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The Big Gundown

A spaghetti feast


Western

Rod Lott
Italian-made yet America-set, The Big Gundown is the second spaghetti Western in a row I've seen in which a man is silenced by having a soapy shaving brush shoved into his mouth. For the record, the first was the recently re-released My Name Is Nobody, a 1973 film as fine as this 1966 one.
 
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Name Is Nobody

All good, no bad, no ugly.


Western

Rod Lott
Thanks to his Academy Award-winning swan song of On Golden Pond, we don't automatically associate Henry Fonda with Westerns, but the legendary actor made nearly two dozen of them, perhaps none more more memorable than Sergio Leone's 1968 epic, Once Upon the Time in the West.
 
Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Gallowwalkers

Like ‘Blade’ with a badge.


Western

Rod Lott
One of the most fun movies of the summers isn’t even in theaters. It’s Gallowwalkers, a weird, wild Western starring Wesley Snipes, freshly sprung from prison after serving three years for failure to file income tax returns. The lesson: Even Blade can’t mess with the IRS!
 
Friday, July 26, 2013

Grand Duel

To catch a Cleef.


Western

Rod Lott
Lee Van Cleef enjoyed a secondary career in Italy cranking out spaghetti Westerns, with little regard to quality. However, 1972’s Grand Duel — aka The Big Showdown — is deserving of its Grand label. No wonder Quentin Tarantino borrowed its sweeping theme song by Luis Bacalov for Kill Bill; you'll recognize it in two notes.
 
Monday, May 20, 2013

Dollar for the Dead

Once upon a time on TNT.


Western

Rod Lott
Perhaps to horn in on the expected Django Unchained action, Warner Archive has dug into its vaults to give a spaghetti Western a second helping of viewers. It found a unlikely offering in Dollar for the Dead, a 1988, made-for-cable effort starring Emilio Estevez. You could look at it like a Young Guns spin-off if you wish.
 
Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Man Called Django! / Django and Sartana's Showdown in the West / Django Kills Silently / Django's Cut Price Corpses

Double up on your Django! (And remember: The 'D' is silent.)


Western

Rod Lott
Before Django gets Unchanged this Christmas via Quentin Tarantino, get schooled on the spaghetti-Western bounty hunter through a pair of double-feature discs from Timeless Media Group. (Spoiler: He's neither a slave nor African-American.) That's four films total for those of you who can't do math, and all but one are hitting DVD officially for the first time.
 
Friday, November 30, 2012

The Wrath of God

Thou shalt not screw with Robert Mitchum.


Western

Rod Lott
What a kick it is to see Robert Mitchum biting into a stogie and laying waste to a room with a machine gun. Because, really, how often does a man of the cloth do that? No wonder the 1972 quasi-Western is titled The Wrath of God. The film takes place in a South American town so brutal and dismal that, as one character reasons, "If God had wanted to give the world an enema, he'd've stuck the nozzle in here."
 
Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Five Man Army

Take 'Five.'


Western

Rod Lott
Before he became Itay’s master of horror, Dario Argento knocked out a few screenplays, including one of Sergio Leone's legendary Western epics, Once Upon a Time in the West. Lesser-known is 1969's The Five Man Army. That's too bad, because it brings an “international all-star team” approach to the spaghetti Western, and doesn’t forget the all-aces Ennio Morricone score!
 
Monday, September 24, 2012

Ten Thousand More Ways to Die: Spaghetti Western Collection

Saddle up ... for, oh, about 18 hours.


Western

Rod Lott
Anyone who believes public-domain DVD box sets don't contain any good movies, take note: You're dead wrong.
 
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Last Challenge / The Hanging Tree

Fairly nice shootin', Tex.


Western

Rod Lott
Two Westerns from the days when Hollywood relied on them pull into the DVD-R outpost from Warner Archive. Neither is essential, but its wide landscapes and reliable tropes make for comfortable-enough watching.
 
Monday, July 30, 2012

Django, Kill! (If You Live Shoot!)

Viewer, watch!


Western

Rod Lott
Is there a title more intriguing yet baffling than the punctuation-heavy Django, Kill! (If You Live Shoot!)? Don't answer that. The important thing is just that the 1967 Italian cult favorite now has been unleashed uncensored on Blu-ray from Blue Underground.
 
Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grand Duel / Keoma

Two helpings of spaghetti, please!


Western

Rod Lott
Mill Creek Entertainment offers another "Spaghetti Western Double Feature" by pairing 1972's Grand Duel and 1976's Keoma on one Blu-ray. Although both already are available on the company's Ten Thousand Ways to Die: The Spaghetti Western Collection on DVD — not to mention a dozen other labels' public-domain discs — the prints here are so clear that fans of the genre should consider the small investment.
 
Monday, June 4, 2012

A Bullet for the General

¡Viva la revolucion!


Western

Rod Lott
Set right smack in the Mexican Revolution, A Bullet for the General unloads roughly several thousand rounds of ammo for one explosive epic of a spaghetti Western starring two of the genre's faves, Gian Maria Volonté and Klaus Kinski, both graduates of Sergio Leone's classic For a Few Dollars More.
 
Monday, May 14, 2012

Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938

Saddle up for a 10-hour trip way back in time.


Western

Rod Lott
Say “Western” in terms of movies, and one of three subgenres come to mind:
 
Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heroes of the Old West

How’s 22 hours suit you, pardner?


Western

Rod Lott
Not a fan of Westerns? Or are you just not sure?
 
Friday, August 26, 2011
 
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