Django Kill - If You Live, Shoot!
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Tomas Milian (TRAFFIC, RUN MAN RUN) stars as a half-breed bandit double-crossed and left for dead who rises from the grave to seek his revenge. But when his quest leads to a bizarre town called 'The Unhappy Place,' he is plunged into an odyssey of gruesom
"SHOCKINGLY VIOLENT AND SURREAL... A MASTERPIECE OF THE GOTHIC WESTERN!" -- Spaghetti Cinema
"So Extreme In Every Way - It Is One Of The Handful Of Great Italian Westerns!" -- Alex Cox, Director of REPO MAN and SID & NANCY
- Django, Tell! (interviews with director/co-writer Giulio Questi, stars Tomas Milian and Ray Lovelock)
- Poster and still Gallery
- Linter Notes by "Spaghetti Cinema" editor William Connolly
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I couldn't justify a 2 star or 4 star rating because the lack of quality on the dubbing really dragged this movie across the same parched desert that almost killed Milian's character. But Blue Underground has been doing some fabulous work to keep the lesser- known movies from going into total obscurity, and actually, I'm glad they kept "If You Live, Shoot!" IYLS is also called, "Django Kill," which was only named that way because the distributors wanted to ride the coattails of the previous successes of "Django." However, IYLS has NOTHING to do with Django. At all.
Yet I liked this movie. I've actually watched this more than the "Django" DVD I also have. There's something about the structure of the movie's dark nature that intrigues me. The one scene I suggest you watch is when the bandits first enter the town. I am still floored by it, especially with the music that accompanies the scene. It can be quite shocking to many people, so be forewarned. If you are easily shocked, I suggest you read the slight spoiler in the following graph. If you have a tough side but don't like spoilers, it's your option to read or not to, but I suggest you skip the slight spoiler.
*****VERY SLIGHT SPOILER***** Skip graph, it's a spoiler nonetheless.... The scene starts when the group enters the bizarre town after a rough travel through a desert. A naked child stands with his back to the camera, obviously urinating. A little girl pulls the hair of a boy, and in the English version is heard saying, "Give up. Give up." Play it with the Italian track to discover that she is actually spitting in the boy's face 3 times. Also, a relative pins a young girl to the porch using his boots as she pleads for him to let her go. That whole scene, up to the point where the group reaches the tavern blew me away. It didn't help either when townspeople discovered gold in an injured man's body and used their bare hands to dig them out. ***End of spoilers***
The English dubbing made for the movie pulled it down. Try using the Italian track with English subtitles, it sounds more realistic. Milian's own voice should have been used, but for whatever reason, a more English- sounding voice was used. The two Indians... "With gold- made bullets...." And that singer at the saloon.... blech... I argued over a two- star rating, but there are plenty of macaroni flicks that deserve that. This is 2-1/2 stars, plus 5 stars for the transfer from the print and the care that is involved in making a Blue Underground DVD.
I would get the 4- boxed set, and might buy this movie again if I needed. Why? Because I love the spaghetti western genre and it's slim pickings in the category. I only have about 12 titles or so, and after these, it gets hard to find any more decent ones out there of all the (possibly?) hundreds that were made from the '60s through the late '70s. I would get it again. But for the regular movie buff, you might use your money of "Run Man Run" "The Great Silence" or "Companeros" instead. But purchase the Sergio Leone macaroni first, for they are the benchmarks of the European Westerns.
Technical info: Color in mono sound at 2.35:1 aspect ratio only; 117 minutes; English and Italian languages (mono); English subtitles only; extras include interviews with director Guilio Questi, Milian, and Ray Lovelock; original theatrical tralier; gallery of production stills and movie posters; a two- page insert with detail on the movie and chapter selections; PLUS...three HIDDEN videos! Maybe they're called "Easter eggs," which is fun to find. I hadn't noticed them until just now. They are located when you drag the mouse over the clenched hand (it turns pale) and also there are two pale gun icons that appear on the "Languages" and "Extras" pages which reveal hidden interviews. For those who use the DVD player, follow these instructions: On the Main Title page, go to Chapters and push the arrow key right to illuminate the hand. Press enter. On the Extras page, go to the Main Menu and go LEFT to reveal the gun, and hit enter. On the languages page, go to Resume and go UP to reveal the gun, then hit enter. Cool!
Overall, I give 4 stars to this movie based on its experimental nature: the film remains an unusual mix of Italian Spaghetti, gore, horror, and some animal (horse) cruelty (this fits to the story though and so is not gratuitous). Essentially, I based my 4 stars based on its experimental value, its entertaining and surprising story. Thus, please avoid if you are looking for a conventional western where the plot involves a good guy who has been betrayed and then takes his revenge. This movie has some of that, yet that is far from the driving force for the entire story.
Technically, a nice HD transfer presented in Widescreen format. The movie runs for 117 min (the original length according to IMDB). Audio comes in English and Italian, with English and Spanish subtitles. Extras include the trailer (pretty bad I would say), and interesting 21 min documentary with interviews to Tomas Milian and director Giulio Questi . In case someone from Europe cares, the Blu Ray claims to be region free, something I could not test yet.