Search the Cinema Head Cheese Archives!

June 19, 2012

Movie Review: Django Kill... If You Live, Shoot! (Blu-ray)

When Sergio Corbucci’s fantastic Spaghetti western Django bursted on to the scene with its violent story about a quiet coffin- carrying, vengeance seeking mystery man called Django (Franco Nero – Keoma, Companeros). Standing out as top-notch entry in the genre, Django’s popularity fueled many sequels that include the film I’m reviewing today, Giulio Questi’s Django Kill!... If You Live, Shoot. There’s also a remake in the works, but I’ll leave that for another. The folks at Blue Underground released have now taken it upon themselves to release this very graphic and incredibly bizarre Pastaland delight.

Django Kill’s title may suggest the lead character’s name is Django, but it’s not, it’s actually "The Stranger" (Tomas Milian - Emergency Squad, Don’t Torture a Duckling).  After a gold robbery goes terribly wrong The Stranger and his group of Mexican brothers are slaughtered by their supposed partners in this crime, the Oak’s group, led by none other than Mr. Oaks (Piero Lulli – My Dear Killer).

Unbeknownst to Oaks, he didn’t quite kill The Stranger. After crawling out of a dessert ditch, our anti-hero bumps into some Indians who nurse him back to health.  Soon The Stranger finds Oaks, and exacts his bloody revenge while visiting a town known simply as "Unhappy Place". This is right where Django Kill shifts into a seriously creepy mood as the town is full of folks just as crazy as Oaks.  Here The Stranger meets the gold-hungry Mr. Sorrow (Roberto Camardiel). It isn't long before the two become foes.
Mild Spoilers*

Django Kill is a lot more than just a violent Euro-Western, it’s also very trippy in several scenes – most notably when The Stranger starts his healing process via his Indian pals. I really liked some of the horror elements: bats nip away at The Strangers bound Christ-like torso and of course the usually truncated gore that is thankfully here in all its glory.

In this uncut Blu-ray you get see Oak’s body have The Stranger’s gold bullets plucked from his torso. It’s actually surprisingly realistic for a low-budget 60’s Western.  One unlucky fellow gets his lovely mane of hair scalped from his noggin. This is exceptionally gory as well, just more in an H.G Lewis' The Gruesome Twosome sorta way.

The image overall is very solid. The color is quite rich and at the same time picture maintains the dirty feel  you need when taking in this true grinder. The extras from the previously release DVD are all here. Nothing new here, but they’re still a great watch if you haven’t seen them.

Django Kill is a hell of a lot of fun if you like your Westerns violent and downbeat. If you enjoyed the weirdness and excessive gore of Cutthroats Nine and El Topo this up your alley. Recommended.

(Screencaps Courtesy of Rock Shock Pop)