ROJO, or EL ROJO, is a curious mishmash of a movie. Too many hands, seven, in the writing, directors changing(the original in a disagreement with star Richard Harrison). There’s a decent plot here and a bit of mystery not completely revealed until the end.
Richard Harrison is a man seeking revenge on four men. The opening sequence is a badly done wiping out of the Sorensen family, a Scandinavian family headed west where one of the sons had found gold. It looks to be an Indian attack with arrows striking down the family one by one, the final victim a small boy who’d been fishing at a nearby stream. It’s some distant event in the past never quite dealt with in terms of explanation.
Next we see our hero walking with a saddle slung over his shoulder. He tries to hitch a ride with a passing wagon, but is ignored. In just a minute, the wagon is waylaid by a couple of bandits, driven off by Harrison, thus earning a ride.
We meet Hank(Jose Jaspe), a stout salt-and-pepper bearded gentleman, a medicine man of sorts. He’s also a weapons inventor. In the English, he’s a Civil War veteran, the South, the original Italian a participant in a war there who moved to the States. Another aide of our hero is an Indian called Cochise, no, not that one, played by Andrea Fantasia. We also get a weird character with a disfigured lower half of his face that he hides hides behind an iron mask. He’s known as Black Bart in the English dub, Nero Rourke in the Italian. He appears long enough to lend his clothes to Harrison to kill one of the four, then pops in for an odd business at the end, calling Harrison Red, the only time it’s used, and he the black.
The four men he hunts are Lasky(Piero Lulli in the third week in a row here), Ortega(Andrea Aureli), Navarro(Mirko Ellis), and Wallace(Franco Ressel). The quartet are the heroes that drove out the Indians that massacred the Sorensen family, founding the town of Gold Hill on the site. At a celebration hailing that, the four prominent businessmen get an arrow shot near them with a note attached telling them they all deserve to die and in what order they will.
As he takes them out, he tells them his name is Donald Sorensn. Who’s he? Possibly the small boy who was fishing at the beginning and survived the nassacre. We don’t know until the end.