May 24, 2021

DJANGO: A Heaping-Helping of Spaghetti...with Seconds

DJANGO (4K Ultra HD Review)
1966 / 92 min


Review by Mr. Paws😸

I’d be willing to wager there are a lot more people who’ve heard of the original Django than those who’ve actually seen it. A shame, really, because it’s arguably the best spaghetti western not made by Sergio Leone. 

Django doesn’t achieve the balletic artistry of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West. Nor is its titular character as instantly-iconic as the Man with No Name. And yeah, the film lacks an antagonist as enjoyably-vicious as Frank or Angel Eyes (though not for a lack of trying).

However, Django has a compelling - albeit familiar - story, and while director Sergio Corbucci would never be mistaken for an auteur, he knows his way around an action scene and isn’t afraid to pump up the body count. Django was extraordinarily violent for its time - and banned in Britain - shedding more blood than Leone ever dared. Critics condemning Bonnie & Clyde’s violence back then would have shit themselves had Django gotten a similarly wide release.

Now here it is in all its uncut glory, with Franco Nero as Django, out for widespread vengeance and armed to-the-nuts with a machine gun he drags around in a coffin. He arrives in a mud-soaked old town on the Mexican border, a “neutral zone” for ex-Confederate soldiers and mexican bandits who are in the midst of a long-running feud. Similar to the synopsis of Yojimbo (and, of course, A Fistful of Dollars), Django methodically manages to piss-off both sides. The film may not be great art, but it’s tons of dark, disreputable fun.

"I know what you're thinking...'Did he fire 1,256 shots or only five?'"
Also included is Texas, Adios, another Franco Nero western released the same year and touted as a sequel in some countries. In this one, Nero plays a sheriff who ventures down to Mexico to avenge his father’s murder. While fast-paced and fairly engaging, this one plays more like a traditional western and is therefore less memorable. Nero is more fun when playing morally-questionable characters. Still, this is one helluva bonus feature.

Django is presented in 4K Ultra HD, and for the most part, the video transfer is great. Texas, Adios is a standard Blu-ray, and while the overall picture is decent, there are a few glaring blemishes in certain scenes. The audio for both is 1.0 mono, which is serviceable, though nothing remarkable. Arrow Video has also put together another loaded Limited Edition package with a big batch of new & vintage bonus features for both films. However, the other bells & whistles - i.e. lobby cards, poster - are strictly Django-related (as they should be). Whether you’re a long-time fan or want to finally check out what you’ve been missing, this is a great collection.


TEXAS, ADIOS (Blu-ray) - Released the same year, but not a sequel.

55 PAGE BOOK (COVERS BOTH FILMS) - Essays: “The D is Silent: A Legend is Born,” “The Other Sergio of Italian Cinema;” “Cut to the Action: The Films of Ferdinando Baldi”; Selected contemporary; Cast, crew & restoration credits.

Django Kibbles:

INTERVIEWS - “Django Never Dies” (with Franco Nero); “Cannibal of the Wild West” (asst. Director Ruggero Deodato, most famous for Cannibal Holocaust); “Sergio, My Husband” (with the director’s wife, Nori Corbucci); “That’s My Life, Part 1” (with co-writer Franco Rossetti); “A Rock ‘n’ Roll Scriptwriter” (with co-writer Piero Vivarelli); “A Punch in the Face” (with stuntman Gilberto Galimberti).

AUDIO COMMENTARY - By critic/historian Stephen Prince.

“DISCOVERING DJANGO” - Appreciation by author Austin Fisher.

“AN INTRODUCTION TO DJANGO” - Archival featurette by director Alex Cox (Repo Man).

2-SIDED POSTER - Different versions of the Django poster.

REVERSIBLE COVER - With new and original artwork. We’re partial to the new one.




Texas, Adios Kibbles:

INTERVIEWS - “The Sheriff is in Town” (with Franco Nero); “Jump into the West” (with co-star Alberto Dell’Acqua); “That’s My Life, Part 2” (continuation of the interview with Franco Rossetti, who co-wrote this one, too).

“HELLO TEXAS!” - Appreciation by author Austin Fisher.





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