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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (Blu-ray)
Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (Blu-ray)
Kino // Unrated // October 10, 2017 // Region A
List Price: $29.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted October 5, 2017 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

One of a few westerns that Bava would be involved with throughout his career, the film follows the titular Roy Colt (Brett Halsey) and his outlaw partner, Winchester Jack (Charles Southwood). After an argument, Roy decides to leave his life behind and start over, this time going legit. He winds up taking a job as the sheriff of Carson City and ultimately winds up in possession of a map revealing the location of some Native American treasure. Of course, everyone wants a shot at this map and Colt has to uphold the law and protect the peace, all the while dealing with a prostitute (Marilu Tolo) accused of murder and a gang of murderous bandits lead by a man known only as 'The Reverend' (Teodoro Corra).

On the surface, Roy Colt And Winchester Jack is little more than a simple Italian spoof of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid with a few nods towards Leone's films thrown in for good measure. Bava does show a knack for comedy here, however, and a few inspired shots (cactus forming horns behind a certain character or the sun coming through the eye of a bleached skull) remind us who is behind the camera. Some fun slapstick comedy and oddly placed poop jokes makes the picture enjoyable enough in a goofy sort of way but the script doesn't exactly set the world on fire.

Brett Halsey, returning after his stint in Bava's earlier Four Times That Night, is charming enough as Roy Colt but Charles Southwood is too hammy to help things much. Marilu Tolo is easy on the eyes and plenty fun to look at. She's quite decent in her supporting role, and Teodoro Corra is actually quite good as the malicious bandit leader stealing a couple of scenes throughout the movie.

Unfortunately the film looks pretty drab when contrasted against many of Bava's other films. While much of this obviously has to do with the fact that the film looks like it was shot outdoors on location, it's likely that given the fact that Bava wasn't really all that into making westerns that the director just wasn't as inspired as he had been and would be again on other films. It's a film that is certainly worth a look for western fans or established Mario Bava fans but not particularly the best place to start for those new to the director or the genre.

The DVD

Video:

Kino offers up Roy Colt And Winchester Jack on Blu-ray with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer framed at 1.85.1 on a 25GB Blu-ray disc. Taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative and it looks good, if not perfect. While this is perfectly film-like in its presentation, there's some minor damage evident throughout and in some scenes the colors do look a little flat. Still, this is a noticeable improvement over the previous DVD releases from Image and then later Anchor Bay Entertainment. Detail is solid, texture is good and the image is free of noise reduction or edge enhancement. Skin tones look accurate and black levels are okay.

Sound:

Audio options are offered in 16-bit LPCM Mono in Italian and ‘partial English' with optional English subtitles translating the Italian track. Partial English? Yep. The English track for this movie was previously thought to be lost, but parts of it where found. If selected it won't kick in under just past the thirty-seven minute mark and then it cuts out around the seventy-six minute mark, so it's hardly the complete film but it's interesting to have it included here. As to the Italian track, it sounds fine. Levels are properly balanced and any hiss that creeps in is minor and inconsequential.

Extras:

The main extra on the disc is an audio commentary from Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog fame and author of Mario Bava: All The Colors Of The Dark. As you'd expect from a Lucas talk over a Bava film if you've heard any of his prior commentaries, this one is very thorough. He talks about Bava's dislike of the genre, the way that the film skewers the then current Spaghetti Western trend, the locations that were used for the film, specifics relating to the score, the history of the English track, loads of details about the people that worked with Bava on the film in various capacities and quite a bit more.

Aside from that we also get the thirty-five minute long Intermission Cards from the film's original theatrical run. Static menus and chapter stops are also included.

Final Thoughts:

Roy Colt And Winchester Jack is far from a masterpiece but it does have its moments. Spaghetti Western completists and Bava fans will get more out of this than the casual viewer. If you fall into either camp, Kino's Blu-ray offers a solid high definition presentation with a strong commentary from Tim Lucas, and as such, comes recommended.

Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.

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