Today: February 25, 2024

Cult Spaghetti Westerns

A very early contender for one of the best physical media releases of 2024 comes in the form of a fantastic triple-bill of cult spaghetti westerns from CultFilms. This beautiful Blu-ray set contains Sergio Corbucci’s ground-breaking Django (1966), alongside lesser-known staples of the genre Keoma (1976) and A Bullet for the General (1967), from Enzo G. Castellari and Damiano Damiani respectively. These three films together create an incredible overview of the styles of the spaghetti western movement, and compliment each other perfectly.

All three films look extraordinary, too – Django especially, which is presented from an all-new 4K scan and also available as an individual UHD release. But perhaps the biggest draw here for film aficionados is the included documentary Django & Django. This feature-length testimonial doc sees Quentin Tarantino recount Django’s enormous influence on his career, in his usual excitable and passionate way. The man’s knowledge is staggering.

A wealth of special features rounds out the set, alongside three reversible art-cards, reversible artwork, and a beautiful slipcover housing the lot. This is a beautiful set that reminds us the spaghetti western movement didn’t start and end with Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. These three hidden gems are ripe for rediscovery, and these stunning restorations make that all the more enticing for newcomers. An absolutely essential set.

DISC 1: ‘DJANGO’

Sergio Corbucci’s ground-breaking Django is one of the greatest and most influential Westerns ever. Seminal, yet banned for decades, its aesthetics of visual cruelty transcended the genre and shaped today’s film-making language. Its major influence is declared by Quentin Tarantino – among many Hollywood directors – and seen in all his films.

DISC 2: ‘KEOMA, THE VIOLENT BREED’

Acknowledged as the genre swansong, this late Western masterpiece is directed by Enzo G. Castellari whom Tarantino calls ‘his maestro’. Screen-legend Franco Nero reprises his relentless deadly gunslinger persona, now as the eponymous Keoma who, returning to his hometown, finds that it is now ruled by a gang of sadistic killers. This gritty no-holds-barred western is presented from 2K-restored materials, showcasing its iconic set-piece striking action-cinematography as never before.

DISC 3: ‘A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL aka QUIEN SABE?’

A covert US assassin is sent to kill a General who is one of the leaders of the Mexican Revolution. Directed by Damiano Damiani (Amityville II) and written by Franco Solinas (Oscar nominated for writing ‘The Battle for Algiers’) ‘A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL‘ established the politically-imbued ‘Zapata-Western’ genre; it is presented in superb high definition finally doing justice to its lavish widescreen cinematography and it is elevated by the exuberant music from Oscar-winner Ennio Morricone.

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