Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Is this suppose to be MAD MAX?
DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN is the only true sequel to the original DJANGO.  I put that in there because I think it is required by law or something to state that fact since just about every review I have read puts that disclaimer in their review.  Director Nello Rossati does a fantastic job of reclaiming the classic Italian Western style going so far as to set the film in the west (technically Mexico) but film in Columbia and to give director credit to his alias Ted Archer.  A whole heckola of Spaghetti Westerns gave European actors and directors English names to trick American audiences into believing they were watching an American western.  There are still a lot of people out there that don't even know that  A FISTFULL OF DOLLARS, FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE,  and THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY are Italian westerns.  FOOLS!  Even though its not a better film than the original I think DJANGO STRIKES BACK is better than what it is given credit for.  You can't go wrong with a dude running around with a Gatling gun shooting bad guys in the face, is all I am saying.

Franco Nero returns as the title character for the first time in a long time.  Django has buried his past and has become a monk.  When he discovers that his daughter has been kidnapped by some bad dude on a boat Django digs up his trade mark Gatling gun and sets out on a crusade to save his daughter.  He replaces the coffin for a hearse.  I thought that was kind of neat.  The body count is high and the characters are interesting so you shouldn't have too much trouble enjoying this one.  The main villain is Orlowsky a military officer who captures tribes people in Mexico and uses them as slaves in his silver mine.  He is a similar character to Col. Jackson in the first DJANGO.  They are both racists who kill for fun with no morals whatsoever.  Orlowsky is so bad that the people call him 'El Diablo'.  In English that means 'The Devil'.  I bet you didn't know that.  I didn't.  Anyhoo he loves the name.  In fact a peasant woman is captured that he falls in love with and he actually seduces her to the dark side.  That was pretty creative if you ask me.  Usually the female lead character would resist the villain's charms and eventually hook up with the hero.  Not in DJANGO STRIKES BACK.  That girl gets herself murdered by a jealous slave chick with a whip.  I didn't see that coming. 

I hate to speak metaphorically about films but it is kind of hard to ignore what I think the main theme (or whatever you want to call it) of the movie is.  DJANGO STRIKES BACK seems to be about good triumphing over evil.  I know that is what most movies are about but this one seems to have some strong religious overtones to it.  Django represents God being that he fights for good saving the innocent and comes from a monastery.  He kind of looks like Jesus.  Orlowsky is obviously the devil seducing the innocent or keeping them as slaves and murdering them in some horrible fashion.  At the end when Django is rescuing everyone and all the bad guys are dead he has a duel with El Diablo Orlowsky.  Orlowsky tries to escape but finds himself at the edge of a pit with hundreds of newly freed slaves at the bottom just waiting to get their hands on him.  Django shows up shooting Orlowsky's sword in half.  Then he simply walks toward El Diablo forcing him to walk backwards falling into the pit where he is engulfed by hundreds of arms like flames.  The whole dang thing looks like something out of Revelations where the devil is thrown into the lake of fire.  I don't know.  I am probably just trying to be smart when really I am not.  I don't think the makers where thinking that but the scene reminded me of all that biblical stuff.  Maybe if they called Orlowsky 'Cookie" I would think the whole movie was some kind of violent homage to THE BOZO SHOW.

DJANGO STRIKES BACK is a great action filled western.  They really exploit the whole gunning bad guys with a machine gun aspect of the Django character.  Apparently he is so accurate with it that he can shoot a bunch of baddies with it and miss the wall of innocent people that are running around two feet behind them.  Hilarious.  I think they try to create some similar gothic moments from the original Django using fog and crosses and the same wind sound effects.  Doesn't quite work but it is a nice try.  It is the thought that counts.  DJANGO was the western set in the mud.  DJANGO STRIKES BACK is the western set on the water.  I like that idea.  Too bad there was never a RETURN OF THE DJANGO.

Some thoughts on Quentin Tarantino's DJANGO UNCHAINED.  If you are going to call your movie DJANGO you better have a large body count and a dude lugging a Gatling Gun around and shooting people in the face with it.  I don't think we are going to get that from UNCHAINED.  I know it will be a great film but I am expecting something similar to INGLORIOUS BASTARDS where all the action is taken out and replaced with well written scenes of people talking around tables.  (Oscar gold!!!)  Good but not what we really want.  Do we really need a prequel to JACKIE BROWN?  It would be nice to see Quentin direct an extremely violent action film.  At least he always gives us something that is different.  I know the title DJANGO UNCHAINED is based more on the concept of countless westerns that stole the name 'Django' in an attempt to fool audiences into thinking they were actually watching a DJANGO sequel.  At least Franco Nero will make an appearance.  That will give UNCHAINED some street credit for us nerdos who love Italian Westerns.  Yes, we do exist.


Whoa!  Calm down, Rambo!

1 comment:

  1. never saw this film or the first one... i am in shame.