Archive for the ‘SPAGHETTI WESTERN Archive’ Category

Spaghetti Western Archive – DEATH RIDES A HORSE

December 9, 2011

DEATH RIDES A HORSE – 1967 director: Giulio Petroni; starring: Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law

There weren’t a lot of viewing options back when I first seriously became interested in spaghetti westerns. In those days you watched these movies on VHS, often times in poorly made copies with German, Greek, or Japanese subtitles. The picture quality was almost always bad, and the transfers were either fullframe and terribly cropped, pr ineptly pan and scanned, and either way you never got a true idea of what the film was supposed to look like. Most of the time this was a nuisance, but every once in a while, when the movie itself was really good, it felt like a cinematic crime. This was especially true of director Giulio Petroni’s Death Rides a Horse, one of the best spaghetti westerns of all time, with one of the worst home video transfers.  For many years I’d been trying to a copy of the film that was just plain decent, and by decent I mean one that was widescreen, without washed out colors, and no Turkish subtitles. Well, after almost two decades of looking and waiting, and feeling the painful sting of bitter disappointment by terrible transfers, there is finally a DVD with great picture quality, thanks to Wild East Productions, the leading distributors of quality spaghetti westerns on home video. (more…)

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Spaghetti Western Archive – FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE

September 24, 2010

FOUR OF THE APOCALYPSE (a.k.a. Four Gunmen of the Apocalypse) – 1975 director: Lucio Fulci; starring Fabio Testi, Michael J. Pollard, Tomas Milian, Lynne Frederick, Harry Baird

Those that know the work of director Lucio Fulci know him best for his audacious horror films like Zombie, Gates of Hell and The Beyond. But the fact of the matter is that Fulci, like most exploitation film directors in Italy, worked in a variety of genres. And while Fulci is best remembered for his gut-churning films that were often as visually stylish as they were incomprehensible, one of his all-time best films was this classic spaghetti western. (more…)

Spaghetti Western Archive – IF YOU MEET SARTANA, PRAY FOR YOUR DEATH

March 21, 2010

IF YOU MEET SARTANA, PRAY FOR YOUR DEATH 1968 director: Gianfranco Parolini; starring: Gianni Garko, Klaus Kinski, William Berger

For me, watching spaghetti westerns is a lot like watching kung-fu flicks—it’s great when the story makes sense, but sometimes that’s just asking too much. Sometimes all you can hope for are some great action sequences, a hero that kicks ass, and not too many boring moments of confusing, incomprehensible plot to slow things down when there’s no action. My long-held film criticism philosophy of “all movies are good, except for the bad parts” seldom rings more true than with spaghetti westerns, a genre define by great movies frequently handicapped by bad parts. (more…)

Spaghetti Western Archive – DJANGO

March 17, 2010

DJANGO 1966 director: Sergio Corbucci; starring: Franco Nero
As far as most people are concerned, when it comes to spaghetti westerns, only one director ever made an films of merit. That director, of course, was Sergio Leone, who made five westerns—Once Upon a Time in the West, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Band and the Ugly, and Duck, You Sucker! —four of which deserve their reputations of being among the best westerns of all time. But once you remove Leone and his films from the equation, a whole new stick must be used for measuring the massive flood of westerns that came out of Europe—primarily Italy—during the 1960s and the 1970s. Director Sergio Corbucci’s Django is that stick. (more…)

Spaghetti Western Archive – NAVAJO JOE

March 15, 2010

Sergio Leone is the director most closely associated with the European-produced westerns popularly referred to as “spaghetti westerns.” Leone’s classics Dollars trilogy starring Clint Eastwood—A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad & the Ugly—are arguably the most popular and well known spaghetti westerns, and helped establish the director as the genre’s preeminent filmmaker. And while Leone is popularly thought of as the director who gave life to the spaghetti western, it would be the other Sergio—director Sergio Corbucci—that gave the genre its soul. (more…)