|Django Kill (1967)
| Stomp Visual (Australia). All Regions, NTSC. 2.35:1 (16:9 enhanced). English DD 2.0 Mono, Italian DD 2.0 Mono. English Subtitles. 117 minutes
Guilo Questi's If You Live, Shoot! is a
strange beast, a spaghetti western that defies every
expectation of the genre but faithfully retains
all that we love about it. Renamed Django
Kill for English speaking audiences to
cash in on the success of Sergio Corbucci's
1966 classic Django; the film made
in 1967, is way ahead of its time in many ways.
|Director: Guilo Questi
Starring: Thomas Milan,
Marilou Tolo, Roberto Carmardiel, Raymond Lovelock
Screenplay: Franco Arcalli,
Benedetto Benedetti, Maria del Carmen Martínez
Román and Guilo Questi
AKA: Se sei vivo spara
The hallucinatory imagery Questi uses to tell
his story of revenge is completely out there,
unlike anything ever seen in a Western with the
possible exception of Alejandro Jodorowsky's
Mexican western El Topo. His
combination of new wave editing techniques, horror
movie clichés and over the top violence
leaves the viewer exhausted. The editing in some
sequences is rapid fire to say the least, every
4 seconds the image changes often throwing in
flash frames of seemingly inconsequential images
recalling the editing style of the late great
Russ Meyer. The violence is graphic and unpleasant;
an Indian is gorily scalped and in one painful
sequence an almost dead bandit body is ripped
to pieces as the desperate doctor tries to remove
every golden bullet from his body.
The film follows the tortured life of a stranger
who is double crossed by his gang and left for
dead in an early grave. Brought back from the
brink of death by two Indians he heads to a small
town called The Unhappy Place where the gang is
holed up. By the time he arrives he discovers
that the townsfolk are even more desperate and
evil than his fellow gang members who have all
been hanged. He is left to fend for himself in
a town full of blood thirsty, gold crazed psychos.
Thomas Milan is great as the stranger; the star
of Fulci's Don't Torture a
Duckling and Four Gunmen of the
Apocalypse, along with the western Companeros and the debatable Caligula 2,
exudes that star quality that so few have.
The use of horror imagery is not always successful;
the site of his sand covered hand rising from
the dead looks fabulous but the scenes where a
stripped stranger, crucified on a cross, is tortured
red by vampire bats is just silly. The stock footage
of Fruit bats and the odd vampire bat that never
appear even close to our hero doesn't work
Written by the people who brought you Bertolucci's 1900 and Last Tango in
Paris, this western has some Italian
cinematic heavyweights in the driving seat and
apart from a few "special moments"
it shows. This is classy stuff and a sure fire
hit for anyone who thinks that the western is
a dead genre.
|A beautiful transfer, the image is razor sharp,
bright and colourful. The stumbled close-ups as
the gunslingers eye each other up before each gunfight
are crystal clear.
|The soundtrack is ok. The mono track is effective
without pushing any limits. Both the English and
Italian soundtracks are available.
|Django Tell! features interviews with Thomas
Milan, Guilo Questi and Ray Lovelock. They talk
about the films name (no one likes Django Kill!),
the violence and making the film in Madrid, giving
a dry but informative insight into the making
of the film.
You also get the trailer and a very nice gallery
of posters and stills.
|Excellent stuff; one of the finest spaghetti westerns
around, its eerily strange tone and outrageously
violent moments keep it apart from the stately epics
of Leone and give us something new and vibrant.
You obviously can't compare it to masterworks
like Once Upon a Time in the West and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly but its combination of exploitation thrills and
cowboys makes for a marvellously fun watch, highly