This very rare “Zapata” SW does not seem to have an English dubbed version, or even a Spanish or Italian version with English subtitles. The version I saw has Spanish audio and is 86 minutes long, which is 14 minutes shorter than the (Italian?) version mentioned in the IMDB.
Directed by Giuseppe Maria Scotese (his only SW), El Bandido Malpelo takes place in 1914 during the Mexican Revolution. Diego Medina, cousin of General Medina, is a young idealist who has stolen from his uncle the plans for the defense of the city of Zacatecas and intends to deliver them to Pancho Villa. Police forces are after Diego, but he narrowly manages to escape with the help of another revolutionary dressed as an Army lieutenant. Police inspector Orozco makes a deal with the bandit Juan Cisneros "Malpelo" (Eduardo Fajardo), who eventually captures Diego and intends to turn him for 10,000 pesos reward and the rank of Captain in General Huerta’s army. However, Diego manages to convince Malpelo to bring him to Pancho Villa instead, where he will be rewarded with 50,000 pesos and the rank of Colonel in Villa’s army. When Inspector Orozco hears about this, he hires a famous tracker named Blas Fuentes to track and kill both Malpelo and Diego Medina. However, that will be easier said than done, even if Blas Fuentes has a group of Federales escorting him.
There are a few good action scenes, plus some others showing how Malpelo is slowly shifting from being a Sierra Madre bandit to slowly turning into a revolutionary himself.
The end of the movie is a bit unconventional, but not completely unexpected. It actually shows that both the revolutionaries and the Huerta troops were not too different from each other after all.
The acting is OK, but not exceptional. Fajardo is clearly the best in this movie, and the beautiful Charo Lopez (Malpelo’s girlfriend Lupita) also plays a good role. George Carvell (there is no bio of him in the IMDB) is just average. As an additional treat, the movie has a very nice musical score by Marcello Giombini.
We can see in the movie the many locations of Almeria we have seen before in other SWs, as well as a few others not so common (like the city of “Aguas Calientes”).