HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows
Girls Town
Burning
Hitchhikers, The
For All Mankind
Glass Key, The
Captor, The
Hide in Plain Sight
Wildlife
X2
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Firestorm
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Piercing
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Emily
Odette
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Derby
Mortal Engines
Union City
Knife+Heart
Little Stranger, The
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
   
 
Newest Articles
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
   
 
  7 Dollars on the Red Son of a gunBuy this film here.
Year: 1966
Director: Alberto Cardone
Stars: Anthony Steffen, Elisa Montés, Fernando Sancho, Roberto Miali, Loredana Nusciak, Bruno Carotenuto, José Manuel Martin, Spartaco Conversi, Alfredo Varelli, Gianni Manera, Franco Fantasia
Genre: Western
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: While Johnny Ashley (Anthony Steffen) is away from home, his ranch is attacked by the ruthless Mexican bandit El Chacal (Fernando Sancho) who murders his wife and abducts his five year old son Jerry. Thereafter Johnny rides the range, obsessively hunting down every man in El Chacal's gang in the hope they will lead the way to his mortal enemy and missing boy. Fifteen years later Jerry (Roberto Miali, billed as Jerry Wilson) grows into a sadistic gunslinger in black, terrorizing the territory as El Chacal's trusted right hand. The pair plot to rob town bank. Meanwhile Johnny arrives in town and fate sets him on a collision course with Jerry with neither aware they are father and son.

Revenge tends to be the dominant theme in Italian westerns. Despite their pop cultural status as the gritty, uncompromised alternative to Hollywood the plots were less diverse than in classic horse operas. To its credit 7 Dollars on the Red attempts to fashion a more ambitious variation on the standard revenge yarn, part-influenced by Greek tragedy. Book-ended by contrasting scenes of mass murder (the opening massacre somewhat undercut by the poor performance of the actress playing Johnny's wife), the film starts with a solid theme. Early on a friend warns Johnny revenge will do little but transform him into the kind of remorseless killing machine he purports to hate. As things turn out however it is his son Jerry that develops into a heartless bastard under the influence of the hateful El Chacal, murdering men for kicks and callously manipulating then brutalizing women. This proves the first of several left-field turns throughout the film that tread a fine line between intriguingly unexpected and plain inconsistent. While the Oedipal aspect of the drama evokes the brooding psychological westerns of Anthony Mann, for the most 7 Dollars on the Red wastes a lot of time meandering from one pointless violent encounter to another without developing its themes.

Alberto Cardone, director of the similarly Sergio Leone-derivative titled westerns One Thousand Dollars on the Black (1966) and Twenty Thousand Dollars for Seven (1969), had a parallel career as a second-unit and assistant director on more mainstream films like Ben-Hur (1959), Plein Soleil (1960) and Barbarella (1968). His experience in those latter roles most likely accounts for why 7 Dollars on the Red looks more polished than the average non-Leone spaghetti western. It also flows relatively smoothly despite a bumpy, episodic narrative including a time-jump wherein Jerry seems to have aged a great deal more than Johnny. Cardone originally completed the film in 1965 but for whatever reason was sent back for re-shoots under the close supervision of writer-producer Mario Siciliano. A director in his own right, Siciliano had twenty-two films to his credit including war film Overrun! (1970), comedy western Trinity and Sartana Are Coming (1972), giallo Malocchio (1975) aka Evil Eye, and the Lee Van Cleef Euro-crime vehicle The Perfect Killer (1977).

The re-shoots may well have been necessary to get the film back on track given Cardone pads the plot with long, tedious sequences where Johnny gets brutally beaten again and again. Along with a tendency to wallow in repetitive sadism the film deviates from its core theme with a tragic romantic subplot. Sweet-natured showgirl Sybil (Elisa Monté) rashly ignores the warnings of the more experienced Emily (Loredana Nusciak) and takes up with the no-good Jerry whose attitude towards women is shaped by the comic book misogyny of El Chacal ("Let me warn you about women-folk. They're worse than rattlesnakes! Give them a chance and they'll ruin your life!"). Undercutting the otherwise somber tone, spaghetti western staple Fernando Sancho delivers another greasy slice of ham as he rants and raves, slapping women about with abandon. However Anthony Steffen carries the film with one of his stronger turns as the embittered hero whose actions are weighed down by grief, rage and in the closing scenes remorse. The climax which pits bandits against the entire town is a memorable set-piece that stands out from the bulk of the film, possibly inspired by the real life ambush that put an end to the Dalton gang.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 677 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: