4 Western Films: Kid Vengeance/Grand Duel/Death Rides a Horse/God's Gun [DVD]

This compendium of six westerns includes Kid Vengeance, Grand Duel, Death Rides a Horse, and God's Gun.
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Overview

Synopsis

Kid Vengeance
One of Cannon Films' two 1976 Italian-Israeli co-productions starring Lee Van Cleef and Leif Garrett (Gianfranco Parolini's Pistola di Dio was the other), this spaghetti western was actually shot in the Middle East by American director Joseph Manduke. Pop star Garrett plays Tom, a teenager who teams with a black gunfighter named Isaac (Jim Brown) to avenge his family. The culprit was McClain (Van Cleef), a sadistic outlaw who carried out the brutal rape-massacre, but his role is minor, as most of the film deals with Tom's maturation and coming to terms with his feelings. Omnipresent 1970s character actors Glynnis O'Connor and John Marley co-star. If there is anything remarkable about Kid Vengeance, it is Francesco Masi's fine musical score, but the film is otherwise anemic. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

God's Gun
One of two 1976 Italian-Israeli co-productions starring Lee Van Cleef and Leif Garrett (Joseph Manduke's Kid Vengeance was the other), this spaghetti Western stars Van Cleef in a dual role as twin brothers. One of the brothers, Father John, is gunned down by the ruthless Sam Clayton (Jack Palance), allowing Sam's gang to take over Juno City. Young Johnny (Garrett) crosses into Mexico to convince the priest's twin, a retired bounty hunter named Louis, to strap on his guns one more time and save the town. Van Cleef is compelling, even in his somewhat laughable wig, and the familiar cast also includes Richard Boone and Sybil Danning, but it somehow misses the mark. Irwin Yablans, who made his name with Halloween two years later, co-produced with Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi

Il Grande Duello
Il Grande Duello is the original title of this Italian/French/West German production. The titular duel pits hard-bitten gunslinger Clayton (Lee Van Cleef) against the equally gritty Saxon (Horst Frank). Before this takes place, however, Clayton champions the cause of Newland (Peter O'Brien) a young punk who'd been framed on a murder charge. One of the beauties of the spaghetti western genre is that there were seldom any clearly defined Good or Bad Guys. This helped to keep the audience guessing as to the ultimate outcome of the film, thereby increasing the entertainment value tenfold. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Death Rides a Horse
Bill (John Phillip Law) grows up to seek revenge on the gang that killed his parents. He meets up with Ryan (Lee Van Cleef), a veteran gunslinger seeking his own revenge for the ones who put him in prison. The two proceed to shoot everything that moves in this violent spaghetti western. Bill eventually discovers Ryan was there when his parents were killed and is torn between killing Ryan and letting him ride off into the sunset. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Leif Garrett
    Leif Garrett - Tom
  • Jim Brown
    Jim Brown - Isaac
  • Lee Van Cleef
    Lee Van Cleef - McClain
  • John Marley
    John Marley - Jesus
  • Glynnis O'Connor
    Glynnis O'Connor - Lisa
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