Vengeance Trails: Bandidos (1967)

Richard Martin (Enrico Maria Salerno, who is Jesus in Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew and the inspector in The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, but perhaps just as importantly the Italian voice for Clint Eastwood in Leone’s movies) is a master of shooting guns whose hands are ruined when he ends up on a train that’s robbed by his former student Billy Kane (Venantino Venantini, City of the Living Dead).

Now, Martin is left to only be a drunken huckster, taking is traveling carnival to dusty small towns in the hopes of just surviving. He was once a sharpshooter but his mangled hands mean that he can only train others and now that his latest student has been killed, he doesn’t have much hope left. That’s when he meets Ricky Shot (Terry Jenkins, who was only in one other movie, the doomed western musical Paint Your Wagon), the man who was framed for the train robbery. Together, they both have plans for revenge.

Massimo Dallamano is a director that I love that doesn’t get the praise that other Italian genre directors receive. Starting as the cinematographer on Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, his films are all standouts in their subgenres, like the giallo masterwork What Have You Done to Solange? and the cops vs. mad bombers poliziottesco craziness of Colt 38 Special Squad (recently released by Arrow in their Years of Lead box set). Sadly, Dallamano died in a car accident after that film, robbing the world of what might have been.

Arrow Video’s Vengeance Trails box set has 2K restorations of this movie, as well as Massacre TimeAnd God Said to Cain and My Name is Pecos, as well as a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by author and critic Howard Hughes plus a double-sided poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx. Bandidos has new commentary by author and critic Kat Ellinger, as well as new interviews with assistant director Luigi Perelli, Gino Barbacane and Fabio Melelli, plus an alternate end title sequence. You can order this from MVD.

It’s also available on the ARROW player. Head over to ARROW to start your 30 day free trial (subscriptions are available for $4.99 monthly or $49.99 yearly). ARROW is available in the US, Canada and the UK on the following Apps/devices: Roku (all Roku sticks, boxes, devices, etc), Apple TV & iOS devices, Android TV and mobile devices , Fire TV (all Amazon Fire TV Sticks, boxes, etc), and on all web browsers at https://www.arrow-player.com.

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