Vengeance Trail / La vendetta è un piatto che si serve freddo (Pasquale Squitieri, 1971)


(Reverend Danite) #1

http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Vendetta_è_un_piatto_che_si_serve_freddo%2C_La

Made under Squitieri’s psuedonym William Redford, Vengeance trail/ Vengeance is a Dish served Cold/ Three Amens for Satan is one of only 2 spaghettis made by him, the other being the pretty good Django Challenges Sartana of 1970. Vengeance Trail - (the title used on the cover of the C’est La Vie dvd, although the German Drei Amen fur den Satan actually starts the film) - has been criticised for looking cheap, on a/the review on imdb (where it gets a relatively poor 4.1/10), but it looks positively reckless regarding the purse-strings in comparison to the earlier film.

Leonard Mann (following on from Chuck Mool and The Forgotten Pistolero) also makes this his last SW (as we know,he never got to do Trinity, although it’s worth listening to the podcast interview somewhere on the forum for the very interesting background info on this - I’ll link to it if I can find it.).
He is excellent in this gem also, and remains silent, brooding and magnificently moody for most of the film - and that’s how we like 'em!
Mann is Jeremiah Bridger, and we first meet him as an 11 or so year old, happily being brought up by his ma and pa, and with his li’l kid sister. The family have got an indian friend, Yatanka, who has taught Jeremiah to shoot rabbits and he’s pretty darn good at it as well. Unfortunately, Jeremiah is gonna turn into an Indian-hater and use his skills with a rifle and pistol against Yatanka’s kind. And this is why …

----------- SPOILER ALERT!!! -----------

Perkins (Ivan Rassimov) is a local fella with aspirations to be a grand land-owner, and he resents both the Indians and the farmers (including the Bridger’s), owning land, and having access to water, that he thinks would be better off his. He’s accompanied by another racist Indian-hater by the name of Prescott (Klaus Kinski) who plays the part of a journalist who’s out to rabble-rouse and cause trouble for the already dispossessed Indians. They warn the local farmers of potential Indian trouble and then come back at night, dressed as Indians and massacre them, burning the buildings to the ground and leaving a dead Indian or two as ‘proof’.
And - it’s the poor ol’ Bridger’s who have been chosen.
I might say here, that this is quite a violent film, moreso than its certificate 12 would have us believe. Anyway, needless to say, Jeremiah’s li’l sis aint gonna be growing up much with one of them pointy, feathery things sticking out of her :P. Poor little mite! With imminent murder afoot, Jeremiah is bundled into the cellar, only to emerge later into the daylight - and into a new life - which is to be based on murder and silent retribution, as a scalp-hunter. All that practice at shooting and skinning rabbits is gonna pay off!
After coldly killing a bunch of Indians he is left with a (truly) beautiful squaw called Tena (Elizabeth Eversfield), and he binds her hands and takes her to town behind his horse. Whilst selling scalps, he has Perkins pointed out to him " … or Mister Perkins as he likes to be called. He’s come up in the world - richest man in the territory." And quite the dapper he is as well - wearing his velvets and silks. Ivan has never looked smarter.
A couple of his henchmen take a shine to a “nice piece of Indian” and offer our man 3 dollars for her - which after blowing smoke in his face, they drop on the floor. Not a good way to make friends, and we can see he’s not gonna be impressed by such rudeness! After a bit of a scrap - and no ridiculous extended brawls these - the townspeople decide that tarring and feathering would be a suitable pasttime to involve Tena in social integration.
There’s an example of almost certainly deliberatly used imagery and sybolism here, and this is representative of the care and consideration that has been put into this relatively low-budget film.
Just before Mann comes out of the shop, where he’s been trading scalps, we see him eye to eye with a stuffed bird of prey - an unfeeling killing machine. Now the peaceful Tena is covered in white feathers (the dove), and the townspeople have at their lead a brightly coloured macaw parrot. The squawking and pecking by the parrot is mimicked by the townspeople in a cacophony of noise (squeeze-box included) and filmic close-ups of their ugliness and of the mayhem.
Rescued by Jeremiah, but followed by the henchmen, they depart to shack up in a ghost town saloon (always a good move in a sw) where Jeremiah reassesses his hatred of Indians by getting to watch Tena clean herself up and he then gets in touch with his, and her, feminine side as she proclaims that she will now “…live for yellowhair”. Unfortunately for them, but not so much for us, they are interrupted in their lovemaking by head honcho-henchman Boone telling him “Indian flesh tastes real sweet once you get it clean, but I’m gonna have to spoil yer plans for the future …” as and after a well crafted shoot-out our man takes a bullet and Boone takes the girl as a ‘present’ for his boss.
Enter the quirky mad-cap character that any self-respecting sw should include - in the form of ‘Doc’ the travelling ne’er-do-well thief, doctor and dentist. Waiting for ages for Jeremiah to regain consciousness, he then decides its time to remove the bullet (which seems a bit mean) and get him back into good health. Doc eventually tells him, as he’s about to scalp another poor injun who’s only crime is to be having a bit of a snog with his injun gal (slightest nipple glimpse here for a ‘trained eye’ ;)), “Enough of this blind hatred of yours” and spills the beans regarding the truth about Perkins and ‘that’ fateful night.
Anyway, the story is all set for a good bit of torture for Boone in a ‘ring of fire’, Jeremiah siding with the Indians, a sweaty whipping for Tena (for half biting Kinski’s ear off), a bit of infiltration by Jeremiah and the Doc into Perkins’ trust. Great comedic (and deliberately camp) over-acting by Doc (Steffen Zacharias) here as he pretends to be a senator and the cousin of President Ulysses S. Grant, and reckons he’s been attacked by Indians. Prescott is duly brought in to write up the story that’ll finally have the Indians completely dispossessed. And so Perkins is set to be a very rich man indeed. But, he’s sent our man (Mann) to recruit a bunch of thugs for a bit more homestead burning already, and he’s returned with a bunch of wannabee redskins - or maybe they’re the real ones this time?
So, it’s all set for ‘la resa dei conti’, and I wasn’t disappointed in regard to this.
To finalise it all, the newspaperman is forced to print the truth and the townspeople ain’t gonna be happy with a grovelling cowardly Kinski either - so, (with the exception of Kinski) is it all to end happily for the rest of us? Will the redskin and the white man live together in harmony? Will Jeremiah Bridger bridge the racial divide and get to taste some redskin skin? Well I can’t give everything away now, can I!?

Still - this film can still be got easily - and the C’est La Vie print is widescreen, English language (only) and great quality.
Sartana in the Valley of Death and Acquasanta Joe may’ve put people of CLV dvds but this one is well worth owning. Highly recommended by this reverend. Any other views on this?


(Tigrero) #2

Lovely piece of writing Rev…really got me interested and I wanna watch this one!
Better get on Amazon now and check it out before all the cheap ones disappear.


(Reverend Danite) #3

http://www.filmforno.com/?cat=26

This is the link to Brother Joe D’s Leonard Mann interview - I seem to remember that Leonard Mann came across as a very interesting guy.


(Tigrero) #4

[quote=“Tigero, post:2, topic:1142”]Lovely piece of writing Rev…really got me interested and I wanna watch this one!
Better get on Amazon now and check it out before all the cheap ones disappear.[/quote]

Ordered!!

Started listening to the interview but it’s quite long. Will have to get time later. Sounded interesting from what I did listen to.


(Romaine Fielding) #5

As usual, I chuckled my way through your splendid review. Too many good lines from you to quote only one. 8)

I quite like our man Ivan and this is a nice role for him, a little bit different than his norm I think.
Rev, what is it that people don’t like about the other CLV dvds?


(ENNIOO) #6

Some of the CLV (if not all?) discs have cropped widescreen ratios.


(Reverend Danite) #7

That aspecty-ratio stuff is still a bit beyond me - it’s only the films themselves that might put you off …
Sartana in the Sandpit of Doom (It hardly qualifies as a valley) and :wink: Acquasata Joe (wuss!) are maybe not the best entries into the genre - however, I still like ‘em for what they are. There’s not much wrong with the prints from what I can see. The quality’s pretty damn good. I’ve a vid of SITVOD and altho’ it’s less cut - it only seems to have extended fisticuffs and other nonsense and I probably prefer the dvd.
SO - no problemo - they can sometimes be got for extremo-cheapo - and that’ll do for me-o!


(Romaine Fielding) #8

[quote=“Reverend Danite, post:7, topic:1142”]That aspecty-ratio stuff is still a bit beyond me - it’s only the films themselves that might put you off …
Sartana in the Sandpit of Doom (It hardly qualifies as a valley) and :wink: Acquasata Joe (wuss!) are maybe not the best entries into the genre - however, I still like ‘em for what they are. There’s not much wrong with the prints from what I can see. The quality’s pretty damn good. I’ve a vid of SITVOD and altho’ it’s less cut - it only seems to have extended fisticuffs and other nonsense and I probably prefer the dvd.
SO - no problemo - they can sometimes be got for extremo-cheapo - and that’ll do for me-o![/quote]

I have Acquasanta Joe and watched it earlier this year. I could not remember if there were aspect ratio issues with it. I kinda liked it. Not a lot, but I found it enjoyable. I don’t go much for the somewhat hokey Spaghettis but this one was fine with me. As usual, it is the dusky babe I remember best, in this case Silvia Monelli. And I remember that the print was really nice looking (if I remember correctly). I have not seen Sartana In the Valley…


(Reverend Danite) #9

Yes - the ladies do hold a certain charm for us both.
You wont be disappointed with Elizabeth Eversfield as Tena, I reckon. When I refered to a “sweaty whipping” - it was about me as well as her. I haven’t felt so guilty since seeing Lynn Frederick in 4OTA :stuck_out_tongue: :-* :wink:


(ENNIOO) #10

The film is in around 1.85 on the disc, but the trailer on the disc is in 2.35.


(Romaine Fielding) #11

Thanks Ennio.


(ENNIOO) #12

My pleasure :).


(Chris_Casey) #13

Just curious, but…where does the alternate title of 3 AMENS FOR SATAN come from?
I have never heard, or read, that one before. Are we sure this isn’t a bit of Weisser-like info. cropping up?
:smiley:

Is it a video only title, perhaps?
Like I said…just curious…


(ENNIOO) #14

Sounds like a good title for a horror film!


(CactusCharlie) #15

[quote=“Chris_Casey, post:13, topic:1142”]Just curious, but…where does the alternate title of 3 AMENS FOR SATAN come from?
I have never heard, or read, that one before. Are we sure this isn’t a bit of Weisser-like info. cropping up?
:smiley:

Is it a video only title, perhaps?
Like I said…just curious…[/quote]

My copy , although it is English audio, has the title " Drei Amen Fur Den Satan " on the opening credits .


(Reverend Danite) #16

[quote=“Chris_Casey, post:13, topic:1142”]Just curious, but…where does the alternate title of 3 AMENS FOR SATAN come from?
I have never heard, or read, that one before. Are we sure this isn’t a bit of Weisser-like info. cropping up?
:D[/quote]
True, one has to be a bit careful if Brother Weisser is involved, and he does include the “Three Amens…” title.
But, other than a bit of chronologically challenged temporality shifting stuff (he’s got the lurrrve-bit in the wrong order with the ghost town saloony bit), he may have even watched this. Anyway, he agrees with me, or rather I agree with him, that "It’s a rough, gritty, no-nonsense Spaghetti Western."
But to that name - I did include it because it is a great name - and I also wondered if it would start a bit of debate - about … why? - because there ain’t even one ‘amen’ as far as I can see. But titles aren’t the most logical thing in spaghetti-land as we know.
I did do a bit of checking tho’ - besides Weisser, it is on the dvd (in German), Glittering Images has it listed as “Three Amen …” amongst the 5 alternate titles.
But my main source which pretty much ‘nails it on’ is from our own database - genius that it is … and that is this poster …

[attachment older than 600 days, deleted by admin]


(Chris_Casey) #17

[quote=“Reverend Danite, post:16, topic:1142”]True, one has to be a bit careful if Brother Weisser is involved, and he does include the “Three Amens…” title.
But, other than a bit of chronologically challenged temporality shifting stuff (he’s got the lurrrve-bit in the wrong order with the ghost town saloony bit), he may have even watched this. Anyway, he agrees with me, or rather I agree with him, that "It’s a rough, gritty, no-nonsense Spaghetti Western."
But to that name - I did include it because it is a great name - and I also wondered if it would start a bit of debate - about … why? - because there ain’t even one ‘amen’ as far as I can see. But titles aren’t the most logical thing in spaghetti-land as we know.
I did do a bit of checking tho’ - besides Weisser, it is on the dvd (in German), Glittering Images has it listed as “Three Amen …” amongst the 5 alternate titles.
But my main source which pretty much ‘nails it on’ is from our own database - genius that it is … and that is this poster …[/quote]

Ahh, I see…
I reckon it is just an English translation listed for one of the German titles.
I had never noticed the Glittering Images listing, until you pointed it out, amigo!
I don’t think this film ever bore that title in English–though I could be wrong.


(Ming) #18

I’m very surprised about the positive comments this has got. ???
I found it to be incredibly dull & possibly the worst spaghetti I’ve seen so far.
I’ll have to watch it again - making sure I’m fully awake & sober, in case I missed something the first time 'round. :stuck_out_tongue:


(Phil H) #19

I quite enjoyed this one. Nothing spectacular but good solid spaghetti fare. I like Leonard Mann anyway, and Rassimov, but Miss Eversfield was a very welcome new face. Did she make any more spags do we know?
Clearly made on a low budget but handles it all pretty well.


(scherpschutter) #20

I like Mann too, he seems to add a impression of spiritual pain to his parts, as if he’s really suffering, an idea a often miss with other people’s performances as an avenger

What DVD did you watch? Both the italian and German DVD seem to be fullscreen

About the titles: Vengeance Trail was the ‘international’ title given by the producers to the movie; at a certain point the started to give the films a special title for the international market, maybe to avoid problems with the endless series of names distributers came up with. Another reason might have been that Italians were used to very long, a sort of story telling titles, that would made very little sense when translated or simply wouldn’t work. The Sabata movies are a good example:

Ehi, amico … c’è Sabata, hai chiuso! (Hey friend … Sabata’s in town, you might as well close the door!)
E tornato Sabata … hai chiuso un altra volta! (Sabata is back … you might as well close close te door once again!)
Indio Black, sai che ti dico : sei un gran figlio di … (Indio Black, remember what I tell you: you’re a great sonnava…)

Another nice is this Fidano movie:
Giù la testa, 'ombre ! (Doppia taglia per Minnesota Stinky)
Head down, 'ombre ! (Two prices on the head of Minnesota Stinky)