CAPTAIN APACHE. Scotia-Barber, Spain-UK, 1971. Lee Van Cleef (Capt. Apache), Carroll Baker, Stuart Whitman, Percy Herbert, Elisa Montes, Tony Vogel. Director: Alexander Singer.

   The thing I won’t forget about Captain Apache is undoubtedly the film’s theme song as it’s sung – spoken, really – by Lee Van Cleef, who portrays this quirky acid western’s titular hero, an Apache in the U.S. Calvary.

   Investigating the enigmatic last words of a dying Indian Commissioner, he finds hemself caught in a web of deception as he begins to uncover a conspiracy to assassinate the President Ulysses S. Grant, who is traveling through Arizona on his way to California. As he proceeds with his investigation, Captain Apache encounters a witch who piles him with hallucinogens, a motley crew of Mexican bandits, and an urbane scoundrel played to the hilt by a scene-chewing Stuart Whitman who also wants to know what the cryptic phrase “April Morning” means.

   There’s a lot of humor in Captain Apache, much of it goofy and borderline juvenile, one that surely was designed to elicit guffaws from European teenagers. It works for a while, but it soon wears out its welcome, making the scenes in which humor is employed less and less compelling as the movie begins to repeat itself. While there is a final sequence on a train that’s admittedly worth waiting for, it pales in comparison to so many other train scenes in so many other westerns, Spaghetti or not.

   I wouldn’t recommend anyone go out of their way to catch this one, but fans of Lee Van Cleef might appreciate seeing him in a starring role, one that apparently required that he shave off his trademark mustache and give his vocal cords a nice workout.