Director: Sergio Corbucci
Lead: Franco Nero, Jose Canalejas, Jose Bodalo
A coffin-dragging gunslinger finds himself in the middle of two feuding factions in a struggle for control of a town.
So I have to dispel some preconceived notions about this film. It is in no way similar to Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”. It’s more of a “Fistfull of Dollars” clone than anything. The only thing the two movies have in common is the intro song and the name of the lead character.
So on to the film. It’s pretty outstanding. It’s got the feel of a late night exploitation film rolled into a spaghetti western. It’s pretty vicious, especially the ear cutting scene which is (in my opinion) more vicious than the Reservoir Dogs scene. Where do you think Quentin got the idea? Django is an excellent character, he is a man of few words and he delivers some punishing mayhem. You can definitely see the other Sergio, Sergio Leone’s influence in the character and the story that Corbucci is telling. Corbucci took the Spaghetti Western genre with this film and turned it into a bloody, violent, midnight screening film that critics hated. This film is hard to review because it’s just so cool. It’s not that great of a film and it’s not that bad of a film. It’s just a hearty piece of cinematic entertainment. It’s brutal, violent and really freaking cool. Django drags a coffin around with him at all times, at first, you think, “This is weird, I don’t know about this.” but then he opens the coffin. My reaction was a dorky little movie nerd smile. Then the end, man…. my dorky movie nerd self went crazy, I was watching the movie alone and I still yelled. This is an extremely watchable movie.
I’ve been doing some research on the Italian western genre lately in an effort to find out what makes them different than the American genre. So far I’ve almost enjoyed the raw hopelessness that the Italians incorporate into their films. American westerns seem to glorify their villains and heroes and the towns that they pass through, but Spaghetti Westerns take their characters and rough them up and add some chips to their shoulder. They are all troubled. Every hero is an anti-hero and their representation of the west is extremely bleak, they turn the country into another character. I’ve found that Italian westerns are much more brutal and much more fun to watch than American Westerns, Django simply gave me more evidence to support this idea.