Welcome to my latest DVD review, offered at least a week too late. And if you’re wondering why: be glad you’re reading this and you don’t have to listen to my voice, as I’m still sick.
Equally sick, be it in a different meaning, is the movie that’s on review today: Django Kill: If you live shoot!, which was called Se sei vivo spara when it was released. I’ve already written about the success of Corbucci’s Django and the stream of ‘sequels’ that popped up shortly afterwards.
This is one of them: the producers changed the title (much to the dismay of the director), but for once something good came out of something bad. Even though Django Kill can still not be called famous, the Django suffix gave the movie the extra boost it deserved. Do remember that in the late 60s several euro westerns were released every week and it became hard to distinguish the handful of great movies between the hundreds of releases.
Django Kill: If You Live Shoot is a good euro western and the British release by Ardent (which was released in 2004, but completely slipped by me at the time) is the best version to buy. Here’s why.
Giulio Questi is the director of Se Sei Vivo Spara and he’s mainly known for two movies, the other being the equally weird giallo Death Laid An Egg.
Tomas Milian plays the lead and it definitely helped the producers that his character in the movie was either nameless or just called ‘The Stranger’. This made it so much easier to redub the character Django.
Fair enough, though this movie has nothing to do with Corbucci’s classic movie, of all the fake Django sequels this is the movie that resembles Django the most. It’s an incredibly cruel and violent movie: you’ll see a lot of people being killed, tortured and more of that unpleasantness.
One scene that had many censors worried at the time was the one where people realize someone has been shot with golden bullets and they tear the (still living) man apart to get their hands on the gold.
Ardent DVD offered the British audience the movie in its uncut glory, a very first for the British audience who probably heard about the movie when Alex Cox introduced the movie in BBC2’s Forbidden season in 1997. (Though the scene with the bullets couldn’t be shown in the film, you could see (most of) it in Cox’s introduction.)
The good news is that Alex Cox was willing to do another introduction for this movie, especially for the DVD release. This introduction can only be found on this edtion, which is why the British DVD manages to beat Django Kill‘s American release by Blue Underground.
Also present on the Ardent release are an exclusive interview with the director and co-star Ray Lovelock and a set of trailers for other Argent western releases, as well as Se Sei Vivo Spara‘s trailer.
The cut scenes have been reinserted and you have to know where they were to find them. The movie was restored from the original negative materials and a splendid job was done.
This, of course, means that people who aren’t familiar to Italian cult movies, will be able to complain that the blood is far too red to be believable. We, however, like our blood as red as can be.
Django Kill is a very good movie: if people disagree, shoot!
P.S. As a bonus, here’s Alex Cox introducing the film for a spaghetti western series on ITV4 (with thanks to Cultextras):