Dallamano's screenwriters started with perhaps the most monstrous villain in all spaghetti westerns. Billy Kane (Venantino Venantini) is a train robber who doesn't believe in leaving witnesses. Let that sink in for a moment. If you can't imagine it, Dallamano illustrated the point with a gruesomely epic tracking shot of the carnage Kane's gang and his Mexican collaborators leave behind. Playing over the massacre footage is Egisto Macchi's grim theme song, which identifies specific victims along the way: immigrants, an ambitious showgirl, young lovers who died together. I've seen nothing like it in a spaghetti western before.
Enrico Maria Salerno (above) promotes the latest in a long line of Ricky Shots, Terry Jenkins (below).
If Ricky kills Kane, or sets him up for others to kill, everyone's happy. There's one problem, though: what's it to him if Kane dies? The way he sees it, Kane can clear his name by confirming that he wasn't part of the train-robbing gang, and that makes him more valuable alive than dead to Phillip Raymond. So Ricky cuts a deal: he lets Kane in on the plot in return for Kane giving up one of the gang to exonerate Raymond. Together they destroy Vigonza's gang, then Kane lives up to his end of the bargain. He's a monster but he's also capable of honor in his fashion. That's no consolation to Richard Martin, whose instrument of vengeance has abandoned him. Once Kane's man clears his name, Raymond's heading back home. That forces Martin to painfully train himself in the use of a shotgun so he can claim his own revenge. He fails, and it's a shocker to see who we took to be the main character eliminated well in advance of the ending.
Phillip Raymond learns of Martin's death. He also learns the origin of Martin and Kane's feud: Kane was the original Ricky Shot, the student who surpassed and betrayed the master. He abandons his own mission of exoneration to avenge Martin, perhaps feeling that he'd failed his mentor or ill repaid his training, but also perhaps feeling that the spirit of Ricky Shot, the idea of the master gunfighter whose mere existence provokes violent challenges, needs to be exorcised once and for all. If so, it'd be ironic if Ricky Shot ended up the only identity left for him...
The English-language trailer uploaded to YouTube by LindbergSWDB doesn't really do the film justice, but take a look at it anyway.