HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
You've Been Trumped Too
Woman in Black, The
Elvis: That's the Way It Is
Man Who Laughs, The
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
   
 
Newest Articles
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
   
 
  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 1241 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: