Sergio Corbucci’s Compañeros has everything we’ve come to expect from our Spaghetti Westerns: a morally ambiguous hero with a nickname (this time unoriginally called The Swede, seeing as he’s from Sweden), a rockin’/whistlin’ soundtrack from Ennio Morricone that bursts in whenever some wicked action starts up, dubbed English from half of the main characters and all of the extras, a babe of the west wearing a lot of 60s-looking makeup, elaborate torture schemes (including, of course, burying someone in sand up to their neck and then trampling their head with horses), and a ridiculous amount of bullets strapped around waists, shoulders, machine guns, and stashed in trucks and trains that may or may not blow up at some point.
And Compañeros gives us some things we haven’t seen before. Like, the marijuana obsessed villain played by Jack Palance sporting a metal hand and long, Severus Snape hair. Between tokes, Palance strokes his pet hawk (named Marsha) and plots ridiculous death schemes on behalf of the American oil companies that want to strike a deal with Mexico: “we get control of your oil for 99 years.”
Then there is the revolutionary professor who enjoys nonviolence and keeping pet turtles – feeding them with the toasted remains of Marsha after our heroes shoot her down and cook her up for dinner. The death count is in the millions and there’s a four way standoff (eat your heart out, Sergio Leone!).
The tag line for Compañeros is as follows: Fate brought them together…Greed made them inseparable…Violence made them COMPAÑEROS!
I think that pretty much sums it up.
Oh wait. This too: