Keoma (1976)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking movie with decent story and acting

Music is crazy and funny in an unintentional way

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Keoma

Studio:  Uranos Cinematografica

Genre(s):  Western/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  November 25, 1976

MPAA Rating:  R


Run Keoma, run!

Keoma (Franco Nero) was born to a Native American mother and a white father.  Resented by his three half-brothers, Keoma always found himself beaten and abused for being a half-breed.  Returning to his town after the war, Keoma finds it ravaged by the plague and lead by an evil tyrant named Caldwell (Donald O’Brien) and Keoma’s brothers (Orso Maria Guerrini, Joshua Sinclair, Antonio Marsina).  When Keoma decides to help the sick including a pregnant woman named Lisa (Olga Karlatos), Keoma finds himself at war with Caldwell with the help of his father William (William Berger) and a broken drunk named George (Woody Strode).  If Keoma can save the town, will they accept him?


It takes 3 half-brothers to equal one Keoma!

Directed by Enzo G. Castellari (who also worked on the screenplay), Keoma was a late spaghetti western also known as The Violent Breed, Desperado, Django Rides Again, Django’s Great Return, and Keoma:  The Avenger.  The movie was released to positive reviews and has become a cult classic.  It has been released on Blu-Ray and is often packaged with other films.

I’m not a huge western fan, but I do love spaghetti westerns that often have more scope and style.  Keoma is no exception and is definitely worth seeking out.


Woody Strode turns into a psycho zombie!!!

The story of Keoma has a lot of layers.  It has a lot of Seven Samurai and Yojimbo in Keoma’s story in that Keoma is trying to rally the people against the bandits that have overrun their town.  While this is the basic plot, there are subplots involving race and family ties.  It is a much deeper movie some might expect from the genre.  Plus, you get an ending where the good guy gets turned on.

The movie has a smart cast.  Django star Franco Nero plays the lead Keoma and comes off both sympathetic and full of rage due to his childhood.  Former athlete Woody Strode play the musician/archer George and is memorable due to his raged filled final attack.  Also good is William Berger as Keoma’s father…the only one who trusts Keoma.  The weak link of the cast is probably Donal O’Brien as Caldwell since he isn’t a very dynamic villain and in general, I wasn’t a big fan of the girl’s storyline (or the old woman played by Gabriella Giacobbe).


Way to go, Keoma

Keoma excels in its visuals.  It is often noted that the movie utilized more modern storytelling techniques than the older spaghetti westerns.  The movie makes a lot of use of slow motion (like The Wild Bunch) and is also aided by strange modern soundtrack which is more funny than good (but works for the style of the movie).

Keoma is a fun western and for fans of Sergio Leone’s westerns, you should enjoy this version as an evolution of his movies.  Keoma makes you wish that the style of film never died out and even those who don’t like westerns might enjoy this dirty, gritty adventure.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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