Blu-ray: Django, Prepare A Coffin

The Spaghetti Western era allowed Italian studios to produce hundreds of films on the deserts of Spain. The most iconic films to come out of this genre were Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name trilogy starring Clint Eastwood. But there was another film equally as powerful at the box office about a stranger in the old west. He dragged around a coffin that contained a machine gun. And he had a name….Django. The film made Franco Nero an international sensation and landed him roles in John Huston’s The Bible: In the Beginning… and the Oscar winning Camelot. Nero didn’t have time for a sequel. So the producers of Django, Prepare A Coffin found a new lead in the man who would be the third biggest star of the era: Terence Hill.

Instead of furthering the adventures of Django, the new movie gives us that backstory of Django that was hinted in the original film. What happened to his wife? Why does he wear a union uniform? Where did he get the cool coffin with the machine gun? Django, Prepare A Coffin promises to deliver all the mysteries except how Nero came to look like Hill. The best news is how well Hill fills the role and yet makes it his own. Over the course of the 60s and 70s, dozens of actors did their best to be the next Django. Many of them didn’t even know they were playing Django until they saw the movie poster at the premiere. It was just a name that producers and distributors would use in hopes of getting a little more of an audience. Of all those actors, Hill uses his charm and comedic looks to turn Django into a man who can be a lover, a killer and hero.

The film has Django and his wife transporting a gold shipment. He finds himself betrayed by his friend David Barry (The Cat o’ Nine Tails‘s Horst Frank) who had goons ambush Django. Barry uses the gold to boost his political career and take over the state. Django fakes death and hides out as hangman. He has a method to this madness as he proceeds to fake the deaths of people sentenced by Barry. He’s going to use them in his revenge plot.

Django, Prepare A Coffin is one of the more essential Spaghetti Westerns as it both sets up the legend of Django and establishes Hill as a new star. He would establish his own character in They Call Me Trinity and My Name Is Nobody. Bud Spencer and Hill became and international force as a comedic action duo in 20 films. But it all started with Hill being the best Django after the original.

The videos is 1.66:1 anamorphic. The transfer brings out the desert charms. The resolution lets you truly take in Hill’s performance. The audio
is English mono and Italian mono. You might think playing the original Italian soundtrack would matter, but since this is an international cast, it’s just another dub session with mostly voice actors. The movie is subtitled in English.

DVD with all features of Blu-ray.

Django Explained (8:33) has writer Kevin Grant explains why Django was the hottest name in Spaghetti Westerns. He goes over some of the nearly sixty five movies that cashed in on Django. He confirms that Franco Nero was offered the role, but was off making Camelot.

Trailer (3:05) is for when it was released as Viva Django. The even bill Terrence Hill as “The Real Django.” They make sure we see the machine gun.

Arrow Video presents Django, Prepare A Coffin. Directed by: Ferdinando Baldi. Screenplay by: Franco Rossetti & Ferdinando Baldi. Starring: Terence Hill, Horst Frank & Barbara Simon. Running time: 92 minutes. Rated: Not Rated. Released: April 25, 2017.

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