The Film (5/5)
With the exception of Sergio Leone's films, spaghetti westerns have been severely underrepresented on Blu-ray. The tide is beginning to change with Blue Underground's release of Sergio Corbucci's spaghetti western classic Django. Django is probably Sergio Corbucci's best known film, and is very likely his best.
Sergio Corbucci's Django is one of the most grim and violent westerns of it's time. The film sort of feels like the Ramones to Sergio Leone's Led Zeppelin. It's a short (91 minutes according to the packaging) fun ride, that packs a punch. That is not to say that the film has no depth to it, Corbucci has crafted a great entertaining film that ends up working on a multitude of levels. It is absolutely one of the finest of all Spaghetti westerns, and is grounded by an excellent performance by Franco Nero in the titular role.
Django tells the story of a former Union soldier named Django, who drags his coffin wherever he goes. When we meet him, he is observing the torture of a prostitute by a group of Mexicans. These Mexicans quickly are dispatched by a group of red hooded cronies who work under the local tyrant Major Jackson(Eduardo Fajardo). Unfortunately, for her, these red hoods only appear to have saved her, and instead continue on with the torture and execution of the prostitute. Django being the hero of the story, kills them, and takes the girl back to town.
It turns out that this town is caught in the middle of a feud between 2 rival factions. The red hooded gang presided over by Major Jackson, and a group of Mexican militants who are trying to gather the resources to invade Mexico and start their revolution. Django sides with the Mexicans, but only to pursue his own desire, gold. The Mexicans need it to buy gatling guns to start their revolution, and Django knows where to get it. The heist is successful, but Django ends up getting screwed over by the Mexicans which leads him down a path betrayal, revenge, and a series of double crossings culminating in one final shootout in a cemetery.
I would like to start by saying Django has never looked this good on home video. Blue Underground's blu-ray of Django presents the film in an amazing 1:66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer in 1080p. This is a grainy transfer, of a grainy movie, and as such does a good jobs of accurately representing what the film would look like projected on film. The level of detail is fantastic, the boost in clarity that HD offers, does wonders for the film.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD mono in both Italian and English. Both tracks are dubbed, as the Italian film industry of the period did not record on-set sound for many films. The sound on both tracks are solid, dialogue, music, and sound effects are clear throughout.
Blue Underground has presented Django with a pretty good set of extras, the first major extra is a series of interviews with Assistant Director Ruggero Deodato and star Franco Nero entitled Django: The One and Only, This is followed up with a 2002 short film entitled the Last Pistolero which stars Franco Nero. The most substantial extra on the disc is a short 38 minute documentary entitled Western Italian Style, which interviews Enzo G. Castellari, Sergio Corbucci, and other luminaries of the spaghetti western movement. The disc is closed out by 2 trailers for Django, one of which features an introduction by Nero.
Django is one of the greatest spaghetti westerns of all-time. It is a grim, unrelenting, and violent, it is also a Hell of a good time. The Blu-ray is phenomenal, the transfer is better looking than this film has ever been before, and the sound is similarly fantastic. There's only a handful of extras, but they are both interesting and informative. This comes highly recommended to cult movie and spaghetti western fans.