Friday, July 19, 2013

El Rojo (1967)

Director: Leopoldo Savona

Starring: Richard Harrison, Piero Lulli, Nieves Navarro, Mirko Ellis, Annie Gorassini, Jose Jaspe, Rita Klein, Andrea Aureli, Raf Baldassarre

More info: IMDb

Plot: The Sorenson family is massacred, apparently by Indians. On the site of the killing, a town, Gold Hill grows up, run by a group of businessmen. Years later, El Rojo, alias the last surviving Sorenson arrives, bringing the truth about the massacre, and revenge.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Eventually, after I've exhausted every other Spaghetti Western ever made.

I love it when kids get killed...and in the first five minutes of a movie!

With over 500 Spaghetti Westerns produce from '63 to '77, there aren't many that are considered great.  I'd say maybe 20 or so are the cream of the crop.  Most of them, like any genre, lie closer to the middle.  That's about where this one sits.  It's not that bad but the problem is it's not doing much to be all that good.  It seems to be trying not to suck...and it succeeds.  Richard Harrison is rather bland.  Sometimes he looks the part...

...and sometimes he doesn't.

There's a strange moment when Harrison walks into a saloon where this broad strikes up a strange ballad that in no way fits the Old West.

Meet the bad guys!

And the winner of the Steve Carell lookalike  contest, 1967.

Look out, it's Black Bart!

Joe's got a comic relief sidekick, Hank.  He used to invent shit during the Civil War which comes in handy.  You know his weaponry is going to play a big roll in saving the hero at the end of the picture the instant you find out what he used to do.  It's shit like that that's telegraphed miles before it happens so there aren't many surprises.  Black Bart was about the best thing about the picture because you can't figure him out until it's over.  Nice work with that character.  He really makes the already decent ending even better.

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