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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Rugged famous gunslinger Richard Martin (an excellent performance by Enrico Maria Salerno) has both of his hands shot in a brutal hold-up on a train by ruthless former student Billy Kane (a perfectly nasty turn by Venantino Venantini). The bitter and vindictive Martin joins forces with amiable and mysterious escaped convict Ricky Shot (a solid and engaging portrayal by Terry Jenkins) to exact revenge on Kane and his men. Director Massimo Dallamano relates the complex and absorbing story at a steady pace, maintains an appropriately harsh and gritty tone throughout, stages the plentiful exciting shoot-outs with rip-roaring aplomb, and tops things off with a nice sense of deliciously dry dark humor. The sound acting from the capable cast rates as a substantial asset: Salerno and Jenkins display a pleasingly natural chemistry as the appealing protagonists, Venantini makes for a suitably hateful villain, Cris Huerta is amusingly scuzzy as slimy bandito Vigonza, the lovely Maria Martin adds considerable sass and sexiness as Martin's loyal lady friend Betty Starr, and ubiquitous character actor Victor Israel has a neat bit as an ill-fated train conductor. Emilio Foriscot's expansive widescreen cinematography offers a wealth of sweeping panoramic shots of the dusty and desolate landscape. Egisto Macchi's moody'n'twangy score likewise hits the harmonic spot. An attempted ambush in a bar is a definite stirring highlight. The tense final confrontation between Kane and Ricky also totally smokes. An extremely worthwhile and entertaining oater.
  • Crispy salad Italian/Spanish jammed with Spaghetti/Ravioli and Tortilla/Chorizo Western. It's a typical Spaghetti Western in which blends the common scenarios , as invincible and tough antiheroes, difficult and fast showdowns with numerous deceases , impulsive and quick zooms , lots of action , musical score with Morricone influence . It deals with a gunman named Richard Martin (Enrico Maria Salerno) , a serious and smooth-talking revenger , he is traveling on a train , held up by Vigonza (Cris Huerta) and renowned Billy Kane (Venantino Venantini) , a previous pupil of Martin's . Kane spares Martin, but only after shooting his hands . Years later, Martin meets an escaped convict named Ricky Shot (Terry Jenkins) , a young and unexperienced drifter seeking his innocence for a crime he did not commit . Unfortunate though experimented Martin trains his new disciple and both men seek out villain Billy Kane . Gunman Richard Martin wishes revenge and reckoning , he acts as a protector of young gunfighter and vice versa . Both of them carry out a spectacular show titled : ¨Richard Martin presents¨ : The Best Trick Shooter in the World , 'Ricky Shot' . At the end the nasty gunslinger Billy Kane rides into the strange town and eventually he and Ricky face off on the central square .

    The film displays psychological characters-in deep , shootouts , action Western and being enough entertaining . The movie contains typical particularities Spaghetti , as is full of fury , sadism , bloodbaths, and portentous close-ups of grime-encrusted faces . Interesting screenplay from Juan Cobos and Luis Laso , remarking the special relationship between an expert but helpless gunfighter and a young cowboy wrongly convicted for the train robbery . Spectacular final takes place on the downtown when protagonists contend face to face and surrounded by nasties . The action is good, with the stunts earning their keep by crashing off of roofs and falling from buildings or horses . Terry Jenkins is passable as an unfortunate young wrongly accused of a crime he did not commit , and Enrico Maria Salerno steals the show as a veteran shooter seeking vengeance . Most of the fun in this one is picking out the locations and identifying stock performers , as there appears several secondaries , usual Spanish actors such as Cris Huerta , Victor Israel and Antonio Pica as well as Italian players as Giancarlo De Sisti and Roberto Messina . This 1967 Italian western has many familiar faces among the cast ; all do a good job, particularly Maria Martin as an attractive saloon woman , she also starred another classic Western titled ¨The tramplers¨ by Sergio Corbucci . The picture is plenty of nice sound by Egisto Macchi who composes one of his best soundtracks , including an evocative leitmotif . Atmospheric cinematography correctly photographed by Emilio Foriscot , though is necessary a right remastering . Filmed on location in Colmenar Viejo , Manzanares Del Real and La Pedriza (Madrid) with good production design from Jaime Perez Cubero who along with Jose Luis Galicia designed lots of sets in Westerns filmed in Spain . The motion picture was well written and directed by Massimo Dallamano or ¨Max Dillman¨ who previously photographed ¨Fistful of dollars¨and ¨For a fistful dollars more¨. Dallamano managed to make a fluid ,witty and agreeable SW . He also proved his experience in thriller and Giallo genre such as "A Black Veil for Lisa" , "What Have You Done to Solange?" , "The Cursed Medallion" ,¨Portrait of Dorian Gray ¨ ,"Colt 38 Special Squad" , "Mafia Junction" , "What Have They Done to Your Daughters?" or "The Coed Murders" among others .

    Other films dealing with the gunslinger/student theme and developing a paternal-filial among them are the following : "In a Colt's Shadow" by Gianni Grimaldi with Stephen Forsyth , Conrado San Martin and Aldo Sambrell ; 'Beyond the Law(68)' by Giorgio Stegani with Lee Van Cleef and Alfonso Sabato ¨. And the best are ¨Día de Ira¨ or I Giorni Dell'Ira (original title) with Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma , this Spaghetti Western along with 'Da Uomo a Uomo¨ by Giulio Petroni with Lee Van Cleef-John Philip Law led to recovery in the popularity of 'horse opera' after Leone hits , both of them are masterpieces about relationship between maestro and student .
  • Although very obscure and unsung, this is truly one of the best spaghetti westerns I ever saw! Massimo Dallamano's "Bandidos" has a good and compelling plot, albeit working from familiar western themes like blood vengeance and dueling gunmen, and most of all, it's unrelenting, mean-spirited, vile and extremely violent! First, a word of advice that I sadly must mention in too many of my user-comments: do not read the plot synopsis that is described here on the website! You are not supposed to know from beforehand who the protagonists of the story are and what connects them! The synopsis bluntly gives away why the three lead characters (Richard Martin, Billy Kane and Ricky Shot) hate each other's guts, but only in the final act of the film the pieces of the puzzle fit neatly together.

    Everything obviously revolves around the extremely bloody train raid at the beginning. This is undoubtedly one of the cruelest massacres in western history! Relentless gangster Billy Kane and his fierce gang rob a driving train, steal all the passengers' belongings and then nihilistically execute everyone on board. Well, everyone except one, the meticulously sharp-shooting Richard Martin, whom Billy Kane clearly knows from a previous life. Kane shoots holes in both of Martin's hands, though, so that he can never operate a pistol again. Years later, Martin desperately tries to make a living out of training young gunslingers into masterful shootists and perform live-acts at town squares. His pupils keep getting killed by jesters, however, but then he meets a handsome and mysterious young stranger. Martin's intention is clearly to train his new pupil to be capable of murdering Billy Kane for him, but the clever Ricky Shot has his own secretive reasons for wanting to confront Kane.

    "Bandidos" certainly hasn't stolen its title! It's full of loathsome, egocentric, double-crossing and furious men whose lives aren't worth more than the price of the bullets that kill them. The three relatively unknown lead actors give away terrific performances and Dallamano's direction is downright stupendous. I don't know what it was about this man, but practically every genre that he touched turned into gold! His "What have you done to Solange?" is my all-time favorite giallo (and I've seen more than 120 of those) and his "Colt .38 Special Squad" is one of the better Poliziotesschi thrillers out there. With "Bandidos", he also nailed the Spaghetti Western genre! As I watched the film in its original version, my sole complaint is that the characters' names sound ridiculous when pronounced in Italian.
  • This film starts with a classic sequence in which a train is held up by Billy Kane (Venantini) and his bandits. All the passengers are brutally massacred because, as Kane rightly states, if you don't want your face on any reward posters, you don't leave any witnesses. There is one survivor however - Richard Martin (Salerno) - a renowned fast gunslinger who attempts to take on the gang singlehandedly. There is previous history between the gunmen, and to remove the threat Kane shoots and cripples both of Martin's hands, ending his gunslinging days for good.

    Years pass, and Martin is now travelling from town to town, hosting a gunslinger show. Fate brings him face to face with escaped convict Ricky Shot (Jenkins) who he takes under his wing, passing on his prowess with a gun, with the aim of using the young hotshot to gain his revenge on Kane. As it happens, Ricky Shot has his own motive for facing Kane, as we find out as the story unfolds.

    Bandidos is a classic spaghetti western in the revenge sphere. Whilst the cast features none of the usual spaghetti stalwarts that we know and love, it is well casted, particularly Salerno in the part of Martin. It is also superbly directed by Dallamano, a man better known for his thrillers.

    The film contains some superbly tense gunfights, matched with a decent soundtrack. The story is at all times riveting, making Bandidos a highly recommended film for all lovers of Italian westerns, and maybe a few more besides.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Seasoned Spaghetti western cinematographer Massimo Dallamano who lensed both Sergio Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars" and "For A Few Dollars More" with Clint Eastwood as well as Ricardo Blasco's "Gunfight at Red Sands" with Richard Harrison settles into the director's chair with this rugged, violent Euro-western about revenge. "They Paid with Bullets: Chicago 1929" cinematographer Emilio Foriscot's evocative, widescreen camera work and "The Assassination of Trotsky" composer Egisto Macchi, who provides a traditional Ennio Morricone style orchestral soundtrack complete with vocals, make "Bandidos" both look and sound good. Scenarists Luis Laso and Juan Cobos have penned a fairly gripping outlaw opus about revenge. A grown-up student betrays his older mentor in this bullet-blasting Italian western about revenge. The villainous student maims his mentor permanently, but the stubborn mentor never relents in his efforts to square accounts with his murderous pupil. Laso and Cobos insert a surprising revelation about an hour into this lively horse opera that gives it a deft twist. "Bandidos" takes a cynical approach to issues involving life and death typical to most spaghetti westerns. Namely, life is as cheap at the bullet it takes to kill you. The only real flaw is that Cobos turns the tentative hero from the first hour into a hopeless victim and a secondary character emerges as the true hero.

    "Bandidos" opens with a train conductor shouting: "We're doing you a favor," after he has thrown a man without a ticket off a Southern Pacific Company train. The conductor confiscates the guy's saddle for the company. Scrutinize this scene if you haven't watched "Bandidos" before because it figures prominently later in the plot. Yes, this is an example of an Italian western worth seeing twice! The conductor's triumph is short-lived. A trigger-happy outlaw, Kramer (Marco Guglielmi of "The Battle of El Alamein"), stabs him to death in the stomach not long afterward. The same gunman shoots both the locomotive engineer and the fireman in cold blood. Kramer halts the train. A lean, mean, unshaven Billy Kane (Venantino Venantini of "The Killer Likes Candy") and his cronies show up but show no mercy. They rob the passengers and then massacre them all without a qualm. Incidentally, the train is another of those Spanish engines modified to resemble an old West relic and the producers forgot to put a tender filled with either wood or coal behind the locomotive to fuel it.

    One passenger gives them more grief than they had expected. He is a well-dressed individual in a white hat, Richard Martin (a mustached Enrico Maria Salerno of "Hercules and the Captive Women"), that we earlier saw polishing his Smith & Wesson revolver. He steps off the train to face Billy in a showdown. Billy surprises Richard and shoots his holstered six-gun off his hip with surgical skill. This amounts to Billy's calling card. The outlaw leader explains his indiscriminate homicidal urges, ". . . only beginners leave witnesses. I never do. Ain't wise. I don't like to have my picture up on walls and have people shoot me in the back to get a reward." Clearly, the train massacre distinguishes "Bandidos" from an American western where the villains would have worn bandanas. "Bandanas" wouldn't have made as commanding a title as "Bandidos." Nevertheless, despite this self-avowed philosophy, Billy lets Martin live. Instead, he shoots his mentor in both hands, crippling him so that he cannot wield a gun again. The chief problem here is that the hero behaves foolishly when he acquiesces to Billy's demand for a trackside showdown.

    After an unspecified number of years, Richard Martin reappears, looking drastically different. An unshaven, cigar-smoking entrepreneur, he owns an itinerant, one-wagon, Wild West sharp-shooting sideshow. Since he cannot fire a six-gun, he relies on his fists in close quarters combat with his opponents. Martin has experienced his unfair share of woes. The first time that we see him after the train massacre, he is boasting to his crowd about his latest sharp-shooting sensation Ricky Shot. An armed spectator casually guns down his sharp-shooter without the least provocation. This is another example that sets "Bandidos" apart from the conventional Hollywood western. Martin attacks the gunman in a saloon brawl with his bare hands and an unidentified hombre pitches in on Martin's side. Later, the man (Terry Jenkins of "Paint Your Wagon") signs on as Martin's next sharp-shooting attraction Ricky Shot; Martin calls each sharp-shooter Ricky Shot. Later, we learn that the new Ricky is a fugitive on the lam.

    Anyhow, Martin teaches him how to shoot, and they split the concession money fifty-fifty as they travel from town to town. Meanwhile, Kramer defects from Billy's gang, and Billy is hot on his trail. At the same time, Martin has tried to get money out of the treacherous Mexican bandit Vigonza (Chris Huerta of "Ursus, Son of Hercules") so he can kill Billy for him. Billy shows up in town and wounds Kramer in a saloon shoot-out. After Billy leaves town, Ricky arrives at the saloon where the wounded Kramer flaunts his six-shooter and talks defiantly. Ricky plugs him and then rejoins Martin. On their way to another town, Ricky proves that his marksmanship has improved when Martin and he happen upon three Mexicans that have just robbed a stagecoach. Ricky wipes them out with his swift, accurate shooting and they rescue Betty Star (Maria Martin of "Dr. Zhivago") and her saloon girls.

    Director Massimo Dallamano and company have crafted an entertaining oater on a low budget. One famous Hollywood producer has been quoted in a book about "The Virginian" TV series as saying that a low budget western usually can afford to have only four horses drawing the stagecoach while an expensive western always has a six horse team hauling the stagecoach. "Bandidos" relies on a four horse team, but it doesn't look cheap. Nevertheless, this leather slapping saga belongs in the top 50 Italian oaters. Dallamano stages several neat shoot-outs. Altogether, "Bandidos" qualifies as an above-average Spaghetti western.
  • This is really worth watching: Excellent cast (pity Salerno and Venantini didn't do more Western), good story, turns and twists, fine camera work (no wonder: Dallamano has control). Brilliant opening scene. Highly recommended.
  • "Bandidos" is a great, action-packed revenge story that is set up by a very dramatic opening scene that has a rogue gunfighter meet up with the man who taught him to shoot. The gunfighter shoots his former friend in both hands, and then tells him to try to get revenge if he's able to hold a gun. The stage is set, and the film doesn't let up until the very end.

    All the elements of a great spaghetti western are here. There is a cool music score, an engaging story, suspenseful gunfights, cheesy acting, a couple of great one-liners, and it is all done way over-the-top, like a good western should be. This movie is loaded with style, and style is the reason why the Italian westerns are so much more fun to watch than the ones made in the U.S.

    There is a lot of great camera work in this movie. The interesting use of camera angles here gives the film a distinct character in much the same way that the use of close-ups marks the Leone westerns.

    My favorite scenes in the movie are the ones that take place in saloons. There is one especially amusing one in which a man who has just lost a gunfight is sitting at a table drinking and harassing customers and saloon girls while he waits to die from his bullet wound. This old woman tells him to "hurry up and die," and he decides he wants to shoot one of the saloon girls so that he can take her to hell with him.

    "Bandidos" is a must-see for anyone who likes their westerns Italian style.
  • This first movie by Dellamano is an above average western flick, stylishly photographed. Dellamano would go on to later make a name for himself in the giallo(police procedural/thriller) genre. This movie shows off the great character interaction, and memorable shots that would go on to become his trademark. a recommended movie.
  • Like THE PRICE OF POWER (1969), which I watched last September, I only became aware of this obscure Spaghetti Western when it was included in an all-time best poll on the "Spaghetti Westerns Database" website. As it turned out, it's a pretty good example of the genre, though I wouldn't quite place in the top rank. Star Enrico Maria Salerno brings intelligence to the genre - much like Gian Maria Volonte' did in FACE TO FACE (1967). The credits are quite modest, but Egisto Macchi's score is certainly exemplary; interesting characterizations, too, are somewhat nipped in the bud by a mostly unfamiliar cast.

    Still, the complex plot keeps one watching: featuring a traveling-show backdrop, it's essentially a revenge saga between old pals; one trains a young gun to eliminate the other, because he can no longer use his smashed hands - but the villain is revealed to be the one man who could clear the mysterious boy of murder! Though the film's tone is generally serious, an anarchist streak surfaces during one scene where Salerno's current protégé is murdered in cold blood by a cowboy in the audience, just for a lark. The climactic shoot-out is somewhat drawn-out, but it's capped by a clever bit involving a mirror.

    I watched this via a slightly trimmed German DVD - where one graphic shot to the neck is missing from the main feature but curiously present in the accompanying theatrical trailer!; it also seems to cut off a little too abruptly at the very end.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bandit and his gang make it a habit of leaving no survivors for any of their robberies so that they never end up on wanted posters. The expert shooter who taught the head bandit, is spared during the massacre of a train full of people. But he isn't just let go, he is shot through his hands. Years later the teacher trains a man convicted of the robbery to take on the bad men. The pair travels around the country doing a sharp shooting act looking for the gang. Mean nasty and ugly spaghetti western is very well done. Its one of the few westerns from Europe where there really is a dividing line between the good guys and the bad guys (there is none of the usual gray) and the film plays so much better for it. Here at last is a bad guy who's villainy you really can despise because you know that short of drowning a wagon full of nuns and orphans no one is worse than him. This is a satisfying western in its battle between good and evil, but at the same time, its so mean nasty and even sleazy that odds are you may want to take a shower after watching it. Recommended for fans of Euro-westerns and darker westerns in general.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A train is attacked by a massive outlaw gang led by bloodthirsty criminal Billy Kane.Onboard the train is famed gunslinger and successful wild west show entertainer Richard Martin(ENRICO MARIA SALERNO).After the passengers, conductors and engineers have all been killed, Kane recognises Martin and confronts him. Kane mercilessly shoots Martin in both hands, leaving him incapable over using a gun ever again. Several years later, Martin is living in poverty and struggles to survive. The success of his wild west show is also fading. One day he gets into a brawl with some thugs and a young stranger named Ricky Shot(TERRY JENKINS),helps him fight them off. The grateful Martin sees potential in Ricky and adopts him as his protégée. Ricky proves to be adept at using a gun and learns quickly how to shoot.However,the fatherly Martin has a darker motive. Crazed by revenge and embittered by the fact he can no longer shoot, he hopes Ricky will hone his gunfighting skills and kill Billy Kane. Although Ricky has his own reasons for being interested in Kane's gang.

    BANDIDOS is a story of revenge and retribution, but it isn't as dark as other Spaghetti westerns. It's still quite dark, but the story is told in a sensitive and thoughtful manner. The film does have a few moments of quick(but mostly ungraphic)brutality, and the opening slaughter of the train passengers and the subsequent aftermath are indeed very chilling. However the film ends on a sad but positive note. The Italians and Spanish could pen a script a hundred times stronger than any American screenwriter in the employ of a top Hollywood studio.Here,the script and plot are the best things about the film, it's definitely more story driven than most Spaghetti westerns. The script is one of the most robust in the genre with great dialogue and thanks to concrete built characters, the film succeeds . Unlike other Spaghettis, where the "avenger" is just as corrupt and immoral as the villains he hates, the "avengers" in this film(Richard Martin and Ricky Shot)are decent and upstanding. Martin is a gentleman,albeit a lonely one,with chivalrous morals and a genuine respect for others, including the law. Even when thirsting for revenge, he upholds these characteristics. He becomes an affectionate father figure to Ricky, which I found quite heart warming. At one point he even urges Ricky to give up on killing Billy Kane, whereupon Ricky suggests to Martin that he come and live with him on his ranch. Ricky is an appealing character, one innocent mistake in his past forced him onto the wrong side of the law. It is fate that brings himself and Martin together and this is worked cleverly into the script.He's not a bad man and in the end carries out Martin's will. Enrico Maria Salerno gave a fantastic performance as Martin. Terry Jenkins was solid as Ricky. Jenkins was a British actor and it was nice to see a new face. There is fine chemistry between Salerno and Jenkins which is reflected in the scenes in which Martin is teaching Ricky to shoot,it is in these scenes that the brilliance of the script shines through. The script has a couple of unexpected twists and surprises which made the film even more engrossing.

    BANDIDOS benefits from amazing cinematography.The film is stylishly shot with some sequences filmed in first person view.There is a scene in which Billy Kane enters the saloon and I felt as if it was me who was walking in.The camera also pans around in a lot of scenes,a technique favoured by cameramen and directors in many Spaghetti westerns,therefore the film is not reliant on awkward cuts. Another point of interest is the camera following a bottle of Whisky as it slides down the bar, which I thought was rather incredible. The shootouts are also extremely well lensed, enabling the viewer to witness the action from a more interesting perspective.Egisto Macci's soundtrack, although not one of the best compositions to feature in a Spaghetti western, is really atmospheric and evokes the film's tone excellently. After the attack on the train, haunting vocals are added to a scene as the camera pans over the lifeless bodies of the victims. These vocals were really effective and made this scene suitably grim. As I've mentioned previously, the film is driven more by it's characters and story rather than by action scenes. The action is tightly restrained, with short bursts of violence only exploding when truly necessary. The film begins on a thrilling high with outlaws chasing the train accompanied by a shootout. The stuntmen also do their thing awesomely in the final shootout. Although it was rather drawn out, the climatic showdown between Ricky and Billy Kane was absolutely gripping with the director squeezing out every last drop of tension.

    At times the film moves at a slow, but satisfying pace. The quality of the DVD print that I watched could have been better but it was alright.The picture was good but the audio could have been revamped to give some scenes more of a staunch oomph.BANDIDOS is not one of my favourite Spaghetti westerns, but it's definitely on the best side of westerns as a whole.Overall,it is a filling plate of Spaghetti Bolognaise skilfully directed by Massimo Dallamano.8/10.
  • I saw this film after reading the good review by Coventry n I am happy to c this film.

    I admire Coventry's knowledge of films especially the obscure ones.

    Avoid reading the plot summary as it is rightly advised by Coventry too.

    The plot synopsis on IMDb n Wiki gives away major stuff about the film. It gives away major spoilers. I heeded Coventry's advice n I enjoyed this film tremendously.

    This film marked the directorial debut of cinematographer Massimo Dallamano (he did the cinematography for For a Few Dollars..... n Fistful of ....) No wonder the cinematography is top notch in this film. The scene at around 44th min, the place where the horse carriage is shown below the tree next to the river looked straight outta poetry and very picturesque.

    The film is about three characters: Billy Kane, a dreaded robber who is very sharp at shooting, in fact the first shoot out where he shoots a train traveller, Richard Martin, confirms that Kane is truly a mean n dreaded killer.

    After the shootout, Martin, now a handicap n without his thin moustache, recruits a wanted convict, Ricky Shot.

    Together they organise shooting amusement shows for public earning money but both have agendas of their own.

    The film has ample amount of tension, suspense n action.

    The direction n acting is first class.

    Highly recommend to fans of the Spaghetti Westerns.
  • cengelm3 February 2005
    The film starts with a train robbery where all but one passengers are killed. The rest of the film consists in a complex plot where basically the many bandits all kill each other. The 2 honest heroes who have a buddy relationship hardly contribute to the body count. All the leading actors give a good performance, specially Salerno playing the resentful Martin. Cinematography is good but not outstanding and the sets are often quite detailed. On the downside there is the lack of a real focus and too many senseless killings. Finally even bandits need some honest people to steal from. If you want you can call that nihilism as well.

    Certainly above average Spaghetti Western. The German budget DVD could have a better image quality.

    6 / 10
  • Bezenby10 February 2017
    This is one of those films where the running time flies by because the film you are watching is so good. This Spaghetti Western was directed by the guy who made What Have You Done To Our Daughters, stars the cop from Bird with the Crystal Plumage, so it makes sense that contained within the first scene is a giallo-like clue to what happens later in the film.

    You also get a sense straight away that the guy behind the camera knows what he is doing - check out that beautiful tracking shot of all those dead folk lying in and around the train following Venantino Venantini's massacre. The whole film plays out like that.

    Yep, this one starts with a train robbery and a massacre, and the only man left alive is, or was, a sharpshooter named Martin. Shot in both hands but left alive for some unknown reason, Martin seeks revenge against those who robbed the train, and for other reasons that aren't explained at this point either. What he finds first is a young potential trainee sharpshooter, but as this film is full of mysteries, he may not be what he seems either.

    So, gorgeously filmed, fully of inventive camera-work, great actors in front of the screen, loads of twists and turns. This one has it all and is one of the better Spaghetti Westerns out there (and that's me saying that! I love most of them!). There's plenty of shootouts too and the final duel is very creative, only eclipsed for me by a more emotional shootout a wee bit earlier in the film. Enrico Salerno has a certain aura about him in every film I've seen him in - I can't put my finger on it but he's probably the best thing in this.
  • BandSAboutMovies8 July 2021
    Warning: Spoilers
    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 poliziottescocraziness of Colt 38 Special Squad (recently release 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.
  • I no longer follow the Western genre with the huge pleasure I had in my childhood. I prefer Thriller, Science Fiction, Comedy, a good Documentary. Except for Sergio Leone, his films I'm reviving cyclically, about 10 to 10 years, with great great pleasure. Not just for Leone's sake and his unique, original stories (though sometimes inspired by Japanese like Kurosawa), but also for Morricone's music and some actors, especially Gian Maria Volontè, Lee Van Cleef, Klaus Kinski, Charles Bronson. Clint Eastwood never fascinated me (not in Westerns, I liked him in "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Escape from Alcatraz"). Why am I saying all this here? Because Max Dillman, the director of this western, is none other than the one who filmed "Fistful of Dollars" and "For a Few Dollars More", Mr. Expert Cinematographer Massimo Dallamano, dead at the tender age of only 59. He just tried his luck, like many others, with a not too great story, in fact one very predictable, to copy the success of Leone's dollars. The Cinematography, also very professional as Master Dallamano's, is not signed by him, as would have been natural, but by the Spanish Emilio Foriscot. The distribution is made up of unknown actors, which, despite the slim scenario, they pay off somehow honorably. The music of the film, signed by Egisto Macchi, is clearly the Morricone clone, with guitars and trumpets, but not so successful as the original. Surprisingly, Venantino Venantini, after seeing him in many roles totally opposite to the tough guy, is here trying to equate Gian Maria Volontè as a villainous gunman. Of course he does not succeed, no one can do that, but he is not bad. The second reason I wanted to see this movie, apart from Massimo Dallamano, was the presence of another huge talent, another delight of my childhood, the Italian actor Enrico Maria Salerno. In spite of Salerno's talent and the only cool idea of the film, somehow like a christian symbol, in my humble opinion, the bullet holes in his character's hands (just like Jesus) (the idea had to be exploited and the script developed exactly there), the film is somewhere between average and mediocre. Only for those obsessed by Western.
  • Sharpshooter Enrico Maria Salerno survives a railroad holdup/massacre with a bullet in each hand. Unable to shoot, he takes on wanted man Terry Jenkins as his protégé and eventual avenger, only to find vengeance harder to find than he originally thought.

    Like scores of other Italian westerns, there isn't really much new in Banditos. However, it's greatly entertaining thanks to good production values, plentiful gun-play, neat twists, and a few really intense scenes, including a satisfying climax. The main villain is good and nasty too.

    Director "Max Dillman" really knows how to take full advantage of the widescreen process, with some nicely balanced frames.

    The only real problem is the lack of bankable stars. Still, it's definitely worth a look for fans of the genre.