HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Man Standing Next, The
Rock, Paper and Scissors
Batman: The Long Halloween Part One
Salaam Bombay!
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  7 Dollars on the Red Son of a gun
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: WesternBuy from Amazon
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 1739 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: