When you photocopy an image repeatedly, each copy will be slightly more blurred and cruder than the original. When it comes to the Euro-westerns of the 1960s and 1970s, something similar happened. Movies like Ramon il messicano and Nato per uccidere (Born to Kill, 1967) are virtual carbon copies of scenes from Leone's Dollars movies. However, they were made by less talented or resourceful film-makers.
Genre movies are all about the reproduction of earlier films, but in order to keep the audience interested they have to be surprised with new variations on the tried-and-true themes. Movies like Django (1966) or Johnny Yuma (1966) from the same year show how this should be done - they are more respectful of the audience. Then there are ultra-cheap examples like this Ramon il Messicano.
For the most part, the movie is a remix of Fistful of Dollars (1964). Character names are the same - a Ramon (Morales instead of of Ramon Rojo), against the Baxters. The barkeep is a Silvanito look alike; Slim is hidden in a cave by an elderly sympathizer; the storyline of FoD involving Ramon and Marisol is refashioned into between Ramon and Esmeralda; both movies have a massacre of the Baxters; the music is very similar to music from the first two Dollars movies; and so on.
For the most part the film is crudely shot and staged, appearing pretty amateurish. This works in it's favor in a couple of scenes near the beginning of the movie,such as during the funeral of Ramon's brother. The static quality and the slow pacing actually work in the scene's favor, especially the funeral scene which is the best one in the movie. I was briefly hoping that this was a hidden if unpolished gem. Much of the rest of the movie is filled with inane scenes of men riding horses to pad the running time or a hilarious and nonsensical wagon scene - this scene may actually be a reason to see this movie.
Maurizio Pradeaux was not a very prolific director or screenwriter, but he did write the screenplay for one other Euro-western, 1972's I senza dio, a better (thought equally low-budget) effort than this one. Claudio Undari appeared in a number of Euro-westerns, including I tre implacabili (1963), Il mio nome e Shanghai Joe (1972), and Condenados a vivir (1972).
Synopsis: Ramon's brother attempts to rape Esmeralda (Vilma Lindamar) and is shot by Slim Baxter (Jean Louis). His father and older brother urge him go into hiding as Ramon Morales (Claudio Undari) and his gang will seek vengeance. Ramon has paid off the drunken sheriff, so a reward is put out on Slim. Ramon kills Slim's father and rapes Esmeralda, provoking Slim to come out of hiding to face him. Slim is shot down, but not killed. Esmeralda prays to the Virgin Mary, saying that she knows that she sinned with Ramon and will marry him if she allows Slim to recover, which he does. Slim then forms an outlaw gang to seek revenge and Esmeralda goes to Ramon. On Ramon's wedding day, Slim arrives disguised as the priest and they face each other in a final duel.
Top spaghetti western list http://imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=21849907
Average SWs http://imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=21849889
For completest only (bottom of the barrel) http://imdb.com/mymovies/list?l=21849890
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