Thursday, November 17, 2005

Nello Rossati aka "Ted Archer"

You know, DJANGO! The spaghetti western legend who's been crucified and resurrected so many times in so many different movies he makes Jason Voorhees look like a pussy. That outlaw bandit who rolls into town (on foot mind you) dragging a coffin, a nasty sneer, and a rotary machine gun with enough bullets to take out a small country. The one played by Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, and at least 10 to 15 other different actors.

No? Doesn't ring a bell?

It's a shame because some of the Django spaghetti-explotiation films are actually pretty fun. This one, Django Strikes Again, is supposedly the "only official sequel" to the original 1966 Django. I say -- fah! For my money, the "unofficial" Django Kill...If You Live Shoot! with Tomas Milian as Django is ten times better and more surreal. The scene in that movie with townspeople greedily digging gold out of dead bodies is priceless.

Besides, with Django, a character as omnipresent in the genre of spaghetti westerns as El Santo is to Mexican masked-wrestler movies, it's just bad form to slap an "official" stamp on anything. YOU should be able to make a Django movie! I should be able to be able to make a Django movie! And we probably could, in our backyards, with a VHS handi-cam, a balsa wood coffin, and a squirter machine gun.

It couldn't be too much worse than Django Strikes Again. This one finds Django living as a monk in a secluded monastery until he's called into action to take on some kind of evil Hungarian who pilots an African slave barge and runs a mine where workers, including a very batty and nattily dressed Donald Pleasance, are made to dig for the elsuive "Mariposa Negra," aka The Black Butterfly. The pre-requisite machine gunfights, flagellations, flayings, and guttings ensue, though this time with more of a late '80s Rambo type flair (i.e., a lot more explosive hand grenades than the norm).

This one's fun nonsense, maybe even a bit better and kookier than the original Django. I might try to catch a few other Djangos before calling it quits. But, for the Django one-timer, go with Django Kill!

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