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Good spaghetti western tale, but with direction often lacking in substance
This film starts with that Almeria backdrop that we love so much. Ringo (Anthony Steffen) and his colleague Davy (Eduardo Fajardo) rescue Fidel (Armando Calvo) from a certain death at the hands of a posse of gun-hands. Their motive? Well it had nothing to do with Fidel's safety, but an assumption that there must be a reason that the gang would be so keen to pursue him.
This intuition is well founded. Once they have rescued Fidel for a second time - after a full on bar brawl - they discover that he has a map tattooed on his back. It turns out to be just half of a map for hidden gold, with the second half on the back of a crook-turned-sheriff following a pact whilst the two were captive in prison. The aptly named "Trikie"(Frank Wolff) has overheard the conversation, and insists on joining the three on the trail of the gold. The group successfully track down the Sheriff, who double crosses them - the first of many double-crosses as they follow the map and the film develops.
"Ringo - Face of Revenge" is pretty watchable, although in truth fairly average spaghetti fare. With not a hint of revenge! The story itself has many twists and turns that successfully kept my attention, but the actual delivery of Caiano's direction seemed often lacking. I couldn't help feel that certain scenes were simply added in to cement the gaps in the story, and help the viewer realise what was actually going on (but unfortunately the cement was weak and lacked substance).
That said, there are some great scenes - my favourite being the moment when the captured group decide that the only way to prevent the double crossing sheriff from learning the secret of the other half of the map is to burn the tattoo off of Fidel's back. Ouch! As far as the acting is concerned, Fajardo really excels in the role of the eccentric Davy. Both Wolff and Steffen on the other-hand both appear quite subdued (although, I guess that was largely Steffen's style).
If you enjoyed "Some Dollars for Django" you will probably enjoy this movie also, as it has a similar feel (and not just because of Steffen's lead role). To me it remains in that group of westerns that I quite enjoy watching, but would be in no particular rush to watch again.
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