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Film / Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold

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Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold is a 1984 Spaghetti Western directed by Mattt Climber, and written by Climber and John Kershaw.

Fiery blonde half-breed Yellow Hair and her easygoing sidekick the Pecos Kid are after a fortune in Mayan gold. The courageous duo have run-ins with an army of Mexican soldiers, a gang of dastardly bandits, and a lethal tribe of Aztec warriors while searching the countryside for said gold fortune.

Yellow Hair and the Tropes of Gold:

  • Action Girl: Yellow Hair was marketed as being a female version of Indiana Jones.
  • Agony of the Feet: Yellow Hair shoots the gambler who grabs her from behind through the foot to force him to unhand her. He spends the rest of the fight hopping around in agony.
  • Animal Assassin: The Tulpani roll tumbleweeds filled with rattlesnakes into the canyon where Yellow Hair and the Pecos Kid are holed up.
  • Bandito: Flores and his band of comancheros are a gang of banditos working for Colonel Torres.
  • Bar Brawl: One erupts in Tortuga's saloon after Pecos shoots one of Tortuga's thugs and he topples through the railing and crashes on to the poker table: spraying gold coins across the room.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Colonel Torres and Shayowteewah both want the gold and will kill for it. The former is an army colonel hunting for the gold while the latter is the leader of the vicious tribe of warriors guarding the gold.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: The Pecos Kid shoots the sacrificial dagger of the chief's hands as he is about to sacrifice Yellow Hair.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Played with. The movie ends with Yellow Hair and Pecos taking shelter behind a door that is immediately riddled with bullets by the Mexican army. However, this is intended to represent the Cliffhanger for a Film Serial, and The Teaser for the next 'chapter' shows the duo alive and well.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Yellow Hair has to break Pecos out of the prison in the Mexican fort in order to recover the horn containing the Treasure Map.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase
  • *Click* Hello: When Pecos attempts to sneak into Colonel Torres' office, he finds the Colonel's pistol pressed against his head and hears the click of the hammer being cocked.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The Tulpani do this to the comancheros they capture: driving a hot needle through the lips of one; cutting the eyelids of a second and leaving him staked out staring at the sun; and a third is dunked in molten gold.
  • Collapsing Lair: The shot Pecos fires to shoot the dagger out of the chief's hands causes vibrations that trigger a collapse of the entire Tulpani cave system.
  • Covers Always Lie: Unfortunately, at no point in the film does Yellow Hair get anywhere near as naked as she is in the poster.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Yellow Hair was billed as a female Indiana Jones.
  • Distressed Dude: Despite being an extremely competent gunslinger, the Pecos Kid spends much of the film getting himself into scrapes and having to be rescued by Yellow Hair.
  • Ear Ache: During a tense negotiation, the Pecos Kid makes his point by shooting Tortuga's earring off (along with a chunk of his ear).
  • Gatling Good: The Mexican soldiers have a Gatling gun in their fort.
  • Groin Attack: Yellow Hair takes Colonel Torres hostage by reaching through the flap at the back of his long-johns, grabbing his balls and squeezing.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Yellow Hair is noted in her introduction to be heroic and indeed is a very nice young woman.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Yellow Hair faces discrimination from both the Apaches and the whites. One of the Apache warriors is attempting to force her to become his wife, while Tortuga orders her tossed out of the saloon as "half-breed scum".
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Yellow Hair and the Pecos Kid steal a stagecoach from the stage station in order to escape from the comancheros. They end up abandoning it on a Mexican beach.
  • Horseback Heroism: Yellow Hair conducts almost all of her raid to break Pecos out of the Mexican fort on horseback.
  • Human Sacrifice: As a lost tribe of Aztecs, the Tulpani still practise human sacrifice.
  • Human Shield: Twice Yellow Hair and Pecos use Colonel Torres as a human shield to prevent his troops from firing on them: first when they are escaping after busting Pecos out of prison, and again at the end when they are surrounded in the Mexican village.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: None of the Mexican soldiers could hit the broad side of a barn.
  • Improvised Weapon: After stealing the stagecoach to escape the comancheros, Yellow Hair uses the driver's whip to hold off her pursuers: wielding it with some considerable skill.
  • Karmic Death: Shayowteewah—the chief of the Tulpani—dunks intruders into his realm in molten gold; turning them into gold statues. During the battle in the Collapsing Lair, he attempts to push the Pecos Kid into the pool of liquid gold, only to overbalance and fall into the pool himself, and be transformed into a gold statue.
  • Lost Tribe: One band of villains is a lost tribe of Aztecs (or, at least, Mayincatecs).
  • Lovable Rogue: The Pecos Kid is even described as this in his on-screen introduction.
  • Magic Poker Equation: Pecos gets dealt a 5, 6, 7 and a pair of 8s. He goes to discard one the 8s in the hopes of completing a straight but, on a subtle signal from Yellow Hair, instead keeps the 8s and discards the other cards. He gets dealt a 9 and the other two 8s. However, the game is disrupted before he can reveal his cards.
  • Mayincatec: The Lost Tribe of Aztecs kill intruders by dipping them in molten gold, which carries strong overtones of the El Dorado ceremony of the Muisca people of Colombia. They also use some torture tactics commonly ascribed to the Apache.
  • Outdoor Bath Peeping: On the beach in Mexico, Yellow hair takes an early morning swim to clean up. The Pecos Kid is a little discombobulated when he wakes up and spots her drying off: still naked.
  • Railing Kill: Pecos kills one of Tortuga's thugs by shooting the underside of the landing he is standing on. The thug topples forward through the railing and lands on the poker table below: smashing through it.
  • Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The film ends with a trailer showing what will be coming up in the 'next' chapter of the Film Serial this was supposedly a chapter of.
  • Sexual Extortion: Tortuga charges his girls room and board and, if they can't pay with cash, the have to pay in 'other ways'.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: The gambling woman quells the Bar Brawl at Tortuga's by firing Two Shots from Behind the Bar into the ceiling, and then telling Yellow Hair and Pecos that they should get going before they start trouble.
  • Sissy Villain: The villainous Colonel Torres is a dandy, and is strongly implied to be homosexual (and possibly an Ephebophile).
  • Skinny Dipping: On the beach in Mexico, Yellow hair takes an early morning swim to clean up. The Pecos Kid is a little discombobulated when he wakes up and spots her drying off: still naked.
  • Soiled Dove: The Pecos Kid's 'girlfriend' Rainbow, although exactly how much of a 'heart of gold' she has is up for debate.
  • Songs in the Key of Lock: The Man Who Knows tells the Pecos that the horn is the key to gaining access to the Tulpani's secret cave system. Arriving at the seemingly dead end box canyon, Pecos blows through the horn and the reverberations cause a secret entrance to open.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Flores—the leader of the comacheros—is described as mute in his introduction, and does not speak for the entire film. At the very end of the film, Colonel Torres and his troops have Yellow Hair and the Pecos Kid cornered when the badly wounded Flores staggers in and screams "Kill them!"
  • Tae Kwon Door: One of the Apaches knocks out a sentry at the Mexican fort by swinging the heavy fort gate into him.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Colonel Torres has a captured Indian flogged for the pleasure of hearing him scream.
  • Tasty Gold: After escaping from the Tulipan, Flores pulls an arrow out of his horse and gites it: discovering that it is solid gold.
  • Treasure Map: The Pecos Kid steals the map to the Mayan gold which Grey Cloud has engraved on a deer antler.
  • The Trope Kid: Yellow Hair's sidekick is The Pecos Kid.
  • *Twang* Hello: During the confrontation with Tortuga in the saloon, one of the gamblers attempts to sneak a peek at Pecos' cards; which are lying face down on the table. As his hands are about to touch the cards, Yellow Hair throws her knife into the cards; pinning them to the table.
  • Two Shots from Behind the Bar: The gambling woman takes a shotgun from behind the bar in Tortuga's and fires a "Shut Up!" Gunshot into the ceiling to quell the Bar Brawl before telling Yellow Hair and Pecos that they should get going before they start trouble.
  • Unorthodox Holstering: Yellow Hair carries a revolver thrust through the back of her waist sash. When a gambler grabs her from behind, she able to reach behind her, grab the gun, and shoot her attacker in the foot without drawing it.
  • Wax Museum Morgue: The Tulpani dip some of the trespassers into their realm in molten gold, turning them into gold statues. They then use these statues as decoys to confuse and disconcert other invaders.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: The Pecos Kid declares that he is "fearless...except for snakes".