Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Django Kill (1967, Giulio Questi)
First Viva Django, now Django Kill. You are probably wondering when the hell I'm going to get around to reviewing the the original Django. Well, I don't know. When I get around to it. Until then, you are stuck with my reviews of the (in name only) sequels. This one I happened upon shortly after seeing the original Django. It was supposedly one of the best (aka one of the only watchable) of the many Django films. Like most Django films, this re-titled with the name Django so people would think it was a sequel (after the original's success) and see it. There are no characters in it named Django. Sounds stupid I know, but this film is far from just a silly ripoff.
Tomas Milian stars in Django Kill as The Stranger (odd name, but then again so is Django). He plays a half breed who survives the massacre of his group of bandits after robbing a bunch of gold. He is found by two Indians who think he has come back from the dead (or maybe he has, it's not very clear) and become his companions to retrieve the stolen gold. The Stranger stumbles into a town where the head of the gold thieves is being hunted by the towns people. Another group of bandits, who happen to be gay, hear about the gold and kidnap the mayor's son (Ray Lovelock), who kills himself after they make him their bitch. The Stranger decides to avenge the boy's death and get his gold back.
Django Kill (aka If You Live, Shoot!) is one of the strangest spaghetti westerns I've ever seen. It's as violent and gory as a horror film, depraved as an exploitation film and even has bits of psychedelia mixed in. The part with the "horse bomb" looks like something out of the acid freakout scene in Easy Rider. Overall, it's a very interesting film and very watchable for its weirdness. Unfortunately it's a little overlong at almost two hours, its only real drawback. Milian is great as the hero and the rest of the cast play their parts well. There are a few really gory scenes that are atypical for such an early spaghetti western but they just add something different to the whole experience. There was one scene that made me laugh involving super closeups of vampire bats and an iguana that are used to torture The Stranger, but even it's sheer absurdness didn't really seem out of place. Overall, a very original and jaw dropping film, unlike any other SW out there.