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Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! DVD review (US)

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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Review of the Blue Underground release of Django Kill... If you live, shoot! (US, Region 0).

The Film

Co-writer/Director Giulio Questi's one and only Spaghetti Western and a film not intended to be a sequel, the "Django" title was added later for marketing purposes. During the Second World War a 19-year-old Questi had joined a band of 30 armed men and spent 2 years fighting in the mountains of Italy as a partisan. This ultimately pessimistic film metaphorically shows the experiences of cruelty, horror and death both Questi and Co-writer/Editor Franco Arcalli witnessed during the partisan war, albeit within a western genre movie.
Greed splits a gang of gold thieves, miraculously surviving the ensuing massacre "The Stranger" (Tomas Milian) sets out after his ex comrades for vengeance. A trail which leads him to a town "The Unhappy Place" where he discovers their sadistically murdered bodies. "The Stranger" finds himself caught between the towns two rival factions battling for the stolen gold. The townspeople led by a storekeeper called "Hagerman" (Francisco Sanz) who keeps his wife imprisoned and "The Muchachos" a gang of black uniformed homosexual Mexican bandits mounted on pure white horses, led by their adoring leader "Mr Sorrow" (Roberto Camardiel).
Even though the movie was filmed in the mountains near Madrid, with the desert scenes shot on a construction site 30 miles outside of the city, the locations are extraordinarily believable. Arcalli employs bizarre editing effects such as scenes shot upside down and super-rapid cuts only 3 or 4 frames in duration. The films music score was composed by Ivan Vandor, the main title being used at times rather randomly within the movie.
As Tomas Milian himself puts it "if there is a CULT MOVIE, in a CULT SECT, ok it's this one, this is THE CULT OF CULT."

Opinion

Not so much a story line, more a bombardment of scenes each one more shocking than the last. Perhaps one of the films most haunting occurs during the townspeople's attack on the gold thieves. In close up a gun is held to the head of a terrified thief, the trigger is pulled only for the gun to misfire, with the thief now paralysed with fear the trigger is pulled again this time killing him. The most sadistically violent Spaghetti Western ever made, a disturbing gothic tale, with the most surreal ending (complete with commentary from Mr Sorrow's pet parrot) ever witnessed in the genre. Se Sei Vivo Spara is a fantastic Spaghetti Western and one of my personal favourites.

DVD

This DVD restores the films two infamous scenes "gold digging" and "scalping" that were cut from the Italian original for the US and UK markets. These scenes were never dubbed into English so they have been reinserted with their original Italian dialogue and English subtitles.

  • Languages: Dolby Digital English: Mono, Dolby Digital Italian: Mono, Optional English Subtitles
  • Picture: Widescreen 2.35:1/16:9, NTSC Region 0, Colour, 117 Minutes
  • Extras: 26 Chapter Selections; Django, Tell! - 21-minute documentary, Interviews with Co-Writer/Director Guilio Questi, Stars Tomas Milian and Ray Lovelock; Theatrical Trailer; Poster and Still Gallery; Talent Bios - Giulio Questi & Tomas Milian

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Verdict

Blue Underground has done a definitive job, presenting the most complete version of this film from its original Italian negative materials. The picture and sound quality are excellent with little discernible difference between it and the UK PAL counterpart. The advantage this US DVD has over the UK version is the option to watch the film in Italian with English subtitles. The disc has a printed full colour label illustration and comes attractively packaged in a transparent Amaray style keep case, the chapter listing being visible on the back of the front cover when the box is open.

--The Halitosis Kid 14:07, 9 December 2006 (CET)

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