Vengeance (1968) Poster


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Dark, lean and gritty
Leofwine_draca8 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
VENGEANCE is one of the better films in Italian director Antonio Margheriti's long and entertaining career. It stars Richard Harrison in what is probably his best spaghetti western; he plays the usual vengeful gunslinger whose brother is murdered in an eye-watering way in the film's most memorable moment, the opening sequence. Harrison then goes on his revenge trek, bumping off the gang members one at a time. This is a dusty, gritty western, with a very dark look and feel. It's full of death scenes and torture as Harrison kills and is variously captured and abused by the bad guys in turn. A fine supporting cast includes the underrated Werner Pochath and Luciano Pigozzi, both underrated actors in their own right. Margheriti keeps the pace fast and shoots his action scenes with speed and aplomb, leaving this a film without a single extraneous moment.
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Acceptable , decent Pasta Western with the ordinary vendetta carried out by Richard Harrison against his nasty contenders
ma-cortes17 May 2017
Passable Spaghetti Western shot in Spain with two usual genre stars : Entertaining Macarroni flick with plenty of action , crossfire , brawls , double-crosses , twists and loads of shots . A half-breed gunfighter named Joko / Rocco Barrett seeks vengeance and justice , as he tracks down the five bandits (Werner Pochath as Kid , Lucio De Santis as Laredo , Goffredo Unger as Yuma , among others) who murdered his robbing colleagues (Albert Dell'Acqua and Claudio Camaso as Professor Mendoza) . Joko arrives in a small town and he put on a sheriff badge. All the while being shadowed by a suspicious Pinkerton detective called Lester (Paolo Gozlino) .

This stirring Ravioli Western packs thrills , shootouts , noisy action and riding pursuits . Italian production filmed in Laccio , Rome , Italy and Almeria , Spain , being full of familiar faces , assaults , exaggerated characters , gun-down , lots of shots , fights and with some looks that say it all , including an exciting ending . Starring Richard Harrison who stands out his strong , piercing eyes and striking look , featuring as a man out for vendetta . Harrison is so-so as a gunslinger who vows revenge to murder the outlaws who killed his colleagues , as he ravages the screen , he jumps , leaps and bounds , hits and runs ; besides , receiving violent punches , wounds and tortures as when he's tied under a shining sun . Worthwhile watching for a demonstration of the confrontation between the tough mestizo Pistolero Richard Harrison against the dangerous killers as Werner Pochath , Lucio Santis and Goffredo Unger . As Harrison/Joko being besieged at a Sheriff's office similarly to ¨Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo¨. Richard Harrison played in Hollywood some minor roles as ¨Kronos¨, ¨South Pacific¨ and ¨Master of world . Then , Harrison jumped at the chance when offered the first character in 1961 ,¨The Invincible Gladiator¨ , which was filming in Europe . He wound up settling in Italy for the next two decades . To avoid being penned in too much as a muscle man , he sought characters in routine spaghetti westerns as ¨Texas the Red¨, ¨Gringo¨, ¨Reverendo Colt¨ , ¨Joe Dakota¨ , even the main role from ¨For a fistful of dollars¨ was offered to Richard Harrison , but he turned down and explaining : Maybe my greatest contribution to cinema was not doing Fistful of Dollars, and recommending Clint Eastwood for the part . Support cast is frankly good , thanks to the strange and upsetting presence of Claudio Camaso who bears remarkable resemblance to his brother Gian Maria Volonte ; a bit later on , Camaso sadly committed suicide himself . Camaso starred various ¨Pipperone¨ Westerns , usually playing a Mexican bandit , such as : ¨10.000 dollars for a massacre¨, ¨Giarrettiera Colt , ¨Per 100.000 Dollari T'ammazzo¨ , "Night of Hate¨, and ¨John Il bastard¨. Here appear important secondaries from Spaghetti Western such as : Paolo Gozlino as a mysterious drifter , Alberto Dell'Acqua , Giovanni Scratulia , Werner Pochath as Kid , Ignacio Spalla or Pedro Sánchez , Lucio De Santis ,Goffredo Unger , and brief acting by the Eurotrash Babe Maria Angela Giordano and Luciano Pigozzi , nicknamed Allan Collins , considered to be the Italian Peter Lorre. Furthermore , Riccardo Pizzutti , a regular in Terence Hill/Bud Spencer movies . There are fine technicians , nice assistant direction and adequate production design , creating a good scenario across the Almerian outdoors , including the stark landscapes , dunes , rocks , and mountains . Colorful and evocative cinematography by Riccardo Palottini , but a perfect remastering being necessary . Very enjoyable musical score by Carlo Savina , including catching songs at the beginning and the end sung by Don Powell .

This oddball motion picture was professionally directed by Antonio Margheriti , though it has flaws and gaps . Antonio M. Dawson was born in 1930 , Rome, and died in 2002 . He was a director and writer , and especially known for his works with miniatures , explosions and flood sequences . Antonio shoots with ordinary aplomb and being famous for Yor (1983), Virus (1980) and Horror castle (1963) . Italian writer-director of horror and exploitation films, a former university engineering student who began in films in 1956 . He was also an expert in special optical effects , FX , and model-making . Often used the pseudonym 'Anthony M. Dawson'. He directed all kind of genres such as Wartime : The last hunter , Tornado , Code Name : Wild Geese , Commando Leopard , Der Commander ; Sci-Fi : War of planets , Planet on the prowl , Criminali Della Galassia ; Action : Operazione Goldman , Indio , The Squeeze ; and Spaghetti : Dynamite Joe , The stranger and the gunfighter , Take a hard ride , God said to Cain and this one : Joko .
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Ninja Vengeance
Bezenby3 March 2019
It's a standard Spagehetti Western plot: A stranger on the trail of several men who killed his friend/brother/wife/sister/horse. Death Sentence had the same plot, but also had Tomas Milian as an albino who could smell gold. This one has several eccentrics all ready to be killed by Richard Harrison, and works for the same reason.

It helps that Antonio Margheriti is the director too - his camera angles are pretty inventive here, which makes the film a lot more livelier than it would normally be. The set design is good too, so the showdown in a mine stands out a lot.

Richard Harrison is the stranger this time around, turning those steely eyes towards five guys who double-crossed him during a gold robbery and killing his mate by pulling him to pieces by horses. This doesn't go down too well with Richard, who starts his revenge by tracking down Mexican Luciano Pigozzi. Next up his a card player who is sending a red-head to his friend Loredo in another town (Loredo being yet another target for Richard). The red-head also becomes the romantic interest for Richard, as well as a possible captive audience while Richard has a lengthy flashback about the gold heist. It seems eccentric Mexican Claudio Camaso was the mastermind behind the heist, but he disappeared when the ceiling collapsed in the room holding the gold. I bet that's got nothing to do with the mysterious fifth killer at the start of the film!

The best part is when Werner Pochatch turns up as 'the kid' and gets the drop on Richard, holding his eyes open with toothpicks in the midday sun (and that looks genuinely painful, so kudos to Harrison for putting up with that). This is obviously the bit in the Spaghetti Western were the hero gets a drubbing before bouncing back, but this one is done a little differently as a unique duel is set up between the two in a bar. Margheriti does well in building the tension in this bit, although I did chuckle at Harrison's 'nearly blind' acting face.

While not as good as Margheriti's Klaus-Kinski-As-Unstoppable-Killer And God Said To Cain...that two films would make a good double-bill. The man could turn his hand to anything and make it his own. Not only that, he can make a fine entertaining film into the bargain. Claudio Camaso stands out acting wise as the demented Professor, but doesn't get a great amount of screen time. Mariangela Giordano also turns up as his unwilling girlfriend.
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Atypical spaghetti western, at least in its second part
guy-bellinger3 December 2015
A mute, violent hero (the leader of an outlaw band) single-minded in taking vengeance (on the accomplices who have betrayed him)... Well, it looks as though the viewer is off for just another spaghetti western. And during the first undistinguished half, their fears ARE well-founded. But hope should not be given up, all is not lost. Indeed the man at the helm is none other than Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony Dawson), a pleasant minor master particularly at ease in fantasy films ("Horror Castle", "Castle of Blood"). And when (rather unexpectedly to be true) the director suddenly remembers what he is really good at, the run-of-the-mill flick is metamorphosed into an unidentified (and inspired) cinematic object. "Vengeance" is still a western, complete with duels, showdown and Morricone-like score, but from then on it gets mixed with thriller (the delayed discovery of the traitor; the astonishing flashback unveiling the true facts about the bank robbery) and horror ((the long final sequence in the sulfur mine with its extravagant lightings and baroque framework ; the villain appearing as a grotesque clown). No longer apathetic, the viewer is now agape. The lesson to be drawn is that if you demand more of a film than just B (or Z) features, just have patience and you will be rewarded. Like Rocco, the hero of the story in a way...
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Spaghetti Western fans should take a look!
Eegah Guy10 April 2001
Director Margheriti is well known for his long list of fast, cheap but well-made horror, sci-fi and action films. As Westerns were so popular in the late 60s he dabbled in that genre also and made some good films. VENGEANCE isn't as interesting as his other late 60s Western AND GOD SAID TO CAIN, but this is still fine entertainment for European pop cinema fans because all the elements of this genre are present (zooms into squinting eyes, impossibly fast gundowns, fuzz guitar laden score, seemingly invincible anti-heroes defeating scummy bad guys).
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great spaghetti western
spider8911923 June 2005
Vengeance is directed by Italian horror-maestro Antonio Margheriti, and it proves that he can direct a good western as well.

The hero is a Django-like character named Rocco. Richard Harrison does a fine job in this role. The showdowns between Rocco and the various men he is seeking to kill are suspenseful, entertaining, and very well done, especially the beer glass duel with the character named "Kid" (which I had to watch a couple of times to figure out how "Kid" was cheating).

In the end, it is Claudio Camaso as the main villain "Mendoza" who steals the show. Mendoza is a wonderful character who is kind of a cross between Malcolm McDowell's character in "A Clockwork Orange," and a villain you would see in the Batman TV series from the 1960's. You've gotta love it! It's the American west as it can only happen in Italy, and it is a joy to watch. The music is also great.

Highly recommended to anyone who understands and appreciates the Italian westerns.
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Not bad, but I've seen better
westerner35727 September 2004

Hercules star Richard Harrison plays Rocco, a half-breed Indian who swears revenge on those who betrayed them for a gold robbery they had done. His best friend Ritchie (Alberto Dell'Acqua) is ripped apart (not shown) by horses tied to his arms and legs. One by one, he tracks them down and kills them. Along the way, he finds out that another best friend, Mendoza (Carlo Camaso) has also betrayed him. He looks tubercular with yellow splotches all over his face.

The two scenes that stand out are in the first saloon fight where Rocco grabs on to a beam from up above and swings his legs up killing a man in the throat with his spurs. The second memorable scene is when Rocco is captured by one of the gang, is tied up and sticks are placed under his eyelids so he can't sleep and the sun will damage his eyes. There's also an ending scene between Mendoza and Rocco in an underground mine turned hideout, that goes on for too long. Rocco gives Mendoza too many chances to kill him making the whole ending seem anti-climatic.

Antonio Margheriti, better known for his horror films, took a time out from his usual shock fests to direct this one and if he had cut ten minutes from the film, it would have made for a tighter story. As it is, it sometimes meanders too much for effect.

The widescreen Elite DVD is pretty basic with a rough, unremastered print that shows it's age in places. No trailer or extras of any kind. At least the dubbing isn't too bad and I was slightly entertained by some of the gun battles and the action it had.

5 out of 10

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Standard Spaghetti - O(ater)!
sanzar3 April 2001
"Vengeance", an Arlington International Pictures release, now getting a second life via a new Image DVD, is a routine Spaghetti western revolving around an outlaw's quest for revenge against gang members who've betrayed him and killed his partner.

Rocco (star Richard Harrison, veteran of many an Italian Peplum and Western) is one of the gold thieves left holding an empty bag. Arriving too late to avert the death of his young partner, Richie (who is drawn & quartered in the film's prologue), Rocco systematically criss-crosses the countryside, looking to kill each of his 5 ex-trail buddies and get back his share of the gold. He's followed most of the way by a bounty hunter hired to retrieve the stolen gold, but who takes to acting as Rocco's guardian angel whenever the odds are stacked against Rocco's favor.

Harrison is appropriately laconic (much like Clint Eastwood as the famed "Man with No Name") in pursuit of his single-minded purpose. The rest of the Italian and Spanish cast capably perform their stock roles with a minimum of distraction. Much of the cast mouth their dialogue in English, which makes for less atrocious dubbing than usual for this type of fare.

DVD is letterboxed and print shows some minor wear & tear, but overall, it looks to be in decent shape. Definitely worth a viewing for fans of the genre.
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It could have been superior
hcampbell-7047321 July 2018
A solid (if standard) plot, good action, and well directed by an under appreciated filmmaker who churned out many solid entries in the genre. Only one thing holds it back: the lousy acting of Richard Harrison. Harrison had a real knack for detracting from the overall value of the films he appeared in, in all honesty he just could not act. Cast Anthony Steffen, Gianni Garko, or Craig Hill in the lead in this well crafted spag and it would have been something to remember.
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