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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Django, Prepare a Coffin aka Preparati la bara! [Blu-ray]

 

(Ferdinando Baldi, 1968)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: B.R.C. Produzione S.r.l.

Video: Arrow Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:31:56.552

Disc Size: 31,462,169,330 bytes

Feature Size: 27,807,651,840 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: June 10th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.66:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (on Italian track), English (SDH on the English track) none

 

Extras:

Optional English and Italian audio tracks
Newly translated English subtitles for Italian audio and English SDH for the deaf and hard of hearing on the English audio
Django Explained - A new interview with Spaghetti Western expert and author Kevin Grant (8:32)
Original Trailer (3:04)
Collector's booklet by critic and spaghetti western expert Howard Hughes

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Django the drifter returns in this classic Sixties Spaghetti Western from Ferdinando Baldi (Texas Addio, Comin At Ya!), starring Terence Hill (My Name is Nobody) as the wandering gunslinger, hired as executioner to a corrupt local politician who is framing innocent men, sending them to hang in an evil scheme to take hold of their land.

But Django has other ideas and, cleverly faking the deaths of the condemned men, he assembles them into a loyal gang who ll help him take down the boss, a man who had a hand in the death of Django s wife years before.

Thrill as Django gets his bloody revenge with a hail of bullets in this classic from a series of B-movie western that helped to define a genre. Prepare your coffin now!

 

 

The Film:

Not even remotely an early spinoff of the 1966 Sergio Corbucci film, DJANGO, PREPARE A COFFIN – also known as VIVA DJANGO! – is entertaining even as it recombines elements from the original (notably Django’s wardrobe, coffins, a cemetery shootout, bullwhips, the motivation for his revenge, and of course the Gatling gun he busts just when the bad guys think they have him severely outmanned) in a rather uninspired new plot. Django (a pre-TRINITY series Terence Hill) defends obviously corrupt politician David Barry (GRAND DUEL’s Horst Frank, who never ever plays a good guy in a genre pic) against an attack, and he is paid back for his good deed with grave injuries and the murder of his wife in an ambush organized by Barry while Django is transporting a shipment of gold from a bank to the central depository in Atlanta. Five years later, Django has reestablished himself as a hangman on the other side of the country, and he’s got a lot of business what with the many innocently condemned for the string of gold hijacks organized by Barry and executed by Lucas (George Eastman, ANTHROPOPHAGUS) and his gang. Using a harness device to fake the hangings, Django is building up an army of wronged men to expose the Lucas gang and whoever is behind them. When he learns that the Mercedes (Barbara Simon) – the wife of Garcia (Josť Torres, DEATH RIDES A HORSE), another condemned man he has rescued – is also going to be hanged as an accomplice, Django sends his men to capture the Lucas gang during their next gold transport ambush while he rescues the woman. Garcia, however, convinces the men that they would be better off with the gold than in attaining justice; and Django soon finds himself at the mercy of Lucas and Barry who want him to lead them to men and the gold.

Eric Cotenas for DVDBeaver

The smash international success of the spaghetti western Django (along with a certain Clint Eastwood series) turned out to be a major boost for the Italian film industry in the late '60s, with filmmakers scrambling to crank out enough gunslinger quickies to satisfy audience demands. Many, many films adopted the name Django in their titles, though most (including one especially bizarre cult classic) had absolutely nothing to do with the coffin-toting, black-hatted stranger played Django Prepare a Coffin by Franco Nero in the original film.

One of the few films that actually does work as a genuine sequel is Django, Prepare a Coffin, an early western star role for Terence Hill. A former supporting player in costume films and dramas, Hill had just ascended to leading man status in some German Karl May oaters and more notably starring opposite Bud Spencer in 1967 with God Forgives... I Don't! (playing a character named Cat Stevens, incredibly enough). Of course, the pair would become a major box office team two years later with My Name Is Trinity and a host of other comedic western and crime films to come.

Excerpt from Mondo-Digital located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Django, Prepare a Coffin gets a 1080P transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films.  It's dual-layered with a high bitrate for the 1.5 hour film. Colors are brighter and truer than SD could relate (Arrow did put this on bare-bones DVD as part of their ArrowDrome line earlier.) The image can tend to look waxy and flat at times but contrast is adept supporting decent detail in close-ups. The visuals are very clean in the original 1.66:1 frame.  Those more sensitive to the waxiness (lack of grain) may be a shade distracted. This Blu-ray gave me a enjoyable presentation despite any imperfections. I was right in the mood and was pleased to see it in the new format.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio comes in the form of linear PCM 2.0 channel tracks in both Italian or optional English - the latter have a few, expected, sync issues. It is all clear with some depth in the aggressive effects. We have the commonplace score providing strong genre nostalgia and "You'd Better Smile", performed by Nicola Di Bari in the opening. There are also English subtitles for Italian audio and English SDH for the deaf and hard of hearing on the English audio. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

Arrow provide an 81/2 minute interview with 'Spaghetti Western' expert and author Kevin Grant entitled Django Explained. There is also a lengthy original trailer and the package contains a collector's booklet with an essay by critic and spaghetti western expert Howard Hughes.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Those enamored with the Django series will be very comfortable with Django, Prepare a Coffin. It has many of the cool conventions of the pasta genre and while I prefer Nero - Hill does a good job as our protagonist.  The Arrow Blu-ray is imperfect but provides a bright presentation with rich colors. I think there are enough positives, in a/v and extras, to give this consideration.  

Gary Tooze

June 11th, 2013


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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