Monday, July 22, 2013

Django Volumes 1 & 2 DVD Review

Review by Biltmore Michael Ferguson.

This past spring a number of DVD companies rushed to take advantage of Quentin Tarantino's Oscar (R) winning Django Unchained, by releasing as much (NTSC) product as they could tie-in to the spaghetti-Django mythos. The first out of the gate was Timeless's pair of classy (LP) double bills featuring 'Django Kills Silently' & 'Django's Cut-Price Corpses' and 'A Man Called Django' & 'Django and Sartana's Showdown in the West'. Couldn't go wrong with those. Next Echo Bridge let loose a volley of spaghetti collections containing either 4, 8 12 or 20 (LP and EP) movie packs all in compressed form. Their titles are too numerous to repeat here. Then the BlueRay juggernaut 25 spaghetti's on a one-sided (EP) disk (!) entitled Westerns Unchained came forth from Millennium Entertainment. It contained a fistful of unreleased titles in English. Now we come to the latest spaghetti bonanza of essential Django movies presented in nifty double-disk 6 (LP) movie packs from a company called TGG (thegarrgroup). At first it looks like a great deal, in that it would contain a number of unreleased (NTSC) titles mixed in with older product. Once you start checking deeper you realize that the majority of their titles are available elsewhere in varying degrees of speed. All their films are presented in english with new superimposed titles that are at times confusing and border on the fraudulent. Now lets examine these two new collections. 

First up we have The Django Collection Volume 1. (011891522557 ) in LP speed. It includes Edward G. Muller's 'A Man Called Django' aka 'W Django' (see the above Timeless collection). Sergio Garrone's 'Hanging for Django' is 'No Room to Die' which appears to be new to DVD.  Since it's recorded in the LP speed, it would be better to wait for the Kino-Video blue-ray release that's coming this August. Next up is Lucio Fulci's 'Brute and the Beast' under the misleading Dutch VHS title 'Django, the Runner', with their title presented in bright red, while the actual print has washed out credits [Available from Wild East in SP]. 'Django, A Bullet for You' is not the expected retitling of Leon Klimovsy's 'Ballad of a Bounty Hunter', but his 'A Few Dollars for Django' [see Echo Bridge]. 'Return of Django' is the superimposed translation of the French title of Osvaldo Civirani's 'Son of Django' used here to fool the consumer [Also available from WildEast]. Lastly 'A Pistol for Django' is Paolo Solvay's 'Django's Cut-Price Corpses' under the translation of the film's Spanish title [Again see the Timeless release]. 

Next we have The Django Collection Volume 2. (011891522656) in LP speed which is the better of the two. It includes Romolo Guerrieri's '10,000 Dollars For Django' aka '10,000 Dollars Blood Money' [which is available from Timeless in the EP speed as '10,000 Dollars For A Massacre']. 'Django Defies Sartana' is not Pasquale Squitieri's 'Django Challenges Sartana' [Available from Wild East] as one would expect, but Miles Deem's 'Django and Sartana's Showdown in the West'. It was previously included in the Millenium B-R collection as 'Django Defies Sartana' [Available from Timeless under its original title in one of their double bills]. Max Hunter aka Massimo Pupillo's 'Django Kills Silently' stars George Eastman [see Timeless]. 'Django, the Avenger' is not Ferdinando Baldi's 'Texas Adios', which was called 'The Avenger', upon its UK release and Django, der Rächer' in Germany, but Sergio Garrone's 'The Strangers Gundown' (again with a superimposed new title) [Available from VCI in SP]. Next up is another Garrone title 'Kill Django, Kill First' aka 'Tequila', starring Jack Stuart which is new to DVD, but was included in the above mentioned B-R collection. Lastly they have the previously unreleased Paolo Solvay film 'Django, Adios', starring Brad Harris (probably from a VHS tape with a new title over top of an optically blurred image). It has the poorest picture quality of all the above mentioned movies.

Well there you have it. It's nice that the DVD/B-R manufactures are finally taking notice of us, but it would be great if they didn't try to take advantage of us. Not since the early days of VHS tapes have so many of our film's titles been misleadingly retitled and or recorded in the cheapest speeds as possible.
Reviewed by Biltmore Michael Ferguson ©.

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