Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 19th, 2008
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, October 17th, 1969 (Forgotten Pistolero), Italy, March 11th, 1970 (The Unholy Four)
Directors: Ferdinando Baldi (Forgotten Pistolero), Enzo Barboni (The Unholy Four)
Cast: Leonard Mann, Luciana Paluzzi, Peter Martell, Alberto de Mendoza, Pilar Velázquez, Piero Lulli, Luciano Rossi, José Suárez, Barbara Nelli, Franco Pesce, Mirella Pamphili, Enzo Fiermonte, Silvana Bacci, Franco Gulà, José Manuel Martín (Forgotten Pistolero), Leonard Mann, Woody Strode, Peter Martell, Helmuth Schneider, George Eastman, Ida Galli, Alain Naya, Dino Strano, Andrea Aureli (The Unholy Four)
DVD released: November 28th, 2007
Approximate running time: 80 minutes (Forgotten Pistolero), 89 minutes (The Unholy Four)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Wild East
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Forgotten Pistolero: A loner named Sebastian is reunited with a childhood friend named Rafael. They haven’t seen each since the night Sebastian was taken away from his home after his father was murdered. Sebastian is unable to remember much of want went down that night. Rafael fills him in on all the details about that tragic night. Rafael also reveals that Sebastian’s mother and Sister Isabella are still alive. Isabella who is in love with Rafael was found to marry another man. Sebastian’s mother still lives in the home were his father was murder with the man who killed his father. Rafael reunites Sebastian with his sister Isabella. The trio band together in their quest for justice and revenge.
Forgotten Pistolero was directed by Ferdinando Baldi who directed other notable Spaghetti Westerns like Texas, addio, Rita of the West and Blindman. The plot for Forgotten Pistolero is a solid tale about revenge that achieves so much in only a mere eighty minutes. On aspect of the plot that is never really fully explained is how Sebastian has forgotten everything from his past including the tragedy of his fathers’ murder. Even though this is never fully dealt with one could assume that Sebastian’s amnesia could be a result of the trauma caused by his fathers’ murder. Every inch of this film is filled with stylish photography and memorable moments that all lead to a symbolic ending where Sebastian exorcises his demons.
Leonard Mann is cast in the lead role of Sebastian. His performance is very low key and at times stoic. The cast is all around superb with the standout performance coming from Luciana Paluzzi in the role of Sebastian’s mother Anna. Luciana Paluzzi performance is cold and calculated. It was also nice to seeing Luciano Rossi who is usually cast as a bad guy play a role that is compassionate and gentle. Other performances of note include Peter Martell as Rafael and Pilar Velázquez as Isabella. All of the secondary henchmen in the film are all very slimy and menacing. Forgotten Pistolero’s greatest asset is without a doubt is composer Roberto Pregadio memorable score that at times is very reminiscent to the style employed in some many of Ennio Morricone’s Spaghetti Western scores. Ultimately Forgotten Pistolero is an unforgettable tale about revenge that has well rounded characters and a story rich in subtext.
The Unholy Four: Suffering from amnesia a young man named Chuck Moll escapes with three other patients from an asylum. Chuck with the help of his three new friends return his home town only to discover that a war has erupted between two rivaling families. Chuck is hired to kill a man who claims to be his father. One of the two feuding families is Chuck’s, but which one?
The Unholy Holy Four is the directorial debut of Enzo Barboni whose next two films They Call Me Trinity and Trinity Is Still My Name!, would make him one of the more prominent directors’ working the Spaghetti Western genre in the 1970’s. Enzo Barboni with The Unholy Four creates one of his most intense and gritty looking westerns. Visually this film is filled with many great moments that are wonderfully realized by cinematographer Mario Montuori.
The Unholy Four really shines when it comes to its action sequences. One of Enzo Barboni’s strengths as a director is his uncanny ability to create memorable action sequences. The performances are strong all around with a remarkable cast that includes Leonard Mann, Peter Martell, George Eastman, Ida Galli and Woody Strode. The score for The Unholy Four’s score was composed by Riz Ortolani who provides another solid score that greatly benefits the film. Ultimately The Unholy Four is an underrated Spaghetti Western that is waiting to be discovered.
Forgotten Pistolero is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Outside a few scenes where the image looks a tad too soft this transfer looking reasonably good. The transfer for The Unholy Four the second feature included with this release looks clean but it lacks details and some of the colors look faded. The Unholy Four is also given an anamorphic widescreen which frames the image in about a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The images looked cropped which frames most of the compositions to tightly.
Both films come with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono in English. The audio for Forgotten Pistolero is in good shape outside of a few instances where it sounds distorted. The audio for The Unholy Four is not in as good of shape. There is distortion and other issues with noise that are present throughout.
Extras for this release are limited to trailers and images related to the two films. The inclusion of Ferdinando Baldi’s Forgotten Pistolero makes this double feature release a worthwhile purchase even though the audio/video presentations for both films include with this double feature release are less than stellar.