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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Django & Texas, Adios: Special 2-Disc Edition'
(Franco Nero, José Canalejas, José Bódalo, Alberto Dell'Acqua, Elisa Montés, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1966) 2018 / Arrow Films UK)

Overview: In this definitive Spaghetti Western, Franco Nero (Keoma, The Fifth Cord) gives a career-defining performance as Django, a mysterious loner who arrives at a mud-drenched ghost town on the Mexico-US border, ominously dragging a coffin behind him.

The film is presented here in an exclusive new restoration with a wealth of extras including the newly restored bonus feature 'Texas, Adios,, which also stars Franco Nero, and was released as "Django 2" in several territories.

Blu-ray Verdict: Django (Franco Nero, The Fifth Cord, Hitch-Hike) is a grizzled man-of-action who strolls the desert dragging his coffin of hell behind him!

Django sets up shop one day at the local whorehouse of a veritable ghost town set up between the two warring factions of Major Jackson (Eduardo Fajardo, Nightmare City, Oasis of the Zombies) with his red hooded militia and General Hugo (José Bódalo, Companeros) with his Mexican ex-patriots.

Django's no nonsense style quickly puts him smack in the middle of the fun as secrets are revealed and sides are played against each other.

Sergio Corbucci (Super Fuzz) directs this classic Italian spaghetti western. The script (while being pretty typical of the genre) manages to make Django a classic antihero thanks for the most part to Franco Nero's portrayal.

The script's lack of originality doesn't stop it from having some clever set-pieces, nasty violence and even a bit of dark humor (some of my favorite sequences: the clearing of the whorehouse "Don't Touch my coffin", the "ear" scene and the Mexican skeet shoot).

The music is wonderful (topped of by a fun theme song sung by someone trying to channel Elvis). The cast of Italian regulars nail their parts with mucho gusto.

Any fan of violent westerns Italiano-style should belly up to the bar and give Django's coffin of wonders a watch. But don't mess with it!

Overview: Directed by veteran helmsman Ferdinado Baldi, best known for the cult Western Blindman (starring Beatles tub-thumper Ringo Starr) and the 3D extravaganza Comin' at Ya!, 'Texas, Adios' is a lesser-known Spaghetti Western gem, which boasts rapid-fire action scenes, stunning locations and stylish cinematography courtesy of Enzo Barboni (Django, Nightmare Castle).

Blu-ray Verdict: These days you forget what a name Nero was in the Sixties and Seventies. In 1966, the former army grunt turned physical actor starred in three westerns within six months - 'Django', 'Massacre Time' and 'Texas, Adios' - before heading to Hollywood for a supporting role in Camelot, and then international stardom.

It was as Django, however, that turned him into a major star in Europe; Nero as the steel-eyed Angel of Death dragging a coffin behind him personified the fashionable neo-nihilism of the Italian western and made him as iconic as the Kings of the Squint, Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef.

'Texas, Adios', released in 1966, was a much more deliberately American western. Franco Nero is a clear-cut moral figure as Burt Sullivan, sheriff in a Texas town who takes his younger womanizing brother Jim across the border to find their father's killer, the mysterious "Delgado".

It's Adios Texas and Hola Mexico, but the country they find is more hostile than Burt imagined. It's a lawless landscape where no-one can be trusted, controlled by morally bankrupt power brokers and would-be revolutionaries, and Delgado turns out to be the most powerful land baron in Mexico who likes to play with his captives before executing them.

What begins as a simple quest for revenge becomes much more ambiguous as the plot unfolds and family secrets are revealed.

Like all great Italian westerns, 'Texas, Adios' is beautifully shot by Enzo Barboni, who as "EB Clutcher" would later create his own sub-genre of Trinity movies with Terence Hill and Bud Spencer.

And, despite its allusions to the classic models of Gary Cooper and Jimmy Stewart, it's a spaghetti western at heart, and its heart is cold and cruel.

"Are you tired of living (pronounced 'leeeeving')?" asks Delgado's greasy right hand man, and the answer seems to be a resounding yes: sympathetic characters are disposed of with little fanfare, and Nero's idealistic younger brother Jim played by Alberto Dell'Acqua is taught that becoming a man means becoming immune to killing.

Me, I'm already numb to the wholesale slaughter, and you will be too, as we ride the blood-soaked plains in 'Texas, Adios'. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

2-Disc Limited Edition Contents:
New restoration from a 4K scan of Django from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
New restoration from a 2K scan of Texas Adios from the original camera negative by Arrow Films
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
Six double-sided collector's postcards
Double-sided fold-out poster
Limited edition 60-page perfect-bound book featuring new writing on the film by Howard Hughes and Roberto Curti, and original reviews
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips

Disc 1: 'Django'
Audio commentary by film critic, historian and theorist Stephen Prince Newly filmed interview with star Franco Nero
Newly filmed interview with assistant director Ruggero Deodato
Newly filmed interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti
Newly filmed interview with Sergio Corbucci s wife Nora Corbucci
Archival interview with co-writer Piero Vivarelli
Archival interview with stuntman and actor Gilberto Galimberti
Discovering Django, newly filmed appreciation by Spaghetti Westerns scholar Austin Fisher
An Introduction to Django by Alex Cox, an archival featurette with the acclaimed director
Gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel Archive
Original trailers

Audio commentary for by spaghetti western experts C. Courtney Joyner and Henry C. Parke
Newly filmed interview with star Franco Nero
Newly filmed interview with co-star Alberto Dell'Acqua
Newly filmed interview with co-writer Franco Rossetti
Hello Texas!, newly filmed appreciation by Spaghetti Westerns scholar Austin Fisher
Gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel Archive
Original trailer