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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Requiescant  aka "Kill and Pray" [Blu-ray]

 

(Carlo Lizzani, 1967)

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Istituto Luce

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:46:42.354

Disc Size: 38,574,721,162 bytes

Feature Size: 33,253,832,640 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 12th-13th, 2015

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Italian 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit

 

Subtitles:

Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack / Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack, none

 

Extras:

An all-new interview with Lou Castel, recorded exclusively for this release (13:39)
Archive interview with director Carlo Lizzani (27:43)
Theatrical Trailer (2:59)
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Illustrated collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannones.

NTSC DVD in the package

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Directed by Carlo Lizzani (Wake Up and Kill, The Hills Run Red) and with a superb soundtrack by Riz Ortolani (Day of Anger, Cannibal Holocaust), Requiescant  - Latin for Rest in Peace - ranks among the finest Spaghetti Westerns. Alex Cox named it the one film to prove that the Italian Western was not solely Sergio Leone's.

Lou Castel (Fists in the Pocket, A Bullet for General) plays a young man who was raised to be a pacifist by a travelling preacher after Confederates massacred his family. But when his step-sister runs away, the pursuit reveals a natural talent as a sharp-shooter as well as a bloody and unexpected confrontation with his past.

Joining Castel are an impressive array of performers, including Mark Damon (Black Sabbath, The Fall of the House of Usher) as the sadistic aristocratic villain, Franco Citti (Accattone, The Godfather) as his henchman, and the great Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (SalÚ) in a rare acting role as a revolutionary priest.

 

 

The Film:

A religious figure that turns to violence? Sounds like a fine spaghetti western concept for me! Actually Kill and Pray is one of the best of the "forgotten" spaghetti westerns I have come across. By "forgotten" I mean not easily obtainable in the home video market and since it is so rare to find not many people have seen the damn thing. Hell the DVD I have from Wild East Entertainment is even out of print and I recently saw a copy sell for over $140. Yikes! That's a shocker especially since I obtained mine for only $20 three or four years ago.

Our film opens with a slaughter and a young boy is traumatized by the killing of his family and friends. A passing pastor and his family find the boy and take him in. He is raised to be religious and in turn has become a pastor himself. All is well until one day he runs into the man that slaughtered his family and he then becomes tempted to stray from his strict religious life to get revenge!

Excerpt from Blood Brothers located HERE

 

If you’re into the operatic Spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone, Carlo Lizzani’s trashy and fun western probably won’t be your cup o’ tea. Still, the first 15 minutes is more than entertaining, mixing both the best and the worst of what an Italian western can be, while the film as whole is an entertaining, interesting and truly individual oddity.

Excerpt from A Wasted Life located HERE

 

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

 

This is the another Arrow Blu-ray release that is being simultaneously released in both region 'A' (US) and 'B' (UK). It is the exact same package on both sides of the pond to the best of our knowledge.

 

NOTE: As Michael Brooke informs us on Facebook in regards to Day of Anger: 'As the producer of Arrow's release, I can confirm first hand that the UK and US discs are absolutely identical: we only paid for one master, so there's no doubt about this at all! Which means that no matter which package you buy, the discs will play in any Region A or B setup (or Region 1 or 2 for DVD - and in the latter case the video standard is NTSC, to maximise compatibility). The booklets are also identical, but there are minor cosmetic differences on the disc labels and sleeve to do with differing copyright info and barcodes, and the US release doesn't have BBFC logos.' We presume Requiescant to be the same situation.

 

Requiescant gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow.  It is dual-layered with a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 3/4 hour feature. Colors are rich and there is some wonderfully consistent textures supporting the presentation as film-like. The 1080P reproduces solid contrast exhibiting healthy, black levels and some pleasing depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's very clean with a few light surface scratches. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film. It provides an impressive video viewing.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a faithful linear PCM mono track at 1152 kbps in the original Italian and an English option. I didn't notice any dramatic out-of-sync post dubbing, although preferred the Italian-language option. There are plenty of aggressive effects - mostly in the form of gunfire that export notable depth. The score by Riz Ortolani (Il Sorpasso, Woman Times Seven, Cannibal Holocaust, The Voyeur, Mondo Cane) can be a little 'scratchy' not supporting the high-end with distinction - this is probably accurate to the original theatrical presentation though. It's a pretty decent 'pasta western' score - not Morricone, but I liked it. There are optional English subtitles for both Italian and English audio versions. My Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' + 'B'.

 

Extras :

Arrow provide an all-new, 13-minute, interview with Lou Castel, looking pretty weathered. It is in French with English subtitles. There is also a 1/2 hour archival interview with director Carlo Lizzani about the film (Italian with Eng. subs). It has some interesting comments. Lastly, we get a theatrical trailer and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx and an illustrated collector's booklet containing new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannones. A DVD is also included (NTSC for both packages) signifying it as 'Dual-Format'.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm no expert but I loved Requiescant! What a super premise, great close-ups and justice with a very intriguing, kind of holier-than-thou, protagonist. Lou Castel carries the role exceptionally well. It has all the quintessential conventions of the genre that we love. The Arrow Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with very keen supplements. I suggest this is one of the 'lost' spaghetti westerns that you don't want to miss. We strongly recommend. 

Gary Tooze

October 5th, 2015

 

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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