Kitosh, the Man Who Came from the North (1967) * Classic Spaghetti Western *

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KITOSCH, THE MAN WHO CAME FROM THE NORTH stars two of the genre's best known faces, George Hilton as Kitosch, and Pierro Lulli as Major Baker. Also present are Ricardo Palacios and Gustavo Rojo and quite a large cast running, riding, shooting and being shot in the Aldea del Fresno near Madrid, Spain, a beautiful area quite suitable for westerns, resembling the Alabama Hills of California slightly. The story reminded me more of the German Winnetou films than a spaghetti western; red-clad mounties hassling with the locals, bagpipes playing, lots of Indians falling off their ponies, and Hilton and Lulli sparring with each other, neither one evil, but both interested in the gold and the women they are guarding. In some ways Kitosch is a reworking of GUNS OF FORT PETTICOAT, the Audie Murphy western of a few years before. That film was set in the desert; this one is supposed to be Canada, but sure looks like desert to me. There are some funny bits, and Palacios is very good as a French-Canadian trapper who is Kotosch's sidekick. The women look very sixties, and a few of the mounties sure look Italian or Spanish. Jose Luis Merino directed, not quite as well as his later DUEL IN THE ECLIPSE (REQUIEM FOR A GRINGO). Fans of the genre will have a good time as long as they don't take Kitosch too seriously.