Preparati la Bara! Review
From The Spaghetti Western Database
Get a coffin ready! (Preparati la bara!)
|GET A COFFIN READY! (1967)|
Ferdinando Baldi directs this dark tale of a man seeking revenge over the slaughter of his family. This movie is often confused for W Django because of the word Viva translating to W.
Terence Hill stars as Django, a guardian angel of death hangman who mourns the loss of his slaughtered family by saving those who have been wrongly accused & sentenced to death; All by the same gang that he is after. Horst Frank does his usual good job as David Barry, the resident evil politician who once employed Django & is responsible for his family’s death.
While Django & his family (I know what you’re thinking) transports a wagon full of gold, Django is shot & his family slaughtered. The next scene we see is Django seemingly burying his own coffin. This is one of many bleak cemetery scenes that embody the film’s beautiful imagery.
Django, clad in black, fakes the deaths of the accused by rigging a hidden leather harness, giving them the appearance of being hanged. Only to come back after dark, cut them down & place them in a secret encampment. Django needs the help of his squad of ‘phantoms’ to settle his score with Barry…in exchange for their freedom. Similar to, Greek Mythology, when Zeus let’s some minor gods out of Hades to help him fight the Titans. These men get antsy, led by an evil Garcia (played by SW regular Jose Torrez) who learns of his wife’s impending hanging for supposedly abetting his deeds. Django lets loose his minions to scare the hell out of those who have wronged them (who ironically all work for Lucas, Barry‘s head badass). But the inevitable happens. The appearances of these undead eventually lead back to Django who receives a pretty good ass whoopin’ for his deeds.
While obviously changed by the loss of his family, Hill’s Django rears his trademark smile in just enough scenes to let you know that under his scarred facade, he still has some hope. This is where Hill’s take on Django differs from Corbucci’s lead. Maybe by the time we see Franco Nero dragging his coffin, that side of him is long gone. This movie is as close to one gets to an actual Django affiliate movie, subtly suggesting that these are the events that take place before the Django we meet in Corbucci‘s classic. While that may be a stretch, this is one of the best movies to be associated in name to the original.
Preparati has an underlying irony that plays well. Django even gives the money he makes from his executions to the ones he supposedly hangs. The finale is a rare mix of duel & mass slaughter that fulfils on all levels. The film is not without its flaws though. Garcia‘s waffling ways seems out of place & Django’s plan to have Lucas’s clan confess to the Governor is silly. But it does not deter from this bleak joyride of a classic. One of the darker films in the genre that can be categorized as ’gothic’. in the vein of And God Said..& Strangers Gundown.