Prior to a notoriously prolific eighties collaboration with Jess Franco, Emilio Lárraga’s Golden Films put up some very little money for the making of a Euro-western in 1979, when the genre was clearly outmoded. Perhaps Lárraga’s rationale, in anticipation of Bruno Mattei’s, was that the leftover following for this kind of fare at least justified the production of an extremely cheap film. And cheap it certainly is, roaringly, stupendously so: the VHS transfer featured in the DVD release of 7 cabalgan hacia la muerte adds to what was clearly a threadbare, hideous-looking film for a start, with a wretched period recreation, indifferent location work and all-round poverty in practically every department. That an Indian attack towards the end should be obviously culled from another film, with little attention to continuity, is less worrying than the line-crossing incurred by as experienced a filmmaker as José María Merino. Only in the last scenes, when the location switches from desert locations to more interesting sylvan settings, does 7 cabalgan hacia la muerte (literal translation: “7 ride to death”) come to anything resembling life.
The story, written by Merino himself, may have been inspired by Chato’s Land, dealing with a trek though the desert by a progressively dwindling group of people, five men and one woman, as they search for an Indian on the run. The difference here is that each one of the seven characters – the Indian and his pursuers – is associated with a different deadly sin. The character of “Lust” is reasonably well played by one Jorge Nieto (billed under the priceless pseudonym of “George Grandson”, a literal English translation of his name) but the rest of the acting ranges from the mediocre to the abysmal and the post-synched Spanish soundtrack (probably the only one in existence) is littered with execrable dubbed voices, although one or two familiar pro-dubbers can be recognized here and there. Included in the cast is a budding Assumpta Serna (of Almodóvar’s Matador, here billed as "Ada Rodier") and her then-husband Carlos Tristancho ("Charles Tristan"): she plays “Greed” and he “Sloth”. Somebody else goes by the name "George Bearded".
Frankly, on this evidence, one would have thought Merino to be completely washed-up were it not for the semi-decent thriller, USA, Violación y venganza (1983), that was to follow later on, with Pilar Alcón and Werner Pochath supported by much the same cast as seen here.
Masochists may check out the film here: