Wild East presents an early Spaghetti Western starring the implacable Richard Harrison. 1966 was a big year for the genre with massive hits like The Good, The Band and The Ugly, Django, Arizona Colt, Navajo Joe, Johnny Oro (Ringo and his Golden Pistol) and ) making stars of Franco Nero, Burt Reynolds, Mark Damon and Giuliano Gemma and George Hilton and opening the market for others to jump in. Harrison was already established (Gunfight At Red Sands, $100,000 For Ringo) and so inevitably El Rojo became his contribution that year.
The story is not unique. A family is massacred ostensibly by Indians and years later the town of Gold Hill thrives on the family's land. El Rojo (Harrison) rides in one day and suddenly the town's four founding fathers begin to die, one after the other.
El Rojo is the first Spaghetti Western by Leopoldo Savona (under the Americanized pseudonym of Leo Coleman) who, after paying his dues as a director of Peplums like The Mongols, went on to make several more Westerns, including fan favorite Killer Kid with Anthony Steffen. Although the plot is obvious, the film is loaded with action and moves along at a rapid pace. It's also populated with faces that were very familiar to fans. Two of the town's founders and inevitable villains were played by Piero Lulli (aka Peter Carter) and Franco Ressel (as Frank Ressell). In the role of Rojo's ex-girlfriend was the beautiful Nieves Navarro (as Susan Scott) and playing Cochise, the Indian who helps Rojo, was Mirko Ellis (from Arizona Colt).
El Rojo is presented for the first time in the US in anamorphic widescreen. Also featured on this disk is footage from the 2011 Los Angeles Spaghetti Western Film Festival where some of the genre greats assembled for an informative panel discussion. The Q and A session features actors Mark Damon, Richard Harrison, Jack Betts (AKA Hunt Powers), Brett Halset (AKA Montgomery Ford), Michael Forest, Robert Woods and frequent villain Dan Van Husen.