One of the least likely films to get resurrected from oblivion for a second life on DVD is this long-forgotten B-Western about a notorious gunslinger named Killer Cain who is released from a federal penitentiary after serving 18 years for killing a marshal. While he’d like to go clean, he finds that few serious employment opportunities exist for him. He becomes an attraction at a third-rate Wild West touring show, but his presence riles the neurotic gunslinger who is supposedly the star attraction.
“More Dead Than Alive” wants to deal with issues of remorse and repentance, but these heavy concepts are lost mainly because of Clint Walker’s dull performance as Killer Cain. A solid physical presence but a stolid actor, Walker is more comfortable baring his torso than baring his soul, which may entertain some viewers but will ultimately bore those who wonder what the hell is going on with this man’s mind.
Beyond the diversions of sneery Vincent Price as the hammy head of the Wild West show, screaming Paul Hampton as the nutty gun hand who is displaced on the marquee by Killer Cain, and the lovely Anne Francis in a lethally anachronistic turn as an uber-liberated artist on the frontier, “More Dead Than Alive” lives up to its title.