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Image Entertainment presents
Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (1970)

"You're not a woman. You're a slot machine."
- Jack (Charles Southwood)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: January 20, 2003

Stars: Brett Halsey, Charles Southwood, Marilù Tolo, Teodoro Corrà
Other Stars: Lee Burton, Bruno Corazzari, Mauro Bosco, Federico Boido, Piero Morgia, Isa Miranda, Giorgio Gargiullo
Director: Mario Bava

Manufacturer: Deluxe
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, language, sexuality)
Run Time: 01h:25m:24s
Release Date: January 21, 2003
UPC: 014381171921
Genre: western


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B-C+ D+

DVD Review

Italian cult favorite Mario Bava is best known for his horror and giallo masterpieces. As much of the director's output has already been released on disc, some of the stranger oddities of his catalog are coming to the surface. Not least among these is this exercise in the Spaghetti Western, a decidedly off-kilter look at the Old West and partial satire of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Outlaws Roy Colt (Brett Halsey) and Winchester Jack (Charles Southwood)—or Jack Winchester; the film can't quite seem to decide—are friends at the head of a band of riders. Colt decides to go straight and leaves the group, taking a job protecting a stagecoach and eventually being deputized. Jack sticks with the life of crime, and rescues an Indian prostitute, Manila (Marilù Tolo). When another baddie named The Reverend (Teodoro Corrà) gets wind that crippled Sam Lewis (Giorgio Gargiullo) has a map to buried treasure, his band and that of Jack team up to get the map, each ending up with half. Soon Roy is in pursuit, but is he after them, or after the gold himself?

The liner notes from Tim Lucas, biographer of Bava and editor of Video Watchdog relate that Bava was a late replacement for the director on this film, and that's believable. Only a few of Bava's usual visual flourishes are present, indicative of somewhat of a rush job on the director's part. Lucas also notes that Bava thought the script was terrible and decided to make the film as a comedy. It's not exactly hilarious, but the result is certainly quirky, with a sensibility that would not be out of place in the world of David Lynch. One of the gunslingers has Tourette's Syndrome and twitches his way through a botched holdup, Manila keeps a running tab of the amounts her lover owes her for her favors, and The Reverend delights in sadistic humiliation of his captives in a way that prefigures Frank Booth in Blue Velvet. The constant theme of greed works through a variety of different situations, culminating in a graveyard sequence highly reminiscent of Leone's film.

Although the plot isn't exactly complex, the relationships are, and close attention needs to be paid in order to sort out exactly who is who in this picture. Only the Italian soundtrack is provided, though as usual for Italian pictures, is badly dubbed long after the fact (only rarely was sound recorded live in Italian films). There is plenty of action, including a series of seriocomic fistfights between the title characters, whether over leadership of the gang, Manila, the gold or just for the heck of it. Manila is delightfully mercenary, an opportunist who is entertaining to watch throughout. The male leads aren't necessarily charismatic or good actors, but they do well enough. More notable is the score, which vacillates between blood-and-thunder Western, hokey down home rusticity that wouldn't be out of place in a Roy Rogers feature, and cheap and tawdry sleaze with a Eurojazz feel to it.

While not as brutal as Corbucci's take on the Old West, nor as elegaic as the Westerns of Leone, Roy Colt is entertaining enough in its own right as a lesser entry in the genre. Bava does manage a few beautiful shots in, making it worthwhile for fans of the director to check out.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic widescreen picture looks okay for the most part, without notable artifacting or compression problems. The source print is a little ragged, with speckling common throughout the running time, and minor damage at the credits and the brief intermission. The Eastmancolor print seems to have faded a bit, and the color looks rather dated. Skin tones are a shade on the orange side.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoItalianno


Audio Transfer Review: The original Italian track is presented in 2.0 mono. Although there is occasional crackle present, hiss is very low and not distracting at all. The dubbing sounds clear, though unnatural. The music score sounds fairly solid, though lacking in bass presence of any kind.

Audio Transfer Grade: C+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Baron Blood, The House of Exorcism, Black Sunday, Black Sabbath, The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Production Notes
Packaging: EastPack
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Other than some decent production notes, there is a substantial biography of Bava and a complete filmography as director. Wrapping up the extras are a set of trailers for five other pictures by Bava, though not the feature here. These trailers are all presented in widescreen, but in nonanamorphic format. The English subtitles are removable.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

A slightly farcical take on the Spaghetti Western, with decent but not great source material, lacking in extras other than a useful set of production notes.

 


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