Venice Review: Walter Hill’s Western ‘Dead For A Dollar’

For a long time, even after the big studio budgets were gone, Venice has been a respectable place for big-

-name directors of the 1970s and early 1980s to show their work. Late-in-life passion projects by Brian De Palma, William Friedkin,

Paul Verhoeven, John Carpenter, and, to a lesser extent, George Romero, all found a home here. Walter Hill, who is now 80, joins

s them with an incredibly young-looking horse opera. It shows how hard it is to write and film a Western in the 21st century

(you have to make allowances for modern sensibilities, and digital cinematography just doesn't work with the subject matter),

, but it's still a lot of fun and full of violent surprises. 
Hill dedicates his movie to Budd Boetticher, 

, which is a shame because it has already told critics not to think too hard about a movie that is actually more of a spaghetti Western in style,

themes, and music (Xander Rodzinski's score is impressive, even if it never quite finds the Morricone-style motif it seems to be looking for)

And because of the reference to Boetticher, many people have taken the hero character as a stand-in for his favourite actor, Randolph Scott