Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Monday, September 24, 2012

An average spaghetti western

Ringo: Face of Revenge (1967)
Starring: Anthony Steffan, Eduardo Fajardo, Frank Wolff, Armando Calvo, Alejandra Nilo, and Alfonso Goda
Director: Mario Caiano
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

A pair of drifters (Steffan and Fajardo) save the life of a man who has half a treasure map tattooed on his back (Calvo). They join him in the hunt for the second half, which is tattooed on the back of a bandit-turned-sheriff (Goda), but the quest is complicated by a professional gambler who strong-arms himself into getting a cut of the treasure (Wolff) and greed and distrust among this band of adventurers with questionable morals.

"Ringo: Face of Revenge" is an average European-made western populated by cliched characters that are that just enough spin to them to make the proceedings interesting. As is almost always the case in these sorts of movies, the "heroes" are only slightly less villainous than the bad guys... and usually can be distinguished from them only because they don't don't pick on or kill people who didn't "have it coming" (for the most part).

The film is also fun to watch because elements that usually ruin a non-comedy like this somehow work here... like the way the entire cast except Anthony Steffan seem to be playing to the back rows, and the fact the plot only works because the characters do stupid thing after stupid thing. Instead of garnering my usual reaction of looking for something better to do with my time, the unevenness in acting and the boneheadedness of both heroes and villains alike actually made the movie more engaging,

Frank Wolff, as Tricky, was excellent as the slimiest double-crosser you've ever want to reach through the screen and punch in the face, and Eduardo Fajardo delivers one of the best comic-relief sidekick old timers that I've come across. Fajardo is even better when the comic sidekick turns dangerous and tragic toward the end of the film.

While this may not be a film worth seeking out for casual western fans, it's worth seeing if you can't get enough of spaghetti westerns, or if you're a fan of Athony Steffan or treasure-hunt stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment