Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kid Vengeance

Kid Vengeance AKA Vengeance, Vendetta (1977)
Dir: Joe Manduke
Starring Lee Van Cleef, Jim Brown, Leif Garrett

After witnessing his parents being murdered by an outlaw (Van Cleef), Tom Thurston (Garrett) teams with a prospector (Brown) to get revenge.

Kid Vengeance has the distinction of being Lee Van Cleef's final western.  In terms of his western filmography, he ended things with a whimper rather than a bang. While not awful, Kid Vengeance is kind of boring at times, and is a follow up to God's Gun, it's sister film that an Israeli production was also produced by Golan and Globus that also stared Van Cleef and Garrett. God's Gun was  a notoriously difficult shoot, and based on the appearance of the actors in this film, this one was too.

The film centers on Leif Garrett's character Tom, who sees his father shot in the back, and his mother raped and murdered by Van Cleef's McClain. Tom begins to track and kill the members of the gang, eventually teaming up with Isaac,  a prospector played by Jim Brown, who has just had his fortune in gold stolen from him by McClain's gang. Well, sort of, a trio of bumbling racists steal the money from Isaac, but before they can even leave Isaac's camp site they are robbed by McClain's gang. They spend the back half of the film providing (bad) comic relief while Tom and Isaac try to rescue Tom's sister and retrieve Isaac's gold. 

Leif Garrett is pretty good in the film, but most of his scenes involve him being quiet and acting with his eyes. His hair looks great, really nice. Jim Brown in good as Isaac, but his part is kind of underwritten. Lee Van Cleef has probably the most showy role in the movie as the villain, but it's a part that he has played better in films of better quality.

The movie is mean and violent. Aside from the rape scene, you get scenes of Tom stoning a man to death, and hooking a noose around the neck of a man as he flees on horseback. Tom's sister Lisa (Glynnis O'Connor) gets told that she's going to be sold into slavery. Van Cleef looks to be breaking character in his scenes with her, which makes me wonder how difficult for her the film as to shoot. 

Honestly, this isn't that good. Van Cleef and Brown are trying their best, but it's kind of boring at times and it looks cheap. There's nothing really great that stands out about Kid Vengeance. Garrett's hair looks fabulous though. Avoid the film. Watch The Grand Duel or God's Gun or anything else with Van Cleef instead.

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