Son of Django (1967)

Il Figlio di Django / Vengeance Is a Colt 45

poster for Son of Django

Another day, another Django film. Osvaldo Civirani's Son of Django is a another revenge tale, this time the revenge being undertaken by Django's son. Gabriele Tinti stars as Tracy, who also happens to be the son of the legendary Django. As our film starts out, we see two men shot down as they are on their way to meet someone named Logan. Logan barely escapes as the gunman comes to his house. Later that evening, we see him steal a horse from Tracy, who was camping nearby.

Gabriele Tinti as the Son of Django

Gabriele Tinti as Tracy, the son of Django

The next day, Tracy wanders into town on foot, carrying Logan's rather glitzy saddle, where he then shoots down three people who tried to take the saddle. He's thrown in jail (they also think he's the owner of the saddle), where he shares a cell with a Frenchman who goes by the name of Four Aces. It turns out the Frenchman is working with Logan, who shows up and breaks them out of jail. As the three of them escape, Tracy finds out they're heading to Topeka. Apparently, there's an ongoing war between two big ranchers there ,Clay and Thompson, and they're going to work for Thompson. Tracy seems interested in this, but declines to go with them.

Guy Madison as the pistol packin' preacher

Guy Madison as the pistol packin' preacher

Tracy eventually shows up in town. Clay's men are shaking down local ranchers for money, and they happen to be tormenting one of them, who Tracy saves. When in town, Tracy is approached by a preacher named Father Fleming (Guy Madison), a former gunfighter who was a friend of Django, and apparently saved Tracy from the killers, as we then see a flashback. Young Tracy is eating dinner with Django. Django is shot in the back and killed by some men who came to the door saying they were Thompson's men.

As it goes on, it turns out that Clay was the murderer. There's a rather long shootout towards the end between the gangs, Tracy, and Father Fleming. They have captured Clay, and broken his hands. Tracy wants to kill him, but a look from Father Fleming changes his mind, so he rides off and Father Fleming puts down his guns.

All in all, a pretty average outing here, but thoroughly watchable. I found myself staying interested in the storyline as it evolved every now and then. The English overdubbing was pretty decent, as were the sets and costumes. Tinti was a pretty average actor, although I found myself wishing that Guy Madison had more screen time. He's a great actor, and when he finally whips out the guns, you'll forget he's a preacher. The one thing that really worked against this film was the dialogue. It was almost always ridiculously simplistic, bordering on the inane at times. I don't know if that was a product of the English translation or if it was originally written that way, but it is definitely noticeable. There was also an incredibly cheesy musical number that takes place in the saloon - it went on way longer than necessary. You can always tell how low the budget is on a film by the number of fake mustaches (Fake Mustache Quotient)... I'm serious. This one had a rather high FMQ.

Luciano Rossi (Django the Bastard, The Grand Duel, Violent Naples), who usually plays an over-the-top psycho, had a small role in this one, a rather mellow one by comparison, and looked very different with medium-length brown hair and a mustache, so that was a bit surprising. Something that struck me as rather odd was around the 26 minute mark, as Tracy is riding into Topeka. At that point, we don't know that he's the son of Django or what exactly his intentions are. A song, "They Call Him Django" starts playing, and the lyrics reveal what's going on, that Django was killed and that this guy is out to avenge him. Now it's not unusual in some of these films for the lyrics we hear to be describing the action as its going on (as in Mannaja and Four of the Apocalypse), but I've never heard lyrics give away the plot before. I think this kind of took away some of the impact from the scene about 15 minutes later where he has the flashback.

Gripes aside, it wasn't a bad film by any means, and it had a rather lively and diverse score from Piero Umiliani, too. It's available from Germany on the X-Rated Kult label. Worth a watch.

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