Arizona Colt Returns(Arizona Si Scatenò… e Li Fece Fuori Tutti!)1970

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ARIZONA COLT RETURNS was somewhat of a disappointment for severalArizona-Colt-Returns-1970 reasons. The first film, which I covered this past Tuesday, starred Giuliano Gemma in the title role. Anthony Steffen takes it in this one and, while he was almost as big a star in the genre, he seemed a bit off his game in this one. Kind of uninspired acting. Part of it I’m sure was the actor’s voice for the English translation. Too deep and not a lot of expression voicing the words.

Two actors from the first film appeared in this one. Roberto Carmardiel again played the comic sidekick Double Whiskey, though he didn’t 230px-ArizonaColtReturnsPosterbiggerdo much but drink a lot of alcohol in this one. He was an explosive expert last time around and a much meatier part. The second actor was Rosalba Neri, though with a different role this time, Paloma, the girl friend of the outlaw leader behind the plot.

Chico(Aldo Sambrell) takes a stage coach full of gold, murders all those aboard but one and he swears it was Arizona Colt who’d hit them. It’s a frame-up, the witness actually a member of the gang. An old enemy of Arizona’s, he takes great delight in setting him up.

Arizona visits the Sheriff and informs him that “if let alone, I’ll deliver the real3431b killers in twenty-four hours!” Not that easy though. After a fight in the saloon(it seems a prerequisite of spaghetti westerns that there must be a full out brawl in the bar) lands him in jail. A quick trial and a hanging is scheduled. But a trick rig and the help of some friends helps him avoid death and sets him loose to find the real killers. He’s also offered a deal by the father of Paloma, fifty grand for Chico’s head and his daughter back. Arizona turns him down.

Double Whiskey is grabbed and, when he manages to escape, is shot at. Arizona finds him in the river, several bullets in him, and not given a chance to live. That pisses Arizona off and the old man manages to get out where the gang is headquartered.

ArizonareturnsA neat trick distracts the gang, money floating down the river. The gang rushes to gather up the bills and lets Arizona steal the two trunks of gold from the stage holdup and hide them. He’s only caught when Paloma double crosses him.

Torture doesn’t work, but the murder of his girl friend Sheila(Marcella Michelangeli) does. She manages to crawl over and cut him loose with the very knife that Chico stabbed her with before she dies.

That sets up the gum battle in the valley. One thing I did like about the fight scene. Arizona is shown loading his six shooter a number of times in the battle, something one doesn’t always see.

Grade about a C-.

Far As The Eye Can See – Robert Bausch

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20613745Robert Bausch gives us a novel that sprawls across the west, covering from a few years after the Civil War until the Custer massacre in 1876.

We follow young Bobby Hale, a Virginian and a veteran, that headed west to find out what lay out there. Hale is not his real name, just the latest.

The story covers Hale’s time with a wagon train, his five year partnership with the Crow Big Tree where he learns trapping and how to live to hooking up with a pair of women, sisters, headed west. He serves as scout sent out looking for Indians, hooks up with Ink, the young half breed Nez Perce woman, shooting her then nursing her back to health, and finally ending up stuck in the middle of the Big Horm battle.

Told in the first person, author Robert Bausch is consistent in his depiction of Hale as a man with little formal education, his use of the wrong tense quite regular, his unfamiliarity with how to deal with common things, and his quick reaction, oftentimes wrong.

Quite enjoyed this one.

Devil’s Ledger(John Coburn – The Peregrine Book 1) – Richard Prosch

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Author Richard Prosch brings his character John Coburn, AKA The Peregrine,71MyXHtR+8L._SL1170_ back. A man of reputation and the star of dime novels. Not to mention A number of short stories by Richard.

John Coburn stumbles across an old cell mate, Bandy Murphy, running from a gang after the Judas Book in Murphy’s possession.

Supposedly a journal kept by an itinerant preacher Judas Warren, it was filled with confessions, locations of buried bodies and stolen fortunes. That was the legend. Coburn never really believed it was real.

But now here was Murphy claiming he had it and there was a pack of killers after it, mre than willing to kill anyone who stopped them from gaining control of the book. But it was so much more.

A fine novella from Richard Prosch. As with most of his stories, both western and more modern, it’s set in his native Nebraska. And the good news is it’s the beginning of a series

Highly recommended and can be ordered HERE.

The Big Ugly – Jake Hinkson

51HB-+qb2VLI had a fine time with THE BIG UGLY.

Ellie Bennett had just pulled a year in prison for something she didn’t do. a former corrections officer accused of beating up a prisoner, set up by a fellow guard because she’d had a brief relationship with the woman’s husband, all Ellie wanted was to start her life up again.

She gets an odd job offer: finding a young woman she’d spent time in prison with. The job was pid for by a Christian group. The reasons seemed benign enough.

But soon another group was offering even more money to find her. This group was connected to the soon-to-be ex-Governor.

Political connections were behind it all. Leaders on both sides were opponents in the coming Senatorial elections.

What could this young woman have that both sides wantd? What could one lone ex-con do caught up between two such powerful forces?

Ellie showed them.

Recommended. Can be ordered HERE.

Arizona Colt(1966)

I’m doing things a bit different this week. Two spaghetti westerns. ARIZONA643130afficheArizonaColt19662 COLT today and it’s sequel ARIZONA COLT RETURNS Saturday. Genre giant Giuliano Gemma was the first actor to play the rule. From Arizona, when asked about his last name touches his pistol and says “Colt.”

Another spaghetti vet Fernando Sancho plays outlaw leader Torrez Gordo Watch, mostly called Gordo. His band is known as the Sidewinders because he insists on branding them with a snake emblem on their forearms. Known and feared throughout the territoy, each member has a five hundred dollar reward on their head. Gordo’s reward is fifty thousand. A hard man, he carries a nusical pocket watch he said once belonged to his father. Father told him “Once I am dead, it is yours.” Gordo laughs, “Five seconds later he was dead!”

Arizona01At the beginning of the film, the Sidewinders raid a Mexican prison, slaughtering all the guards, simply to replenish his gang. Gordo is not insistent anyone join his band. If you’re not interested, he simply kills you. Arizona is in the prison, but has a little more going. Get his hands on a gun and he’s practically unstoppable. He declines the invitation and escapes.

Gemma Arizona Colt with a harder edge than normal while still displaying that matinee idol smile. At times he seems a little ruthless with no regard for anyone else’s welfare. When he agres to go after the killer of one of the saloon owner’s daughters, he demands the hand of his remaining daughter, that engaging grin prominent even as he does.

The killer is Kay(Nello Pazzafini, billed as Giovanni Pazzafini), another spaghetti003583 vet that usually plays a villain, though he gets a hero role in one film.

Arizona ends up defending the town in the end, even though he’d been tossed out after killing Kay for the murder of Dolores(Rosalba Neri), the saloon owner’s daughter and a bit of a sexy thing. Arizona was more interested in the other daughter, Jane(Corinne Marchand), a colder, more reserved woman. When warned about her, he says “the difficult ones are more interesting.”

The movie is stuffed with familiar actors, familiar that is if you love spaghetti westerns. Roberto Carmadiel plays Double Whiskey, a drunk and explosives expert. He’s a sidewinder, but finally breaks because of the bloodthirsty Gordo. He likes Arizona and saves him when Gordo Arizona Coltshoots him up. Some of the other faces include Jose Terron, one of the ugliest men one can imagine, and Jose Manuel Martin, perrenial bad guys. They are always gang members and aside from maniacal laughter while shooting people never have a speaking role.

The finale between Arizona and Gordo happens, appropriately enough, in a coffin maker’s shop.

One of Gemma’s best.

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New In The House

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1: The Chaplain’s War – Brad Torgersen: The mantis cyborgs: insectlike, cruel, and determined to wipe humanity from the face of the galaxy. They’ve already wiped out two sentient species. Enter Harrison Barlow, though a chaplain, wants to serve with his fellow humans. What good wil a chaplain be in a war like this. We will find out.

2: Moriarty(ARC) – Anthony Horowitz: a new Sherlock Holmes novel that tells of the aftermath of Reichenbach Falls.

3: Ride Into Yesterday – Ed Gorman: Gunman Stephen Payne arrives at a small town where his brother committed suicide after robbing a stage. Page doesn’t believe his brother guilty of either.

4: The Big Ugly(ebook, review copy) – Jake Hinkson: the latest novel by the author from Beat To A Pulp press.

Two Pistols and A Coward(Il Pistolero Segnato Da Dio)1968

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The Italian title translates literally as THE GUNMAN MARKED BY GOD. As usual,Pistolero_segnato1b it had a variety of different titles depending on the market to which it was released. In the U.S. alone, it appeared under GUNMAN SENT BY GOD, TWO GUNS AND A COWARD, and TWO PISTOLS AND A COWARD. It’s a film of revenge, cowardice, and redemption.

Anthony Steffen(real name Antonio De Teffè) is Gary Maguire, professional name Tornado West, a trick shot artist traveling with a small circus. Gary is quite adept at handling setups with his two gun rig. But the real thing, violence, brings up a psychological block in him dating back to childhood. Then practicing twirling guns, one goes off and stampedes a herd of cattle, taking the life of his older brother. His father was so infuriated he struck him across the neck, leaving a livid scar there(hence the Italian title). He freezes up when confronted by real violence.

Pistolero_segnato2 (1)Tony Murphy( Marco Stefanelli) is a young boy who idolizes the circus performer. Tony had seen his father murdered by a masked gunman a few years before during a raid on the family ranch. He’s being raised by foster parents to be the proper young gentleman. Just before his father was murdered, he’d hidden a box with $30,000 dollars and told Tony it was his. No one else knew where it was hid.

A bank robbery happens and Gary is recuited for the posse. When they find the robbers splitting the money, the Sheriff goes to fetch the posse, leaving Gary to watch over them. He sees the leader, Roy Elroy(Giovanni Cianfriglia, billed as Ken Wood) shoot them all down, leaving with the money. Gary hides fearfully as all that happens. When he’s credited with killing the five, he’s to ashamed to admit the truth and becomes the toast of the town.

Roy Elroy is infuriated by the adoration when he knows the truth and at Gary’sPistolero_segnato3 performance that night when a challenger is called for oversteps the shill to take on Gary. Gary knows right away who he is and loses the contest because of nervousness. Elroy takes every opportunity to humiliate him. Such that Gary quits the circus and goes on a bender.

Young Tony wants him to help get his ranch back. He’s overheard by a prostitute telling Gary about the hidden thirty thousand and goes straight to the man who’s murdered the boy’s father, a crooked rancher named Coleman(Richard Wyler). The boy is taken by Elroy, who works for Coleman, and is t be tortured for the hidden fortune.

That’s when Gary has to pull himself together and rescue the boy. The only jarring note in the finale was the reappearance of the circus, left behind early in the film, shoing up at the ranch in the nick of time.

I’d rate this one about a C. Not the worst I’ve seen, but not near the top.

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FFB: Death of A Gunfighter – Lewis B. Patten

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11900269Things came to a head in the town of Cottonwood springs when Marshal Frank Patch killed Luke Mills. Mills was a drunk, but when that challenging voice yelled out of the dark alley and a couple of shots followed, instinct took over and a man was dead.

The town had been trying to get Patch to quit for a few years now. They thought it was time for a uniformed police force. He was an anachronism these days. But Patch always refused. When he’d taken the job, it was a wild town and his type was needed.

But that was twenty years ago. The shots from Mills were the first fired Patch’s way in four years.

The town was afraid of Patch. He had a manner about him. Take his girl friend. In the last five yers, he’d never hit her, threatened her, looked crosswise at her, or raised his voice to her. Yet she was afraid of him.

Patch got away with refusing to quit because, after twenty years, he knew stuff about the important people in town, things they wouldn’t want advertised. Threats to not pay didn’t work either. His answer was he had money put away and it didn’t cost him much to live.

But something had to be done. Businesses had passed on locating in town when they saw the big gunfighter type riding through town.. They thought it was still rough. Growth had stagnated.

Patch had his own insecurities as well. The big, gruff man that frightened everybody was afraid himself. What would he do if he wasn’t Marshal. He knew nothing else.

So the town decided what they were going to do.

The novel was made into a film starring Richard Widmark as Patch and Lena Horne as his girl friend.

Final note. Heath Lowrance had this in a post and attracted my attention. He says he got it from Cullen Gallagher.

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