The Deadly Trackers (1973) [DVD, WB Import - English audio, removable subtitles]

The Deadly Trackers (1973) [DVD, WB Import - English audio, removable subtitles]



The Deadly Trackers began life as a novel by controversial American screenwriter and low-budget director Samuel Fuller and had already begun filming in Spain with Fuller as director and Richard Harris in the lead when Warner Bros. shut down production after seeing the first rushes from the set. The rights to the film were sold off, with Harris the only member of the original cast to stay with the project.

Harris plays a sheriff whose negotiation with a group of bank robbers, led now by Rod Taylor (relishing one of his last great film roles, in the same year he co-starred with John Wayne in The Train Robbers), results in the murder of his own family during their escape. The film then follows his pursuit of the robbers into Mexico and attempt to exact vengeance there, all the time at odds with a Mexican lawman (Al Lettieri).

A simplistic but intense, watchable vengeance drama, as one reviewer puts it this is “for fans of sweaty westerns”. Director Barry Shear brings his trademark gore to the film in buckets, while the talented leads - especially Taylor, giving an unusually dark and unpredictable performance as the villain - often overcome the deficient script. For fans of Rod Taylor, The Deadly Trackers is arguably a must-see. It’s also a chance to enjoy the talents of Lettieri, who had just starred alongside Marlon Brando (The Godfather) and Steve McQueen (The Getaway) and would shortly menace John Wayne in McQ, and died too young in 1977 of a heart-attack at the age of 47.

Spanish Region 2 PAL (fully UK-compatible) DVD, Impulso/MGM 2010, Cert. 15

Please note: This letterboxed widescreen transfer is best viewed on a ‘Zoom’ setting on your player or TV. Subtitles have been tested and confirmed removable, but it may be necessary to use player menus as well as disc menus to remove them.

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