Finally got to rewatch it last night … Richard Harrison in a standard and otherwise average revenge for his murdered family flick …‘scept it has a few weird bits thrown in but not really developed. With a bit more care or time, this could’ve been a much more inventively nastier or quirky film. The elements were there, but the film seems to add themes in that come to little, as I’ll intend to demonstrate.
Playing a sort of man-with-no-name character, with a penchant for offering the ladies sugar(?), he’s asked at the beginning of the film what his name is and replies “I ain’t got no name” … ‘scepting then Harrison’s character is variously referred to at various times as Joe/Rojo(The Red)/ Michelangelo(!) and then by his actual name of Donny Sorenson.
The weirdish bits (other than the sugar) include the picture/portrait that he draws at the bar, that isn’t the sort of behaviour we expect from our protagonists. But this doesn’t develop or go anywhere … I was hoping it would lead to a naked bedroom session with Nieves Navarro (obviously), as it does point in that direction with smouldering (past history) looks of lust :-* passing between the two of them, and the request for a portrait actually made by her fellah, and arch-baddy - played by Lulli. Anyway, Raf Baldassare shoots the original portrait full of holes and Rojo obviously takes this comment on his artistic skills to heart ‘cos the latter picture doesn’t (and probably wasn’t meant to) happen (shame tho’ ;)).
The weirdest bit in it though is ‘The Black’ … the facially disfigured character. But again, personally I would’ve liked this character to have to have ‘said’ more about himself, in a moody silent-ish, but definately in a more involved way.
There’s also the confederate sidekick, Hank, who turns out to be a bit of a low-tech James Bond Q character who’s soaked himself in Tequila … "Empty! You know you can’t trust a bottle. No sooner than you get fond of it, it deserts you. Jus’ like a woman!". Besides this drunken mysogyny, the ol’ scrote invents and adapts guns, including showing us a rifle “that is something unique”, but whatever is unique about it we are left to guess for ourselves, as the gun is neither used nor is it explained. And there’s another pistol - one with a silencer - well actually something that looks like a tatty bit of modern-day pipe insulation(?) wrapped around it. You’d think that’d get used in anger - nope, not a chance - when he does need to kill a fellah silently, he has the ol’ scrote put on a firework display to cover the noise!
I like this film, don’t get me wrong. But, it had so much more potential to make more of all these undeveloped bits. The vengeance bits were ok, but there was, as I mentioned recently, more use of ‘poetic’ justice in the nastier Black Jack. Here, the ‘one after another’ style revenge is a bit too simply attained, other than the Navarro bit (the mexi-baddy bloke’s called Navarro, so we’re not referring to darling Nieves in this bit). This is the part that includes the fireworks as the cover.
IMO Harrison’s finest hour still has to be the film made later actually called One After Another (1968).
A topside of 3 outa 5 from me, and as Chris Casey has mentioned, there’s a jolly good bit of saloon singing to hum along to as well. Enjoyable.