What "Hercules the Avenger" director Maurizio Lucidi's "My Name Is Pecos" lacks in terms of the style and scope of a Sergio Leone western, this cynical, low-budget, revenge-themed Italian horse opera makes up for it with its standard-issue, nihilistic violence. The sweaty, unsavory villains shoot anybody without a second thought. They show no mercy for even unarmed, handicapped men. As far as that goes, the solitary hero displays a similar predilection to violence, motivated primarily out of vengeance. The character of the undertaker emerges from the background for a change and participates in the action, not necessarily on the side of the protagonist, and this is a difference between "My Name Is Pecos" and run-of-the-mill European westerns. Swarthy Robert Woods is convincing enough as the resilient, swift-drawing, crack-shot shooting protagonist forged in the Man with No Name mold. After all, a passel of Spaghetti westerns, among them the sequel "Pecos Cleans Up," "Savage Guns," "Five Thousand Dollars on One Ace," "Johnny Colt," "Seven Guns for the MacGregors," "The Belle Starr Story," "Machine Gun Killers," "Challenge of the McKennas," and "A Colt in the Hand of the Devil," top-billed Woods as the hero. Although he is unbeatable on the draw, he suffers the wrath of the villains in a moment of vulnerability, just as Clint Eastwood did in the first two "Dollars" epics.
Interestingly, what sets "My Name Is Pecos" apart from most Spaghetti westerns is that its hero is Hispanic. Mind you, Mexicans are largely the heroes in the politically-themed oaters about the numerous revolutions that rocked Mexico between the end of the American Civil War in the late 1860s to the 1920s. Occasionally, the villains refer to the protagonist as a Mexicano, which sounds like he is the son of Mexicans that gave birth to him in the U.S. and/or its territories. Unfortunately, the two terms Mexican and Mexicano are used interchangeably so Pecos cannot with surety be called either. One thing is for certain, the bad guys fare abysmally when they oppose him in a fair fight. "My Name Is Pecos" benefits from "One Damned Day at Dawn . . . Django Meets Sartana!" composer Lotto Gori's lively little score and the ballad sung during the opening credits has a rhythmic quality that sounds like the pop song "House of the Rising Sun."
A lone gunman with neither a horse nor a gun trudges through the desert with a blinding sun glaring unmercifully down on him. Eventually, he reaches a Mexican hovel where he can get water, but an unfriendly American gunslinger stands guard outside. When the sombrero wearing peon and his wife stick their heads out at the arrival of the stranger, the black-clad, American gunslinger slings a couple of slugs their way, driving them back into their white-washed, adobe-brick house. Dropping his saddle, the hero ambles up to the hombre who offers him a scoop of water. The American gunslinger warns him about being unarmed, "It's not very healthy to travel without a gun around these parts." Pecos pays him twenty dollars in paper money for a Colt's .45 revolver. As our hero walks away with his back to the him, the villainous American gunslinger replaces the gun that he sold to the stranger with another. Just as the gunslinger shoots him, the stranger whirls and guns him down, then identifies him, "They call me Pecos." Pecos (Robert Woods of "The Battle of the Bulge") orders the peons to bury the dead American gunslinger.
The villains that Pecos Martinez tangles with enter as they pursue a man furiously whipping a team of horses hauling a wagon piled high with beer barrels. Pecos watches them as they storm through a pass from Laredo to Houston. The wagon driver reaches Houston before the Kline gang and stashes a barrel stuffed with $80-thousand in the saloon. He runs back outside and tries to ambush the outlaws led by Joe Kline (Pier Paolo Capponi of "Commandos") who is determined to recover the loot they stole from the Bank of Laredo. In fact, Kline and his murderous cutthroats spend the remainder of "My Name Is Pecos" searching for the money. Kline refuses to leave until they find the cash, even though the Texas Rangers may be on his trail. Kline wears a deep rope burn around his neck from when the authorities tried to hang him. Anyway, the Kline gang confronts Pecos who manages to blow four more of them away in quick draw contests. Pecos discovers the location of the loot. Meanwhile, the devious undertaker Morton (Umberto Raho of "Duel of Champions") informs Kline about Pecos' whereabouts under the saloon. The villains capture Pecos and beat him black and blue, just as Clint Eastwood got beaten up in "A Fistful of Dollars."
Nina, the Mexico senorita who works in the saloon, smuggles Pecos a knife while Kline's man is guarding him. She operates a spinning wheel upstairs above the room where Pecos is confined and she lowers knife by twine through a crack in the floor. Pecos kills the guard with the knife and Nina helps him escape. They take refuge in Dr. Berton's office. No sooner have they done so than Tedder, the saloon keeper, brings over a barrel of wine that secretly contains the $80-thousand. Kline and his men discover that Pecos is missing as well as the Mexican girl so they ride out to where her parents are working in the field and start killing. Eventually, Pecos confronts the evil Morton and guns him down. Later, we learn that Pecos came from the same village and he is seeking revenge against Kline who wiped out his family.
Turning your back on the villains in a Spaghetti western is a surefire way to get a bullet in the spine. "My Name Is Pecos" is your average continental western with a catchy musical score.