Vengeance Trails

Vengeance Trails

Vengeance Trails

directed by Lucio Fulci, Antonio Margheriti’

starring Klaus Kinski, Franco Nero, Enrico Maria Salerno

Arrow Video

Throughout the 1960s Italian and Spanish film studios cranked out a seemingly endless run of movies that reimagined the American wild west mythos that have since become known as Spaghetti Westerns. Westerns as a whole and Euro-Westerns in particular get a bum rap for sameness, but Vengeance Trails,the new Blu-ray box set from Arrow Video, shows a huge variety of approach to something that seems as formulaic as a western revenge story. This set collects four very different films featuring Eurocult regulars like Lucio Fulci, Franco Nero, Antonio Margheriti, and Klaus Kinski.

Bandidos (1967)

Bandidos (1967)

Massacre Time (1966)

Lucio Fulci’s film pulsates with a palpable sense of menace and dread throughout with more than a touch of the macabre. The whole affair abounds with daddy issues. The main villain, is a bullwhip toting sadistic dandy called Junior Scott. The film even features crucifixions The score feels more like a thriller than a cowboy movie. Massacre Time is hyper violent, even for a Euro-western, and pulsates with style.

My Name is Pecos (1966)

Low budget affair missing a lot of the added atmosphere you get with extras and finely dressed sets. The western town is so empty at times it resembles the Star Trek episode Spectre of the Gun where the Enterprise relived the gunfight at the O.K. Corral amidst surreally minimalist, partially built western town. Fortunately the cheapness of the production is offset by a taut script that doesn’t waste time and just gets down to the matters at hand, namely a Mexican hero (usually the Mexicans are the baddies in these films) taking revenge on a gang that is in town taking their own revenge against a former gang member who absconded with their money from a bank heist.

Bandidos (1967)

Massimo Dallamano is a director who isn’t immediately associated with Spaghetti western even though he shot Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. The directing work he is best known for is the pair of giallo/poliziotteschi hybrids What Have You Done to Solange and What Have They Done to Your Daughters and the iconic poliziotteschi 38 Colt Special Squad. As a director Dallamano seems more comfortable with the breakneck pace of the poliziotteschi and Bandidos is paced much more like those films than the usual languid pace of westerns.

Klaus Kinski in And God Said to Cain (1970)

Klaus Kinski in And God Said to Cain (1970)

And God Said to Cain (1970)

Eurocult film legend Klaus Kinski, in one of his first starring roles, teamed up with director Antonio Margheriti to create a unique hybrid of western with gothic horror. Former Confederate soldier Gary Hamilton (Klaus Kinski) is released from prison after ten years of hard labor, for a crime he did not commit. Hamilton was convicted of theft after being framed by Acombar, a wealthy and influential landowner. Hamilton returns to town and over the course of one storm ravaged night he mounts a one-man assault on Acombar, taking on the full complement of his numerous guards before infiltrating the house for a final fiery descent into hell as he unleashes his vengeance

As expected all the films on this set look amazing and are a far cry from the transfers used on countless budget DVD packs. All the films are presented in their correct aspect ratios and feature Italian and English language dubs. They are also packed with extras including commentary tracks from C. Courtney Joyner, Robert Woods, Henry Parke, Kat Ellinger, and Howard Hughes in addition to a ton of interviews with cast and crew from the films. If you are diving in blind or thinking about upgrading your current versions of these films, Vengeance Trails is an impressive collection and a worth addition to any film collection.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    In The Blossom Of Their Shade (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Best of Film 2021
    Best of Film 2021

    Lily and Generoso select and review their ten favorite features, seven supplemental films, and two prized repertory releases of 2021.

  • I Saw A Dozen Faces…
    I Saw A Dozen Faces…

    From The Windbreakers to Bark, Tim Lee is a trooper in the rock and roll trenches…and he’s lived to tell it all in his new memoir.

  • The Lyons
    The Lyons

    A man on his deathbed is surrounded by bickering family members, many of which you would strangle him given the chance. In other words: a brilliant comedy!

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

From the Archives