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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Spaghetti > Revenge > Professional > Italy > Spain > Horror > Monster > Savage Guns: Four Classic Westerns, Volume Three w/El Puro (1969)/Four Of The Apocalypse (1975)/I Want Him Dead (1968)/Wrath Of The Wind (1970 aka Trinity Sees Red)/Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K (1996/4K

Savage Guns: Four Classic Westerns, Volume Three w/El Puro (1969)/Four Of The Apocalypse (1975)/I Want Him Dead (1968)/Wrath Of The Wind (1970 aka Trinity Sees Red)/Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K (1996/4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/Blu-ray/Universal/both MVD/Arrow)

4K Ultra HD Picture: B Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C+/B Films: C/B-/C+/C+/C+

Now for a group of older 'stuck out there' action films in the B-movie zone, with some moments where they rise above that....

Savage Guns: Four Classic Westerns, Volume Three is yet another collection of usually lesser-know Spaghetti Westerns, this series from Arrow Video and it is yet another box on the subgenre that will be in print for a while, then run out and you won't be able to get it. All the labels issuing these films tend to do this, but all the labels do this and we'll guess that reflects the interest in most of the non-Leone films; he invented the subgenre.

We'll start with Edoardo Mulargia's El Puro (1969, aka La taglia e tua... l'uomo l'ammazzo io) has a gang of killers (Aldo Berti, Mario Brega and Marc Fiorini (as Ashborn Hamilton, Jr.???) in it for the money going after the title character (Robert Woods from Johnny Colt, Black Jack and the Pecos films) for reward money, but of course, it is not going to be as easy as that. They make it worse by killing his girlfriend. The bad news is that we have seen much of this before in all kinds of westerns, yet it is so odd and weird that its worth seeing just for it being so off and different.

Mulargia and Woods had made such a western before and it works a bit better in the longer version, so its mixed reputation is somewhat undeserved. Though the unexpected atmosphere does not put on Leonel's level, it does distinguish it from so many other such films, especially at the time when they were just being churned out and another plus is that the filmmakers use the scope frame in interesting ways that add to seeing it the way it was meant to be seen. Glad Arrow was proactive in restoring this particular film.

The most popular and well-known film in the set is the one we reviewed before, around 20 years ago, in a DVD box set of such Westerns from the now-defunct, but fondly remembered Anchor Bay Home Video. As I noted in that review, Four Of The Apocalypse (1975) is a film that never originally made it to the United States. It is also directed by Lucio Fulci, better known for his Horror genre films, and that might be the reason fellow Horror genre director Sam Raimi may have preferred the same 1.85 X 1 frame his Spaghetti Western, The Quick and The Dead (1995) had. The time spent on they outdoors is reminiscent of the music breaks in many late 1960s/early 1970s films of the time, trying to capitalize on Mike Nichols' The Graduate, Rockumentaries and like movements and trends. This seems to be added to update the cycle, but turns the film into a time capsule instead. Part of the look and the soundtrack is trying at times to emulate Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller (see it elsewhere on this site, now in 4K from Criterion), but it is not on that level. It is at its best when it gets dirty as four outcasts (Fabio Testi, Michael J. Pollard, Lynne Frederick, and Harry Baird) escape a massacre by masked murderers and are on the run. The rag tags here include, in the best Stagecoach tradition, a gambler, hooker, drunk, and meet their match in the even crazier psychopath (Tomas Milian) out to settle a few scores of his own when he is not outright crazy. Will they or will they not make it? The characters are not as involving as one would hope, but they are somewhat likable. I give the film points for its naturalistic approach, and that goes beyond nudity and scenery, as Fulci has more vision than the directors of the previous films.

Paolo Bianchini's I Want Him Dead (1968) has a blunt enough title, like some of the Film Noir titles of the previous era, sometimes campy and even a howler. This is a rape/revenge film with Craig Hill (Deadly Duo, Assignment Terror, Three Crosses Not To Die, The Masked Thief, endless TV shows) going ballistic when the sexual assault ruins his sister for life. Unfortunately, a Civil War subplot that becomes a bit much is inserted and it interferes with the screenplay's credibility.

Fortunately, Hill is able to carry a film as the lead and the actors are all trying to give it their best, but script and budget limits also get in the way. A more interesting or innovative subplot would have made this all work better, but with the new freedom and realism filmmaking worldwide was experiencing, you can see why they chose the storyline they did. A mixed film, but worth a look, especially for genre fans.

Mario Camus' Wrath Of The Wind (1970, aka Trinity Sees Red aka Revenge Of Trinity) has Terence Hill (A Fistful Of Dynamite, Visconti's The Leopard, Ace High, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Mr. Billion, Django, Prepare A Coffin) as gunslinger Marco (though the alternate title wanted some people to think this was another Trinity film) taking on rich, evil, violent landlord Fernando Rey (The French Connection, Companeros, That Obscure Object Of Desire, Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie, Last Romantic Lover, Tristana) has some political overtones, but is obviously a revenge western otherwise.

It is a good match of hero vs. villain and the supporting cast is good, but the screenplay does not do too much more than you would see in similar films, though the opposing leads do make it interesting and save this film from being a formula romp. It is also worth a look like the rest of the entries in this set and it too deserved to be saved and preserved.

Extras (per the press release) include brand new introductions to each film by journalist and critic Fabio Melelli

  • Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by author and critic Howard Hughes

  • Fold-out double-sided poster featuring newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

  • Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original artwork and a slipcover featuring newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx


  • Brand new audio commentary by critics Adrian J. Smith and David Flint

  • The Man Who Hated Violence: brand new interview with director Paolo Bianchini

  • Cut and Shot: brand new interview with editor Eugenio Alabiso

  • Nico Unchained: archival interview with composer Nico Fidenco

  • English theatrical trailer

  • Image gallery


  • Two versions of the film: the 98-minute cut, presented in Italian and English, and the longer, 108-minute version, assembled from the original camera negative and an archival print and presented in both Italian and a newly created hybrid English/Italian mix; For some scenes and dialogue lines in the long version, the Italian audio is either lost or was never produced. These are presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

  • Brand new audio commentary by critics Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson

  • Brand new interview with actor Robert Woods

  • Brand new, in-depth appreciation of the soundtrack and its composer, Alessandro Alessandroni, by musician and disc collector Lovely Jon


  • Alternate, 106-minute Spanish-language version of the film, featuring additional and extended scenes not found in the Italian or English versions

  • Brand new audio commentary by author and critic Howard Hughes

  • The Days of Wrath: brand new interview with camera operator Roberto D'Ettorre Piazzoli

  • They Call It... Red Cemetery!: a short film from 2022 by filmmaker Francisco Lacerda, serving as a love letter to the spaghetti western genre

  • Alternate "Revenge of Trinity" opening titles, newly restored for this release

  • Image gallery


  • Brand new audio commentary by author and producer Kat Ellinger

  • It Takes Four: previously unreleased interview with production manager Roberto Sbarigia

  • Brand new, in-depth appreciation of the film by author, critic and Lucio Fulci scholar Stephen Thrower

  • Brand new, in-depth appreciation of the soundtrack and its composers, Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera, by musician and disc collector Lovely Jon

  • Newly restored theatrical trailer

  • and an image gallery.

S.S. Wilson's Tremors 2: Aftershocks 4K (1996) is the straight-to-video sequel to the hit film with Kevin Bacon that I always thought was really, really bad, but this one has gained a sort of cult following, enough that it is now the first straight-to-video release to ever get 4K treatment. In this version, the underground creatures are back in a small town and they make the mistake of interrupting an oil company's profits. Thus, a group of people (played by Fred Ward, Helen Shaver, Christopher Gartin and Michael Gross) can stop them.

What follows is silly and not very effective, but it is consistent and the characters seem more in danger by default than the original film, thus its appeal. It is not for everyone or that good, but now that it has received the unbelievably generous treatment, restoration and preservation, you can give it the fairest chance possible to see if you like it or not. Diehard fans will be obviously more pleased, to go with their surprise it got such a release in the first place.

Extras include two brand new feature commentaries. One by director/co-writer S.S. Wilson and co-producer Nancy Roberts, the other by Jonathan Melville, author of Seeking Perfection: The Unofficial Guide to Tremors

  • Graboid Go Boom, a newly filmed interview with special effects designer Peter Chesney

  • Critical Need-to-Know Information, a newly filmed interview with CG supervisor [and genius] Phil Tippett

  • The Making of Tremors 2, an on-set featurette with the cast and crew

  • Outtakes

  • Trailers for Tremors and Tremors 2: Aftershocks

  • Image gallery

  • Illustrated perfect bound booklet featuring new writing by Jonathan Melville on the Tremors 2 scripts that never got made, and Dave Wain & Matty Budrewicz on the history of Universal's DTV sequel division

  • Double-sided fold-out poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank

  • Small fold-out poster featuring new Shrieker X-ray art by Matt Frank

  • and while supplies last, Limited Edition packaging featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Frank.

And for what its worth, see our coverage of Tremors 5: Bloodlines from its Blu-ray/DVD set here:


Now for playback performance. The 2160p HEVC/H.265, 1.85 X 1, Dolby Vision/HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High Definition image on Tremors 2 was actually shot on 35mm film, so it can look good, but like all filmed, full color productions made for home video in the analog era, it had to follow certain color rules to look good on the old picture tubes. That included limited video red and video white, plus not to much sunlight and a few other items we will not go into. The result is not bad, but still limited, whether you can tell why or not. The regular 1080p Blu-ray is poorer and misses a few of the qualities the 2160p 4K version has. The 4K is the best of all the transfers here by default and the two soundtrack choices are DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 4.0 and 2.0 Stereo lossless mixes on both discs. The 4.0 is better and only very, very slightly the best soundtrack on the list.

As for the box set, El Puro is here in 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition with the added footage more pale and faded because it barely survived. Shot in the Cromoscope format (a 2-perforation variant of Techniscope, but without the benefit of three-strip, dye transfer Technicolor prints) and developed by Technostampa in Italy, it is the only scope film in the set and uses the wide frame pretty well. Color can be good, but is not great overall and you also get more grain than you would if this were Techniscope, but at least the 2K scan did not try to scrub the grain away as Universal sadly just did with their new 4K version of American Graffiti, reviewed elsewhere on this site.

The other three films are from 2K scans in 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers that also show the age of the materials used with more grain than expected, plus color is not always the best, but this is the best these three films have looked since their original theatrical releases. All four films are in English and Italian PCM 1.0 Mono sound from their surviving sound materials and sound as good as they likely ever will. They are surprisingly clearer than expected, despite showing their age and budget limits, though maybe 2.0 Mono versions would have been a bit better?

- Nicholas Sheffo


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