19 April 2015 | ma-cortes
So-so Paella/Spaghetti/Schnitzel Western by J.J. Balcazar , being compellingly co-produced by Spain/Italy/Germany
"Ranch of the Ruthless" or "The Man from Oklahoma" is a passable Tortilla/Spaghetti Western co-produced between Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas and Italian/German production such as Cinematografica Associati and International Germania Film . When Rio Rojo's old marshal is murdered in cold blood by the resident group of villains , there rides Oklahoma Dan (Rick Horn who starred as Samson a Biblical movie) to take over . As Oklahoma Dan is sent into a small town ruled by the cruel rancher hands of Rod Edwards (Jose Calvo of For a fistful of dollars) . Dan carries outs his activities with his astute intelligence as well as a venerable assortment of gunplay tricks to challenge the local baddies . Danger abounds , as the last marshal was killed by Edward's son Jim (George Herzig) and foreman Hondo (Karl Otto Alberty who starred various war films ) . Making the acquaintance of local people such as an old war veteran and a drunkard (Remo De Angelis , an usual stunt and master of arms) Dan takes law on his own hands . Oklahoma calmly handles each menace as he struggles to bring the proof to light against devious plans from villains . Oklahoma swears to find the killer of Miss White's (Sabine Bethmann) dad .
It is an exciting Chorizo or Tortilla/Macarroni western that contains a story full of thrills , violence , good dramatic pace and slick direction . Agreeable Butifarra-Spaghetti Western mostly produced by Spain and Italy and German secondary participation ; being proceeded in American style more than Sergio Leone wake , but also including close-ups , zooms , and choreographic duels . All in all, this film is predominantly a Spanish film rather than an Italian one . It's a three country co-production but is clearly dominated by the Spanish contingent and the traditional leanings of the Spanish producers of the time have their stamp on the entire proceedings . The Spanish westerns of this era were far more likely to try and emulate their American source material than cultivate a distinctive style of their own the way the Italians were doing but their product , though here is developed in the US wake with brief Spag remarks . The film packs action , shootouts , drama , high body-count and it's fast moving , being quite entertaining and approaching increasingly American style , but keeping some details that make it special in this particular genre . It's a thrilling western with spectacular scenes and breathtaking confrontation among protagonist Rick Horn and heartless enemies as well as dubious ranchers and nasty gunfighters . It's a middle-budget film with ordinary actors , professional technicians , adequate production values and pleasing results . As lighthearted as can be, The Oklahoma Man is very reminiscent of the bygone American cowboy feature from the golden era of Saturday matinees with a twist of the "Euro" filmmaking style . If you've seen even one vintage B-Cowboy picture, you've probably figured the whole ending . Charismatic performance for whole casting . Oklahoma John is well starred by Anton Geesink , under pseudonym of Rick Horn as an ex-gunslinger desperately wanting to deliver justice . Dutch actor Horn (aka Anton Geesing/Anton Geesink) only made a few more films during his limited acting career, including Samson in ¨The great leaders of the Bible¨ and ¨Rififi in Amsterdam¨ . The notorious Spaghetti actor , Jose Calvo is good in his ordinary role as an important secondary , he is famous from his character as Silvanito along with Clint Eastwood in ¨For a fistful of dollars¨ by Sergio Leone . In the film appears familiar faces from Tortilla or Spaghetti Western such as Giuseppe Addobbati or John McDouglas , Fernando Rubio , Remo De Angelis , Juan Torres and Tom Felleghy . Being mostly filmed in a Western village located in ¨Splugues De Llobregat¨ (Barcelona) , and in Fraga (Huesca) , both of them resulted to be the locations where were shot lots of Western produced and directed by Catalan people as Alfonso Balcazar , J.J. Balcazar , Jose Antonio De La Loma , Juan Bosch, Ignacio F. Iquino , Jose Maria Zabalza and Julio Buchs , among others , because Almeria was too far and the landscapes bear remarkable resemblance . There are many fine technicians , nice assistant direction and appropriate set design , creating an evocative scenario . It contains and some decent photography throughout . The transfer itself is much better than you'd expect from a fairly new and independent company . While the print used contains its share of imperfections , mostly minor , the overall presentation of the film is pretty good . Attractive musical score by maestro Francesco De Massi , including catching leitmotif and a few enjoyable musical queues.
¨Oklahoma John¨ was professionally directed by Juan Jose Balcazar along with Roberto Bianchi Montero though with no originality ; both of whom managed to make a fluid and acceptable SW , though sometimes mediocre . Juan Jose Balcazar alongside his brothers Francisco Balcazar and Alfonso Balcázar produced and directed a lot of Tortilla or Butifarra Western , most of them starred by Jorge Martin or George Martin , Luis Davila , Daniel Martin or Robert Woods ; such as 1972 The return of Clint , 1972 Judas... ¡Toma Monedas! , 1968 Sartana no Perdone or Sonora , 1967 With Death on Your Back, 1966 Dinamita Jim , 1965 Doc , Manos De Plata , 1965 Viva Carrancho , 1965 Five Thousand Dollars on One Ace . Rating : 5'5/10 . Average though some moments entertaining . If you like traditional Spaghetti westerns remains watchable .