Eastwood at his most nihilistic and vicious. He comes out like an avenging ghost, a supernatural gunfighter collecting the souls of coward men for his return to the underworld. A feeling accentuated by an eerie musical score and strange oniric passages. An extremely satisfying cross between western and horror, well learnt craft from his masters Leone and Siegel.
Pretty conventional Clint Eastwood western is only modestly entertaining. It has some effective and memorable moments, but the story is familiar and the production values are a step below standard. Even if it is a bit darker and grittier than most of the era, Clint Eastwood would go on to direct far better films - especially far better westerns. Effective eerie score by Dee Barton.
Starring Clint as a cynical, egotistical asshole, this movie is creatively cruel with the right amount of absurdity to make it funny. I like that the entire city is treated like shit, except for the town midget and Indians. I like how he eventually turns out to be no bigger asshole than the town's inhabitants. My only dislike was of the spiritual overtone with the beaten-to-death sheriff which is just plain stupid.
I love that movie. It's the first western directed by Eastwood himself and I think he did a tremendous job. His character is so violent, with almost no redeeming qualities, but once you understand his motivation you kind of see him in another light. I liked the almost mystical feel of the film, the town all painted in red and the nightmarish flashbacks.