Silver Emulsion

Film Reviews

Silver Lode (1954)

Silver Lode (1954)

Starring John Payne, Lizabeth Scott, Dan Duryea, Dolores Moran, Emile Meyer, Robert Warwick, John Hudson, Harry Carey Jr., Alan Hale Jr., Stuart Whitman

Directed by Allan Dwan

Expectations: Moderate.


What would you think if someone you knew was accused of murder? It is an interesting question and is the basis of the plot of Silver Lode. It’s the 4th of July and Dan Ballard (John Payne) is about to get married. In the middle of the ceremony, Marshall McCarty (Dan Duryea) busts in with a group of deputies and accuses Ballard of murdering his brother and taking $20,000 bones from him. Ballard argues to allow him two hours to clear his name and he is given it, based on the goodwill he has built up over the last two years with the townspeople.

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September 22, 2010 Posted by | 1950s, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 & 1/2 Stars, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fistful of Djangos… Final Words!

Will Silver

The first true Silver Emulsion Film Festival is over and I’m experiencing both relief and sadness. It was great fun and a good challenge and we managed to pull it off. We’ll definitely be doing more of these in the future, so check back periodically for updates on that. Now that it’s all over, I wanted Jasper and I to give a brief overview of the eight films we covered, sort of a digest version, encompassing our feelings about the eight films as a whole and against one another.

Far and away and unsurprisingly, Django is the best of the bunch. It is original in its take on Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, which itself has its roots in the literary work of Dashiell Hammett. It fascinates me to think of just how many films can be made off of this relatively simple story. Corbucci sets his film apart by maintaining an artistic vision throughout, painting his canvas with sharp characters, gratuitous violence and threads of social commentary. Unlike a lot of spaghetti westerns, Django innovates and redefines what a western can be. I’m looking forward to proceeding deeper into Corbucci’s catalog and hopefully discovering some more gems.

As for the imitators, I mostly enjoyed them. I was surprised that none of the films used the coffin or a machine gun at all, which makes me think that a lot of these were simply retitled or rewritten to contain the name Django to drum up business. Honestly, I would have liked to see at least one of them dragging a coffin, but because it is such a unique idea I don’t know that any of the films could have pulled it off with any of the same panache that Franco Nero did. If I try to imagine Anthony Steffen or Ivan Rassimov dragging a coffin in their respective movies, it doesn’t even work in my head so it’s probably for the best that they didn’t go that route. Although, for comedic purposes I wouldn’t mind seeing George Eastman from Django Kills Softly, dragging around a hefty coffin, all the while sporting that jovial toothy grin of his.

Hit the break to see my ordered list of the films and Uncle Jasper’s take on it all.

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July 18, 2010 Posted by | Extras, Special Features, Western | , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! (1967)

Django, Kill… If You Live, Shoot! [Se Sei Vivo Spara] (1967)
AKA “Django Kill”

Starring Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock, Piero Lulli, Milo Quesada, Roberto Camardiel, Marilu Tolo, Miguel Serrano, Angel Silva

Directed By Giulio Questi


What better way to end our Fistful of Djangos film festival than with a film that has absolutely nothing to do with the original or its many rip-offs? Django Kill is a Django film in title only. Although far from perfect, it is a welcome change of pace as we feel Django fatigue beginning to set in over here at Silver Emulsion.

Django Kill is without a doubt the most graphically violent and flat-out bizarre spaghetti western I have ever seen. Initially it conjures up a supernatural tone much like that of Django the Bastard, but soon becomes so saturated in surreal imagery and dreamlike symbolism that it manages to transcend definition. Our hero, a half-breed Mexican who is only referred to as “The Stranger,” is double crossed by his outlaw cohorts during a gold heist. He is ordered at gunpoint to dig his own grave and is shot dead. Later that night he literally rises from his grave and is taken in by a couple of Indian mystics, who come to revere him as a deity, claiming that he has been one of the few who have managed to visit the land of the dead and return to our land of the living. They make him a collection of gold bullets to strike down his enemies with and accompany him to the next town, which they refer to only as “The Unhappy Place”.

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July 15, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Special Features, Uncle Jasper Reviews, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

$10,000 Blood Money (1967)

$10,000 Blood Money [10.000 dollari per un massacro] (1967)
AKA “Guns of Violence” & “$10,000 Dollars for a Massacre”

Starring Gianni Garko (billed as Gary Hudson), Fidel Gonzáles, Loredana Nusciak, Adriana Ambesi, Pinuccio Ardia, Fernando Sancho, Claudio Camaso, Franco Lantieri

Directed by Romolo Guerrieri

Expectations: Moderate. I had heard this was good, but I am treading lightly.


Finally, I get to review a Django clone film that actually has its own complete identity. This is truly a great spaghetti western and while it doesn’t approach the same caliber as Leone or Corbucci, it’s still on the short list of spaghetti westerns that might be enjoyed by a general audience.

The thing that really sets this film apart from the other Django clones is the characters. The focus is on the relationship between Django, a bounty hunter who has no problems working on both sides of the law, and Manuel, a true criminal who terrorizes those that stand in his way. Both characters have a level of depth that makes them likeable, hateable and just downright interesting all at the same time. At its heart this Western is not an action picture, as a lot of the other Django clones are trying to be. The story is character driven and a lot of its entertainment value comes from the constant back and forth play between Django and Manuel. On top of that are some good gun battles that counterpoint the character drama with some fun action.

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July 14, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Rating: 3 Stars, Special Features, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Django and Sartana are Coming… It’s the End (1970)

Django and Sartana are Coming… It’s the End [Arrivano Django e Sartana… è la fine] (1970)
AKA “Django and Sartana… Showdown in the West” & “Final Conflict… Django Against Sartana” & “Sartana If Your Left Arm Offends, Cut It Off”

Starring Hunt Powers, Gordon Mitchell, Victoriano Gazzara, Simone Blondell, Dennis Colt, Celso Faria

Directed By Demofilo Fidani


A beautiful woman has been kidnapped by outlaws, are you a bad enough dude to rescue the beautiful woman?

So sums up the gripping plot you will find in Demofilo Fidani’s ultra-low budget Django and Sartana are Coming… It’s the End. Yes, I’ve seen 8-bit NES games with more intricate storylines than the one you will find here. Make no bones about it, this is welfare Django. This is the kind of Django you go out and spend your booklet of food stamps on because Franco Nero and Anthony Steffen Django are way above your price range.  This is government-issued Django… loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and bad for your heart. But god dammit, this is all the Django we have for you today, so let’s make the best of it, eh?

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July 13, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Special Features, Uncle Jasper Reviews, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Don’t Wait, Django…Shoot! (1967)

Don’t Wait Django…Shoot! [Non Aspettare Django, Spara] (1967)

Starring Ivan Rassimov (billed as Sean Todd), Ignazio Spalla, Rada Rassimov, Vincenzo Musolino, Gino Buzzanca, Franco Pesce, Celso Faria, Marisa Traversi, Alfredo Rizzo, Giovanni Sabbatini, Armando Guarnieri, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia, César Ojinaga, Dino Strano

Directed by Edoardo Mulargia (as Edward G. Muller)

Expectations: Low. These Django clones are starting to wear me down.


Upon starting Don’t Wait Django…Shoot!, I was met with the rapid strum of a guitar and bandits riding horses through the desert to catch an old man high-tailing it in a carriage. I immediately fell in love with the music and the intriguing shot selection. It turns out that the man in the carriage is a horse trader that happens to be Django’s father. Navarro, the bandit leader, claims that Django’s pop took their money, but failed to deliver their horses. Papa Django denies it, and before he can offer a solution, the bandits gun him down. This leads into a fantastic opening credits sequence, with lots of sunset and Django silhouette shots cut to rousing music by Felice Di Stefano.

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July 12, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 Stars, Special Features, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Son of Django (1967)

Son of Django [Il figlio di Django] (1967)
AKA “Return of Django” & “Vengeance is a Colt 45″

Starring Gabriele Tinti, Guy Madison, Ingrid Schoeller, Daniele Vargas, Ignazio Spalla, Roberto Messina, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia

Directed By Osvaldo Civirani


With all of the Django clone films and knockoffs floating around at the time, it was inevitable that somebody would get the bright idea to come up with the whole “Son of Django” concept. Yes! Think of all the opportunity! A young gunfighter picks up the mantle and takes on the violent legacy that his father left behind. There are virtually thousands of ways to make an interesting film involving Django’s son, unfortunately you won’t see any of them on display here. I would even go as far as to say that a film so ripe with opportunity as this would be impossible to fuck up, but Osvaldo Civirani manages to do so against all odds. He is basically handed the entire Django mythos and a genuine excuse to take any liberties he wants. He instead chooses to take none. Django’s son could have been virtually anything, but Civirani decides that it would be just A-OK if he was nothing more than a dull guy in dull clothes with a dull voice and a dull personality to cap it all off.

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July 8, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Special Features, Uncle Jasper Reviews, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Django Kills Softly (1967)

Django Kills Softly [Bill il taciturno] (1967)
AKA Django Kills Silently

Starring George Eastman, Luciano Rossi, Liana Orfei, Mimmo Maggio, Peter Hellman, Spartaco Conversi, Claudio Biava, Federico Boido, Paul Maru, Antonio Toma, Martial Boschero, Giovanna Lenzi, Ilona Drash, Enrico Manera, Federico Pietrabruna

Directed by Massimo Pupillo (as Max Hunter)

Expectations: Low. I have hope going in to these clone films, but I’m not expecting much at all.


Django Kills Softly opens as a group of bandits ride up on a small family’s camp and murder them. Django comes down from a hill and kills the bandits that have stayed behind to loot the wagon. My first thought is that George Eastman is no Franco Nero. During the credit sequence, Eastman poses and smiles at the camera, clearly pleased with the good deed he has done. I knew then that this would be a different Django film, one that didn’t seek to actually use or expand on the character from the Corbucci film, but only use his name to capitalize on the success of the initial film and its drawing power. This Django doesn’t have a coffin or a machine gun and is more talkative and less dark. In fact, he’s only referred to as Django once towards the end of the film. In order to rectify this in my mind, I took to thinking of his character as a younger, more light-hearted version of Django, as if this was a prequel of sorts before things turned dark.

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July 7, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Rating: 2 & 1/2 Stars, Special Features, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Django the Bastard (1969)

Django the Bastard [Django il Bastardo] (1969)
AKA “Django the Avenger” & “The Strangers Gundown”

Starring Anthony Steffen, Paolo Gozlino, Luciano Rossi, Teodoro Corra, Jean Louis, Carlo Gaddi, Thomas Rudy, Lucia Bomez

Directed By Sergio Garrone


Django the Bastard takes a pretty uninspired, revenge-driven storyline and manages to turn it into the ultimate ninja film. It looks like a western, it even smells like a western, but take a closer look and you might start mistaking those six-shooters and cowboy hats for ninja stars and black hoods.

A lot has happened to our hero since the first film. First, Django’s hands have completely healed. Great! Second, Django has seemed to have taken on some supernatural powers. In fact, he is often referred to as a ghost or apparition throughout the film. When asked by a dying victim who he is, Django replies “I am a devil from hell”. It sounds a little wonky at first, but give it time and soon you will be eating it up every time you see Django disappear into thin air in the middle of a conversation, clone himself in front of an enemy begging for mercy, or emerge from shadows or thick plumes of smoke just long enough to take out some frightened gunslingers.

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July 6, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Special Features, Uncle Jasper Reviews, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Django (1966)

Django (1966)

Starring Franco Nero, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak, Eduardo Fajardo, Ángel Álvarez, Gino Pernice, Simón Arriaga

Directed by Sergio Corbucci

Expectations: High


Django opens with a tight shot of the back of Django’s head. A black hat sits atop it and the theme song begins with a djangly guitar. As he walks away, the camera zooms out in the opposite direction, slowly revealing that he laboriously walks across the barren, muddy landscape, dragging a coffin behind him. Django continues up a muddy hill as the credits fade in and out around him. He is a mystery and will remain that way throughout the film. Knowing too much about his character would ruin his mystique. He simply is Django.

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July 5, 2010 Posted by | 1960s, Action, Foreign, Movie Reviews, Rating: 3 Stars, Special Features, Western | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments