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Movie Review: Django Kill

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I’d heard about Django Kill a couple of years before I actually bought the DVD. Unfortunately, I got information about the movie secondhand. I thought the movie had to do with zombies. There weren't any zombies, sadly, but there was a guy who came back from the grave for vengeance. That was one of the recurrent themes in the Clint Eastwood movies as well as several other western films.

The star of the movie is Tomas Milian. He made several of the Western movies before moving into the crime arena as a series of villains and renegade cops working outside the rules like Bruce Willis. He’s still active in television and movies today while he’s in his seventies.

Django Kill is supposed to be one of the bloodiest westerns ever filmed at the time, in the late 1960s. In fact, the disc contains scenes that had been cut out in the film release. Of course, this is before Sam Peckinpah left his indelible mark on the Western movie with classics like The Wild Bunch and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. But only by a few years.

The movie really isn’t much different than any of Eastwood’s Man With No Name Westerns. Except that there’s no humor or comic relief in the constant sea of shifting loyalties that takes place in this film.

Most of the so-called spaghetti westerns end up with a tough-as-nails hero who is selfishly motivated but finishes up serving some greater good by the end of the movie. Normally he is caught in a crossfire between two rival gangs, neither of which is truly better than the other.

That happens in this film. After being shot and buried alive, Django (the stranger) rides into town seeking the people who killed his friends and tried to murder him. By the time he arrives, those bad guys have already been dealt with by the town. As it turns out, the town is filled with people that are evil and malicious.

For whatever weird reason, the two Indians that help save Django make bullets of gold for him to use on his enemies. It almost sounded too much like the Lone Ranger for me. Then the plot gets really strangely twisted. Two of the most powerful men in town divide the gold the original outlaws brought with them. A third powerful man finds out about the gold and wants it. He’s willing to kill whoever it takes to achieve his goal.

For the rest of the movie, Django bounces back and forth between the three rivals, between two women — one a gold digger and the other a madwoman, and the town itself. The body count increases dramatically.

I can’t really recommend this movie. There’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before, and probably better elsewhere, if you’ve seen spaghetti westerns. All of Clint Eastwood’s efforts were better in my book. But if you love that kind of entertainment, Django Kill will certainly fill a couple of hours for you. The transfer from the original medium to DVD is excellent.

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