Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Twice a Judas (1968)
Review by Dan Taylor

Set in a post-Civil War South that looks alarmingly like Italy, TWICE A JUDAS is a pretty good little tale of double-crosses, revenge and greed starring Antonio Subato and man of the hour Klaus Kinski.

As the film opens and a typically Spaghetti-Western musical score by Carlo Pes wafts out of the speaker, the camera pans to two bodies lying in the scorching "Texas" sun. The vultures smack their lips in anticipation and wait for the nice meal that is coming their way...but wait! One of the bodies moves...yes, yes, he is alive!!!! Too bad he can't remember who the hell he is.

Eventually, the guy finds out that: 1) someone killed his partner and then tried to kill him; 2) his name is Luke Barrett; and, 3) he has just taken money to kill his brother Victor (played by K2). Now this is all pretty harsh info to find out, especially in rapid-fire succession from a bunch of B-movie extras.

At this point, we have double-cross Numero Uno as Luke kills the guy trying to kill Victor and is welcomed back into the family fold by his brother. But wait, what is this? Kinski as the protector of landowners near the "Mexico" border? Something just doesn't seem right here...

And so, the wheels are set in motion as we have double-crosses, betrayals (hence the title), flashbacks, revelations, wetbacks, shootings, more betrayals, drunks...in other words, all the elements for a successful Spaghetti-Western.

The only drawback to TWICE A JUDAS is the Cinemascope transfer which allows you to see about one half of each scene and far too many closeups. Other than that, TWICE A JUDAS is an entertaining and effective western with an outstanding schizophrenic performance from Kinski.

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