Forgotten Pistolero / Il pistolero dell'Ave Maria (1969)

3.0 out of 5

Forgotten Pistolero deserves appreciation for its Euro-western plot not revolving around gold or bounty hunters, and a the absence of too many B-movie stereotypes. Here, a dysfunctional and severely homicidal family suffers the kind of bad confrontational violence most associated with Nordic barbarians and promised by director Ferdinando Baldi's flashbacks, with lots of brooding close-ups of the film's wronged siblings.

Great score and plenty of high-budget set-pieces, even a ballroom dance contrast nicely with the numerous fist-fights and knifings. Though cutesy boy pistolero Leonard Mann supplies too many cheesy American bullets-to-the-hand, warning his sadistic foes.

A young Luciano Rossi appears in all his bug-eyed twitchy glory, though it could be diagnosed here as unhappy adolescence. The Latina female players are all gorgeous.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics