the head revealing the eyes. Steffen’s the man.

His rifle shootng is unbelievable. How can anyone hit a target shaking the gun like that? Magic bullets?
I knoe a SW is no documentary, but this is a bit too much.


I like the music and the way Fernando Sancho fires the machine-gun