Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 17th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1970
Director: Sergio Martino
Writers: Ernesto Gastaldi, Joaquín Romero Hernández
Cast: Anthony Steffen, Marcella Michelangeli, Aldo Sambrell, Rosalba Neri, Roberto Camardiel, Raf Baldassarre, Emilio Delle Piane, Gildo Di Marco, José Manuel Martín, Florentino Alonso, Silvio Bagolini, Luis Barboo, Enrico Marciani, Brizio Montinaro
DVD released: August 11th, 2009
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Arizona Colt Returns was directed by Sergio Martino who in the early 1970’s was one of the more prominent filmmakers working in the giallo film genre. Arizona Colt Returns would mark his first foray into the Spaghetti Western film genre. He would return to the genre seven years later in 1977 with a film titled A Man Called Blade. The cinematographer on Arizona Colt Returns was Miguel Fernández Mila, whose other notable films as a cinematographer includes The Man Who Killed Billy the Kid, All the Colors of the Dark, Return of the Blind Dead, A Dragonfly for Each Corpse and The Loreley’s Grasp. The score for Arizona Colt Returns was composed by Bruno Nicolai an accomplished composer in his own right who is most known for conducting scores composed by Ennio Morricone. Some of Bruno Nicolai’s standout scores include 99 Women, Marquis de Sade: Justine, Eugenie… the Story of Her Journey into Perversion, Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave, The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe, All the Colors of the Dark, The Case of the Bloody Iris, Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key, Red Queen Kills 7 Times, Eugenie de Sade and Eyeball. Bruno Nicolai’s score for Arizona Colt Returns is a cross between the discordant tones found in many of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western scores and the playfulness present in Spaghetti Western comedies like My Name Is Trinity and Trinity Is Still My Name. The theme song for Arizona Colt Returns features the self deprecating lyrics about the films protagonist Arizona Colt “I guess I got to get my gun. I guess I got to shoot someone”. Even though this films lead character bears the same name as the lead character from the 1966 Spaghetti Western Man from Nowhere, they two films do not appear to be directly connected.
The plot revolves around Arizona Colt a gunslinger with incredible speed who is more interested in lying in the sun then squaring off in a shootout. He has a sidekick named Double Whiskey whose name is a reference to his drink of choice and he is also equally lazy. A bandit named Keene is his nemesis and he frames Arizona Colt to get him out of the way. It is hard to keep a good man down as Arizona Colt narrowly escapes death after being hanged for a crime he did not commit. Despite numerous attempts to bait him, Arizona Colt doesn’t go after Keene until he brutally harms his best friend Double Whiskey.
The plot follows the buddy set up that is reminiscent to many of the Spaghetti Westerns that Terence Hill and Bud Spencer starred in together. Arizona Colt plays the straight and narrow role, while Double Whiskey is all about bringing the comic relief. The film also features some violent moments that hearkens back to golden era of Spaghetti Westerns. While the violence may not be as brutal as some would hope for it is more than adequate in furthering the story at hand. The film features a love interest for Arizona Colt; thankfully this storyline is kept in the background. Another staple of the Spaghetti Western genre are a cast of colorful heavies who take on the hero. The most memorable of these in this film is a character named Filthy Bottle.
The cast features many recognizable faces like Anthony Steffen (Django the Bastard, The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave) in the role of Arizona Colt, Aldo Sambrell (The Hellbenders) in the role of Keene and the ever so enchanting Rosalba Neri (The Seducers) in the role of Paloma. The film’s most memorable performance comes from Roberto Camardiel who steals every scene his character Double Whiskey is in. Performance wise Anthony Steffen never comes off as overly wooden, while Aldo Sambrell does a good playing the film’s main heavy Keene. Rosalba Neri is also very good in her role even if she has limited screen time. Ultimately Arizona Colt Returns is one of the more entertaining Spaghetti Westerns to emerge from the genre in the 1970’s.
Arizona Colt Returns is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. The source used is free of any major print damage with only a few instances of minor print debris. The image looks a tad too soft on wider angle shots, while close ups look generally sharp. Colors, flesh tones and black levels fare well all around. Arizona Colt Returns was released on DVD in Germany by Koch Media in 2007 and Mya Communication’s transfer for this DVD release is on par with the transfer for Koch Media DVD release.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian. The audio is clear and free of any distracting background noise. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been included.
Extras for this release include a theatrical trailer for the film (3 minutes 3 seconds – in German, no English subtitles) and a photo gallery with 15 images. Overall Arizona Colt Returns gets a well rounded DVD release from Mya Communication.
Note: Even though the DVD box lists a English audio mix this release only comes with a Italian audio mix with English subtitles.