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Monday, 28 July 2014

The Good, The Bad and the downright confusing.

I watched a double bill of spaghetti westerns last night, and the viewing was a shock for me. The first film was Red Sun directed by Terence (James Bond) Young and starring Charles Brosnon which I didn't expect to enjoy, but thought was excellent. And the second was Django Kill which is a well regarded movie, the DVD even had the deluxe treatment with a fawning introduction from Alex Cox, and yet I thought it was sheer horseshit. Danjo Kill ( Se Sie Vivo Spara If You Live, Shoot!) may have a cult following and be considered a classic but it's a terrible movie that makes no sense at all, and is violent to the extent of being pornographic. Most of the acting is  OTT and on times amateurish. WTF, are the critics talking about?  Django Kill - psychedelic, political western my ares! More like a pretentious steaming turd.

Red Sun (1971) first - as I say I wasn't expecting much from this but I was surprised and found it an excellent western with a tense climax in a cane field which can stand alongside the endings of any classic western. Directed by Terence Young, the man who kicked off the James Bond franchise, and starring Charles Bronsnon, Toshiro Mifune, Alan Delon and an often naked Ursella Andress this is a fine and stylish traditional style western served up in the European style. Strictly speaking it's  a spaghetti western, but it owes more to John Ford than Sergio Leone.

Brosnon really looks the part here and teaming him up with a Samurai warrior is an excellent twist on the western buddy sub-genre. The dashing Alan Delon plays a stereotypical black hatted bad guy but he does it with such relish that he seemed very real. And Ursella Andress provides the glamour as well as some partial nudity (Gee, she was one hot lady). Basically she's playing a more extreme version of her Honey Rider character from the first James Bond movie, but she delivers several challenging scenes with real class. And as for Toshito Mifune as the fish out of water Samurai, he is absolutely brilliant.

There is some comedy, but not at the expense of story or action, and as I mentioned the climax is exhilarating and directed with real flair. Western fans will enjoy this movie and I'll certainly be watching it again.

Django Bores
Now Django Kill (1967) - the plot seems to be that the stranger (Django I presume) seems to have come back from the dead and is in town killing, slaughtering and raping for no apparent reason. And he's one of the good guys - the baddies are something else indeed and even the townsfolk are a bunch of sadistic bastards.

The movie features male rape, cricifixtion, a dying man being torn apart for the gold bullets in his torso - now I'm no prude and I can handle extreme violence in my westerns, but this was just stupid. And the blood on screen is the most fake looking I've ever seen.

Noted film critic and director Alex Cox thinks this film is a flawed masterpiece as do many of the online reviews, but I found this film boring and stupid and hit it off less than half way in. What a load of stewed bollocks!


Steve M said...

I've always enjoyed Red Sun and after reading yor review have decided I need to watch it again.

Haven't seen Django Kill so can't comment.

Oscar said...

I say, Jack, you do write a bold. straight-forward, honest review! I haven't seen either movie, but I always liked Bronson.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

I loved the original Django movie - one of my favorite Italian westerns but Django Kill was aweful. Mind you the movie was nowt to do with the original Django, Same with many of the other Django movies. A few are excellent though and one or two are good but most are bad.