Evil finds its breeding ground in the weak and the lonely. It's not a positive message, but it rings sadly true and neatly drives El Diabolico, an odd but rather fun little supernaturally slanted western affair. It hooks from the get go, with the sunset arrangement of a gallows halted when said gallows is blown up in spectacular fashion (seriously, wood splinters flying all about the place, they really went to town on it). This as the credits are rolling and a sinister figure rides. The rider then goes on to rob a banker, kill a couple of people, kidnap, rape and brand an unfortunate bystander chick before meeting his doom. But he makes sure of a successor before heading off into the good night...From here its a tale of a bad, bad man, or at least a man without the spine to resist the forces that enslave him. Poor Oscar, boozehound, shoe shine at the local brothel, we first see him dressing a lady, she kicks him down but impassive he puts on her other stocking. Catching our original villains eye when the rest of the town menfolk are on a manhunt seals his fate and pretty soon he's out on a whole lot of villainy of his own. There's an odd atmosphere to this, dialogue is fairly sparse and the generic western aspects are often weakly staged, but there's a flair about that makes it all work. Cinematography amps up the dusty desert atmosphere, there's fun bloody squib violence (and a real cool scene with a water barrel), a few nice facial close ups to remind that the eyes are windows to the soul, and interesting editing. The highlight of all this is probably the second rape scene, genuinely poignant to me though inexplicit, the act intercut with shots of goats, newly dead bodies and a bucking, neighing horse. The frequent cuts back to the decaying corpse of villain number one are a nice touch as well, symbolising his continued influence. Jorge Humberto Robles is decent as the lead, a man of few words he mingles pathetic mind warped sap with a fair menace, whilst Carlos East makes a compelling impression as the just plain mean originator of all the shenanigans. Best of the lot though is Ana Verdugo as a kindly mute, low key yet almost achingly sympathetic, her portions of the film are its definite emotional highlight, without such a turn it would almost certainly be a sinker. In general there isn't enough potency here to be truly memorable, but it scores on the right fronts to make it a decent timewaster, a couple of tit shots, some bloodshed, nice locations and a general off the wall ambiance. Obscure trash enthusiasts like myself should probably find it worthy of their time, but it won't rock your house or anything.
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