RINGO: THE FACE OF REVENGE is the story of a treasure hunt and what the lust for gold, and other things, can do to people. It’s another one of those films that piggybacked off the success of another film franchise by using Ringo in most titles outside of Italy. According to the Spaghetti Western Databases’s entry for the film, all of them owe a nod to Lorne Greene’s 1964 hit song Ringo(I’ve included that below the trailer).
Spaghetti western veteran Anthony Steffen is the Ringo of the English language version and Tim(Eduardo Fajardo) is his long time partner. The pair have been together ten years, the old man having taught everything about using a gun and was almost a father. The pair are lounging around a campfire while coffee is boiling when they hear gunshots. They see three men chasing a fourth, shooting at him. They themselves are down to three bullets, but that’s all Ringo needs to rescue that fourth man.
Fidel of El Paso(Armando Calvo) is his name and he gives them two dollars as compensation for the rescue, much to Ringo and Tim’s disgust. They follow him into town where they plan to buy a couple of beers, only to find Fidel in a poker game with Trickie Ferguson(another spaghetti vet, Frank Wolff), and being cheated. As they move to rescue him, Fidel notices the cheating and a bar brawl breaks out(wouldn’t be a spaghetti western without one).
Fidel gets knifed in the fight and Ringo and Tim put him in a room and dress his wounds. It’s this which reveals a tattoo on his back, some sort of map. When he regains consciousness, they ask him about it. Reluctant at first, then realizing he may need help, this is the story he tells them:
While in prison, he shares a cell with an old Mexican and an American. When the old man is attacked Fidel and the American rescue him and, though badly wounded, tells them how he’d waylaid a miner with two large bags of gold dust, killing him and hiding the bags, Before he can get around to retrieving them, he ends up in the prison. For their help, he gives them the map as he dies. Neither man trusting the other, Fidel and the American get another inmate to tattoo half the map on each, then destroy that map. The American is getting out of prison first and will have to wait on Fidel.
While he’s telling the tale, gambler Stickie is listening at th door and invites himself into the venture. He has a number of gunmen waiting outside to make sure there are no slip-ups. Three will even follow the four at a discreet distance.
It’s decided Stickie will go into town and find the sheriff. If the three go, why would they need Stickie. If Fidel goes, why would he need any of the three.
The double crosses come hared and heavy after this. Stickie makes a deal with the Sheriff to kill them and split the gold two ways. Ringo, Tim, and Fidel ambush the three men left guarding them. The sheriff sends a crew to kill them all and keep the gold for himself. He manages to escape the carnage and recruits townspeople to capture and hang, after a trial of course, a gang planning to attack the town.
When the four are captured and jailed, with a promise of a hanging, Trickie comes up with a plan to which Fidel reluctantly agrees. Using a candle, they burn the map off his back, leaving third degree burns(man, that had to hurt). Now the sheriff has no choice but to go along with the plan to get them out of jail and out of town. Still, he has another betrayal in mind, which Ringo foils, killing two men and the Sheriff, the four beating it out of town ahead of the town.
The only choice they have is to dig up the sheriff after he’s buried. But even there, Stickie is ahead of them. He had some men beat them to the body and has memorized that half of the map so they can’t take it from him and leave him dead.
Stickie keeps fomenting trouble between the other three. he convinces Fidel to sneak up and knife Tim who’s on night watch. Tim carries the half of the map copied from Fidel’s back. Ringo scotches that just in time and disarms both men.
Later, Fidel peels off and heads to a small Mexican village he knows where a band of outlaws is terrorizing the people, promising them five hundred to kill the other three. That doesn’t go so well either and the village is rescued. Then the guys have to rescue a beautiful young woman. Manuela(Alejandro Nilo), who had happened to be the girl friend, reluctantly, of the outlaw leader. The villagers want to kill her. She goes with them.
Then the ultimate betrayal which leads to the title. Tim has two problems: he’s an alcoholic and he has a lust for Manuela, which Stickie plays up to y keeping the old man liquored up. When he makes a move on Manuela, Ringo and he start to fight. Stickie escapes with the map(he thinks) during the scuffle and when Tim draws a gun on Ringo, the pair wrestle over it. You know what happens of course, that old stalwart of the gun being drawn between them and going off. As Tim lays dying, Ringo is distraught until, with his dying breath, Tim forgives him and reveals that the map was no longer in the pouch, but in Tim’s hand.
Ringo doesn’t care about the gold dust anymore. He just wants Stickie!
Not a bad western at all.