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Django's Cut Price Corpses Review

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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The first of three westerns by former actor and editor Luigi Batzella, shot back to back with Quelle sporche anime dannate, released later the same year (1). It's universally acknowlegded that Batzella's movies belong to the lower echelons of the genre, but some think this is his best effort ... A man called Django - a feared bounty killer - is on the trail of the Cortez brothers, who have robbed the bank in Silver City and kidnapped a woman. Django is joined by a cardsharp named Fulton, hired by the bank to retrieve the stolen money, and a loud brute called Pickwick, whose saddle was stolen by the brothers. He's very fond of it, even though he doesn't ride a horse. And then there's Donna Dolores, a saloon lady who seems to know more about a hidden goldmine as well as a necklace Django is interested in.

The script is a grab bag of story elements including mysterious objects and ambiguous characters (What's the meaning of this necklace? Why is Pickwick so fond of his saddle? Who is this Django anyway?) and it's all up to viewers to discover out what it's all about - only to find out that they have been duped: the film eventually comes up with a few character twists (rather than plot twists) creating a sort of 'all's well that ends well' (except for those shot and already buried in the coffins ordered by Django).

The locations seem randomly picked and look far too green to suggest a setting near the Mexican border. With its cheap production values and Jeff Cameron playing a Django of sorts the movie feels very Fidani'esque, which leaves us with the question if the movie belongs to the category 'so bad that it's good'. In other words: Is it fun or is it just crap? Forum member and Fidani expert Bad Lieutenant said this about it:

"If you like Fidani's westerns, this one comes easily recommended. The opposite is of course also true. If you dislike Miles Deem's work, do not watch this one."

Well, a couple of things are fun, others are plain stupid, some are both. The best joke is the idea to turn one of the four Cortez brothers into a Sister, a detail overlooked by all, even though she is played by hip-throwing Esmeralda Barros. I also liked this guy Pickwick, a sort of poor man's version of Bud Spencer's Bambino, who uses his precious saddle as a blunt weapon to keep his opponents - or their horses! - at bay. He also hits a guy on the cranium in one scene, to underline his likeness to Trinity's little big brother.

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The Ladies

If Batzella had no eye for locations, he sure had a fine eye for the ladies: Italian model Angela Portulari (Donna Dolores) had represented her country at the Miss World contest in 1956. Dominique Badou (the kidnapped girl) had appeared on the covers of various French magazines and her frail charm makes her an ideal damsel in distress. Brazilian actress Esmeralda Barros had started as a nightclub dancer in her own country and had ended second in a local beauty contest; her sultry looks attracted the attention of European film makers and she would appear in several spaghetti westerns, usually portraying a lovely señorita. After her career in Europe, she appeared in the Brazilian version of Playboy in 1976.


Note:

  • (1) Marco Giusti, Dizionario del western all'italiana

DVD: For a review of the German DVD, see: Django Doublefeature Vol 2 (Great Movies) DVD Review


Cast: Jeff Cameron, John Desmont, Esmeralda Barros, Dominique Badou, Angela Portulari, Gengher Gatti, Edilio Kim, William Mayor, Franco Daddi, Mario de Rosa - Music: Vasili Kojucharov - Dir: Luigi Batzella

see Database Page


--By Scherpschutter

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