Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spaghetti Western Review

TASTE OF VENGEANCE turns out to be one of star Gianni Garko's lesser westerns, which is a shame, because this is a great-looking film. Some locations familiar to spaghetti western fans are revisited, the cast is full of familiar faces like Frank Brana and Lorenzo Robledo, and the always charismatic Garko leads the way as Bryan, a decent man crazed by the rape and murder of his wife by renegade Union deserters. No longer a believer in justice he turns against his rescuer, Daniel, the man who dragged him out of his burning house, and takes up a life of crime. Daniel, on the other hand, becomes a sheriff and vows to bring Bryan in. As they say, complications ensue. One of the problems with Taste of Vengeance is that Garko is just too good as the villain; you tend to like him more than Sean Todd (Ivan Rassimov), the good guy, who frankly is written a bit bland. Music is nothing to write home about, and some of the English dialog sounds stilted. Garko gets crazier and crazier and by the dramatic shoot out at the end I really didn't care too much how it ended up. One point; at the beginning Bryan takes a bullet to the stomach as his home is invaded. He passes out and when he wakes up, having been tended to by Daniel, his wound has miraculously healed, and is never mentioned again. Sloppy film-making, but partially redeemed by a strikingly filmed ending. For SW enthusiasts only.

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