'Outlaws & Con Men - 4 Movie Collection'
(Jack Palance, Lee Van Cleef, James Mason, Gina Lollabrigida, Lionel Stander, et al / DVD + Digital / NR+PG / 2019 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: 'Outlaws & Con Men - 4 Movie Collection' is four Spaghetti Western masterpieces all brought together in the one DVD package!
DVD Verdict: 'Django Shoots First' (1966, aka 'He Who Shoots First') stars: Glenn Saxon, Fernando Sancho, and Evelyn Stewart.
Django (Saxson) recovers his father's dead body from a bounty hunter, whom he has dispatched, and instead of burying him, decides to collect the reward himself.
On his arrival in town, however, he learns that his father wasn't a criminal, but a businessman, framed by his former partner, compelling him to stay and avenge his father and try to claim his rightful inheritance.
'Django Shoots First' is another colorful, fast-paced spaghetti western. There isn't much new here, but it's a pleasantly entertaining way to spend an hour and a half, with an adequate amount of action, plot-twists, and gun-wielding heavies.
There's also a good score by Ennio Morricone's frequent collaborator Bruno Nicolai and a neat early cameo in the film's final scene, by Italian genre favorite George Eastman, who's minus his distinctive facial hair.
'Django's Cut Price Corpses' (1971, aka 'A Pistol for Django') stars: Jeff Cameron, John Desmont, and Esmeralda Barros.
The Cortez brothers rob a bank and flee beyond the Mexican border. On their trail are various people, each for a different reason: Sheriff Fulton is sent by the robbed bank to recuperate the money; Django, a head-hunter, is after them for the reward money; Pickwick is after a saddle stolen from him by the Cortez brothers; Pedro and Dolores, saloon owners, also would like to have the loot.
This is really not a bad little western. It may make you scratch your head a little in a couple of parts, but even some of the great spaghetti westerns do that sometimes. The overall story is easy to follow if you just sit back and enjoy it for what it is- mindless escapist fun.
The music is generically suitable for a spaghetti western. The acting is bad, but after a while it just seems like part of the personality of the characters. The main bad guy has a couple of unintentionally funny lines that made me chuckle.
'Bad Man's River' (1971, aka 'El hombre de Río Malo') stars: Lee Van Cleef, James Mason, and Gina Lollobrigida.
A Mexican revolutionary offers four marauding outlaws a million bucks to destroy an arsenal owned by the Mexican army.
The arsenal gets blasted, but the million bucks doesn't get delivered in this "outsmart the outsmarters" and "double-cross the double-crossers" western saga.
This eccentric Euro-Western has more in common with the revisionist, light-hearted approach of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid than with any of the sadistic Italian fare shot around the same time and on the same locations.
A great, if not eclectic cast (Lee Van Cleef, James Mason, Gina Lollobrigida, Sergio Fantoni, Jess Hahn, Simon Andreu, Eduardo Fajardo, Gianni Garko, Diana Lorys) finds itself somewhat stranded - and in the case of Mason, evidently embarrassed - in the face of the film's bizarre changes of mood!
'Sting Of The West' (1972 aka 'Tedeum') stars: Jack Palance, Giancarlo Prete, and Lionel Stander.
Jack Palance and Giancarlo Prete play a pair of frontier sharpsters who are trying to sell a supposedly worthless gold mine.
When the mine turns out to be real, our two misfits, along with their inept entourage, must try and recover the deed to the mine in this slapstick SW.
Director Enzo G. Castellari, who co-wrote the cheerfully inane and eventful script with Tito Carpi and Jose Gutierrez Maesso, relates the nutty story at a constant zippy pace and maintains an amiably silly tongue-in-cheek tone throughout.
Moreover, the lively cast play their broadly caricatured parts with tremendous lip-smacking enthusiasm! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.