Roy Colt & Winchester Jack was producer Mario Bregni’s reward for Mario Bava after the director rescued Five Dolls for an August Moon. But by 1970, the Italian western genre had done just about everything that it could after nearly hundreds of movies had been released in the wake of Django and Sergio Leone’s films. That’s why Bava approached the only western he was officially credited with directing, although he helped with Two Guns and a Coward, Savage Gringo, Minnesota Clay and The Road to Fort Alamo.
After working with Brett Halsey, who plays Roy Colt, on Four Times That Night, Bava felt comfortable including him in the idea that while the script by Mario di Nardo (Ricco, Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century) wasn’t great, they could totally have fun with it.
Colt and Winchester Jack (Charles Southwood) aren’t great at being criminals, so Colt moves to Carson City and becomes the sheriff. The townspeople like him so much that they give him a treasure map that leads to a fortune in gold. That same map finds its way to Jack, who leads a gang to get it first.
Both men are in love with Manila (Marilù Tolo), a Native American prostitute, and who can blame them? Tolo doesn’t get mentioned in the same breath as Edwige Fenech or Barbara Bouchet, but if she’d appeared in more giallo and horror, other than The Double, My Dear Killer and Shadows Unseen. She was also the only woman that fashion designer Valentino claims that he ever loved.
You might forget that this is a Bava film as it has little of his trademark visuals, other than some matte paintings of rock formations. And then there’s a scene where you see the sun rising through the eyes of a skull and you say, “Oh yeah, this was directed by Bava.”