Great review Phil - it made me dust it down for a re-veiwing and a reviewing. Well, a few comments at least.
I have a vid-rip on dvdr of the Dutch subbed version, plus I have a fabulous original Italian one-of-those film bookletty things (photies attached) with an extra synopsis added in English, so more a few observations than a review - and maybe a few points that havn't yet been mentioned.
One point of interest? I did remember some odd looking rock formations in some of the desert shots (which I originally thought might have been some of those in ...Apocalypse Joe) but seems they were shot in Israel (Desert Studios, Eilat).
The translated synopsis I have is pretty accurate (unlike Weisser's who seems to think that Baldinello showed more "conviction" with (imo) the comparitively dreadful 30 Winchesters for El Diablo - more Weisser-madness surely?).
But there are two errors in this synopsis, in an otherwise well written piece? Which got me thinking - maybe the translation is at fault? Can anybody (scherps) help with this?
In the English ... "In a moment of madness he fires at Black Jack ..." This is in relation to Peter (his bro-in-law) being told by BJ that he can rape Skinner's daughter (at the end of the film). How does the Italian version fare ... "In un momento di follia accoltella Black Jack per porre fine ad una teoria di vendette inaudite e inutile."?
The reason I ask is because it's a knife, and not a gun, that is used.
The other (which could mean that there may be a differently edited print out there maybe?) relates to the order of the vengeance dealt out. "He finds them one by one and takes the fiercest possible vengeance. The first to fall is Indian Joe who is strangled ..." as compared to "Dopo qualche tempo, guarito nel fisico ma non nell'animo, Black Jack si mette alla ricera dei suoi ex compagni. Li scova uno ad uno e si vendica nel modo piu feroce, compreso Indian Joe che viene strangolato ...." Again, I ask because Indian Joe has the penultimate bit of (hairy) vengeance dished out - not the first.
Anyway, could be jus' a bit of poor memory by the reviewer, or a bit of 'lost in translation', but I would be interested to know all the same.
And why has nobody mentioned THE NUDITY!!? :o :-*
50 minutes in and there's a light-hearted bit (I use this term relatively of course, as this is one of the nastiest slices of spaghetti-pie out there). Gomez is about to have a go on the beautiful and wonderfully bare-breasted Rosario until he is chased off by her father for a duel. (Early nudity for a sw - 1968?)
I loved this film the first time I saw it, and I still do. Despite any number of faults it may have, it is magnificently 'spaghetti'. There should be no empathetic or sypathetic feelings for Jack (as Phil mentions about him being a hero like no kid imagined being).
Besides orchestrating a robbery that leaves innocent people killed, he spends most the film grubbily limping his way towards insanity. But Robert Woods is great in this (as he is in El Puro), and there is a tragedy and pathos about him that makes him the 'Black' bit of Jack, but also willed this viewer to side with him as he dished out the horrible, but almost poetically justifiable, vengeance. There are some great touches as well - particularly when he plays 'blind' against Rob, the card-shark, calling 4 aces both times without looking at the cards. And when told "We don't like the way you play cards!" they're turned over - but this second time .... ;D 8) 8).
One of the best examples of spaghettidom. If only more films got the mixture this good/bad.
Truely a western painted in those shades of grey and black, jack.
The copy I got ain't so bad, but I'd love to see this get a better release.
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