Kill Django . . . Kill First (1971)

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Released 28-Jul-2014

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Spaghetti Western Reversible Cover
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 80:18
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sergio Garrone
Studio
Distributor
Bounty Films Starring Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Mario Novelli
Aldo Sambrell
Krista Nell
George Wang
Silvio Bagolini
Diana Lorys


Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music Elsio Mancuso


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, the bad guy always smokes!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Five years ago a banker named Burton (Aldo Sambrell) arrived in town with his salon girl Julia (Krista Nell) and started buying up the surrounding gold prospecting leases either legally or by intimidation through the group of thugs who work for him. If all else fails he unleashes a sword-wielding Mexican named Martinez (George Wang), whom he keeps in a cave, to kill the obstinate miners. Handsome prospector Johnny (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart) arrives in town and soon joins forces with elderly minor Thomas Livingstone (Silvio Bagolini) while falling for Molly (Diana Lorys), the sister of the town doctor, a woman Burton wants. Helped by an unnamed bounty hunter (Mario Novelli), they challenge Burton’s control of the town.

     Since the character named Django first appeared in the 1966 spaghetti western Django, which starred Franco Nero and was directed by Sergio Corbucci, there have been dozens of films with a Django character, including the recent one by Quentin Tarantino, none of which had anything to do with the original. Indeed, the director of Kill Django . . . Kill First (original Italian title Uccidi Django … uccidi per primo!!!) Sergio Garrone had already directed a couple, including Django the B****** (1969) which at least had a character named Django in the film; in contrast Kill Django . . . Kill First has no-one named Django so it is a clear cash in via its title (incidentally I did find a Spanish DVD release of the film which is entitled Tequila, although there is no character called Tequila either!) That said, by whatever title Kill Django . . . Kill First is a poor film, presently poorly on this DVD.

     The IMDb gives the running time of Kill Django . . . Kill First as either 97 minutes or 83 minutes for the Italian release. This Region 0 release runs 80 minutes; all credits, both at the start and the end, are missing, as is an extended pre-title sequence that explains who Burton really is and how he came to have the money he did when he arrived in town. However, even what we still have is muddled; scenes seem to be cut short, jump around all over the place and characters appear without explanation, or indeed purpose. That would be bad enough but Garrone also has the habit of throwing in rapid zooms, both in and out which, with the strident score by Elsio Mancuso, is extremely jarring.

     I like spaghetti westerns; the action, the music or the characters can be so over the top that they can still be fun, even when the films are indifferent. Sadly, Kill Django . . . Kill First has almost nothing to recommend it; the exception is the Mexican swordsman kept in a cave, a concept that is way out there and has potential, a potential which is not realised.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Where to start? The original aspect ratio of Kill Django . . . Kill First is not given in the IMDb but I expect that it was not as presented on this DVD which is 1.33:1 and not16x9 enhanced.

     The print is very soft. There are copious artefacts including frame damage, hairs, vertical scratches and positive and negative artefacts, small and not so small. Grain is prominent. Colours are dull. Blacks are mostly okay although shadow detail can be indistinct. Skin tones are acceptable and brightness and contrast consistent.

     No subtitles are provided.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The only audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono at 192 Kbps.

     The film was originally shown with a mono sound. Dialogue is clear and the effects, such as shots, the impact of punches and horses’ hooves are fine. The original score by Elsio Mancuso was intrusive, but I guess this is a spaghetti western after all.

    Lip synchronisation is as bad as is usual for spaghetti westerns. There was also some slight crackle and hiss in a few places.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There is a reversible cover but no extras. The static menu offers Play Movie / Chapters.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Amazon lists only our Region Free version of Kill Django . . . Kill First.

Summary

     This is disappointing. Kill Django . . . Kill First is a butchered film presented on a poor DVD release. Even fans of spaghetti westerns will struggle with this one.

     Note re: Rating. The DVD cover and the DVD itself indicate the film is classified “PG”. When the DVD loads, however, a screen shows the film as rated “M”. While there is lots of shooting and a few brawls in Kill Django . . . Kill First there is no blood so I think the correct rating is indeed “PG”.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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