Django Kills Softly (1967)

Django Kills Softly [Bill il taciturno] (1967)
AKA Django Kills Silently

Starring George Eastman, Luciano Rossi, Liana Orfei, Mimmo Maggio, Peter Hellman, Spartaco Conversi, Claudio Biava, Federico Boido, Paul Maru, Antonio Toma, Martial Boschero, Giovanna Lenzi, Ilona Drash, Enrico Manera, Federico Pietrabruna

Directed by Massimo Pupillo (as Max Hunter)

Expectations: Low. I have hope going in to these clone films, but I’m not expecting much at all.


Django Kills Softly opens as a group of bandits ride up on a small family’s camp and murder them. Django comes down from a hill and kills the bandits that have stayed behind to loot the wagon. My first thought is that George Eastman is no Franco Nero. During the credit sequence, Eastman poses and smiles at the camera, clearly pleased with the good deed he has done. I knew then that this would be a different Django film, one that didn’t seek to actually use or expand on the character from the Corbucci film, but only use his name to capitalize on the success of the initial film and its drawing power. This Django doesn’t have a coffin or a machine gun and is more talkative and less dark. In fact, he’s only referred to as Django once towards the end of the film. In order to rectify this in my mind, I took to thinking of his character as a younger, more lighthearted version of Django, as if this was a prequel of sorts before things turned dark.

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Uncle Jasper reviews: Django the Bastard (1969)

DjangotheBastardDjango the Bastard [Django il Bastardo] (1969)
AKA Django the Avenger, The Stranger’s Gundown

Starring Anthony Steffen, Paolo Gozlino, Luciano Rossi, Teodoro Corra, Jean Louis, Carlo Gaddi, Thomas Rudy, Lucia Bomez

Directed By Sergio Garrone


Django the Bastard takes a pretty uninspired, revenge-driven storyline and manages to turn it into the ultimate ninja film. It looks like a western, it even smells like a western, but take a closer look and you might start mistaking those six-shooters and cowboy hats for ninja stars and black hoods.

A lot has happened to our hero since the first film. First, Django’s hands have completely healed. Great! Second, Django has seemed to have taken on some supernatural powers. In fact, he is often referred to as a ghost or apparition throughout the film. When asked by a dying victim who he is, Django replies “I am a devil from hell.” It sounds a little wonky at first, but give it time and soon you will be eating it up every time you see Django disappear into thin air in the middle of a conversation, clone himself in front of an enemy begging for mercy, or emerge from shadows or thick plumes of smoke just long enough to take out some frightened gunslingers.

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Django (1966)

Django (1966)
AKA A Fistful of Dollars Part 2, Jango

Starring Franco Nero, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak, Eduardo Fajardo, Ángel Álvarez, Gino Pernice, Simón Arriaga

Directed by Sergio Corbucci

Expectations: High


Django opens with a tight shot of the back of Django’s head. A black hat sits atop it and the theme song begins with a djangly guitar. As he walks away, the camera zooms out in the opposite direction, slowly revealing that he laboriously walks across the barren, muddy landscape, dragging a coffin behind him. Django continues up a muddy hill as the credits fade in and out around him. He is a mystery and will remain that way throughout the film. Knowing too much about his character would ruin his mystique. He simply is Django.

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Seven Facts

OK, so Dan the Man tagged me a few days ago in another of these answer some questions about yourself things. I’ve been putting this off for way too long because this isn’t really the kind of thing I enjoy doing, but in an effort to give those reading a bit of background on where I’m coming from, here’s seven wonderful facts about yours truly.


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Day Watch (2006)

Day Watch [Дневной дозор (Dnevnoy dozor)] (2006)

Starring Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Poroshina, Vladimir Menshov, Viktor Verzhbitskiy, Dmitriy Martynov, Aleksei Chadov, Zhanna Friske

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Expectations: Low, based on my reaction to the first in the series.


Night Watch ended with some serious potential for this movie to be awesome. A fateful decision had been made and supposedly nothing will be the same. The balance has shifted and all that. The resulting film of Day Watch delivers on almost none of that promise though, instead providing you with lots of nonsensical scenes, a weird pseudo lighthearted mood and even worse pacing than the first.

This film is also based on the 1998 Sergei Lukyanenko novel entitled Night Watch, not its sequel novel Day Watch as you might think. The novel is broken into three parts, with the filmed Night Watch taking on part one, and the filmed Day Watch taking on parts two and three. The problem with combining the parts is that it seems like they were written to be companion pieces, working together in a large sense but not in a strict plot-point-to-plot-point sense. So combining them results in a more confusing film than the first. I was on-board for the first 20 minutes or so thinking that with the first film out of the way I would at least have a basic understanding built in for the sequel. That theory panned out for a short while before they starting jerking the wheel around and losing me again.

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Night Watch (2004)

Night Watch [Ночной дозор Nochnoi dozor] (2004)

Starring Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Poroshina, Viktor Verzhbitskiy, Dmitriy Martynov

Directed by Timur Bekmambetov

Expectations: High. I had heard great things.


I don’t know how big the Russian fantasy film genre is, but I’ve now seen my first. I wish I could come out and say, “Wow, that was amazing,” but unfortunately my response is a lot more tempered than I hoped it to be. This is a movie that doesn’t really know where it wants to go with itself and thus I was left confused. That’s not to say there’s nothing good here. In fact, there’s quite a bit that is fun to watch and works well. It’s these moments of fun that make the movie frustrating because they work as a sort of carrot on a stick being held out in front of you, driving you on, but you never get the carrot.

The film is based on a 1998 novel by Sergei Lukyanenko. I haven’t read it, but from what I understand, the novel is broken into three parts and this film is based only on the first part. Just judging from the basic ideas presented in the film, I can imagine that this book is pretty good. I’ll probably check it out at some point, so I hope that this story is better on the page. To try to briefly summarize the film’s murky narrative will be a challenge, but I will do my best.

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Uncle Jasper reviews: Winterbeast (1991)

Starring Tim R. Morgan, Mike Magri, Charles Majka, Bob Harlow, Lisa Breer, Dori May Kelly

Directed By Christopher Thies


Winterbeast is the total package — absolutely sublime entertainment that continues to deliver hours after the film ends. I am still reeling and giddy in delight of the heaping spoonfuls of crazy imagery and completely irrational moments that this film threw at me. We should all stop and take a moment to consider ourselves blessed that we live in a world that allows stuff like this to see the light of day. The acting, editing, and staging are so bad, and fly so deliberately in the face of film theory that it reaches levels of incoherency not seen since the French new-wave.

It’s hard to decide where to begin, but the film’s most entertaining moments are the scenes featuring one-of-a-kind stop-motion creatures brutally murdering random hikers and mountain climbers. Far from Harryhausen’s workshop scraps, these creatures actually come off as being created and animated with tremendous care. In fact, watching these things only made me long for the days when this lost cinematic art was the standard for on screen special-effects. There are about five or six different creatures, but my personal favorite was the giant, featherless zombie chicken (that actually predates Poultrygeist by 15 years). It is only when miniature clay versions of the actors are incorporated with the monsters that it comes off as trashy, but no less entertaining. Their death scenes end up looking like outtakes from old Mr. Bill shorts. I kept waiting for one of them to be torn apart while screaming “Oh noooooooo!”

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