Plot: What’s it about?
Django, Prepare a Coffin is a film which serves as a kind of sequel to the original Franco Nero helmed Django. Django was an extremely beloved character that spawned some sixty films out of people banking on the name of the character and was most recently reintroduced by Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained. I had only seen the Tarantino version of Django, and had not yet seen the Franco Nero helmed Django, so I was ready to watch the Terence Hill helmed Django. Confused yet? I know that was convoluted, but let’s press ahead anyway.
Django is essentially a badass protector of a rich politician named David Barry at the beginning of the film. He also works the occasional off job for the man. Django dreams of a nice little life with a small cabin and his wife. Unfortunately, when Django is protecting some gold on a wagon trail his wagon is attacked by Lucas, another badass underneath David’s command, and Django’s wife is killed. Django is left for dead. Django rebuilds his life as a hangman and after some time he begins to build up a group of men that he saves from the noose. He fakes their deaths in return for their assistance in helping to take down Dave Barry.
Django, Prepare a Coffin is a solid and enjoyable Spaghetti Western. The acting is good throughout in that over-the-top way that one might expect. Terence Hill radiates cool as the titular hero. Dave Barry is played by a German actor named Horst Frank who I found to be an incredibly enjoyable villain. The movie has an awesome score by Gianfranco Reverberi. The film is somewhat cheesy and suffers slightly from some pacing issues, but the movie has enough interesting turns in it to keep interest until the finale. I enjoyed the movie enough that I wanted to immediately check out some of the other Django films. While not as good as the Sergio Leone westerns (which I adore,) there is plenty to enjoy in this film. Fans of Spaghetti Westerns should check this one out.
Video: How’s it look?
Arrow Video did a great job on the transfer of the film using an MPEG 4 AVC codec of a new 2K restoration in its original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Clarity for the most part is very good with only a couple scenes suffering from lack of focus. This transfer stacks up against some of their best work with a great looking picture. For a low-budget Western produced in Italy the film must have been in great shape. I also like that they hadn’t ruined the color palette of the film that looks just somewhat brown. I thought that they did an exceptional job on this transfer.
Audio: How’s it sound?
The audio treatment of Django is good but not great. Since it is an LPCM Mono track, dynamic range is pretty limited. The fantastic soundtrack by Gianfranco Reverberi has never sounded better. I felt pleased overall with the treatment that was given to the track, even though it is nothing earth-shattering because both the Italian and English tracks were not incredibly well-done tracks originally. I think Arrow has done what they can and people who love Spaghetti Westerns will probably nit be offended by what is presented here.
Supplements: What are the extras?
- Django Explained – A brief but incredibly informative feature on Django and his various incarnations over time. There is some fantastic info in here. Highly recommended.
- Theatrical Trailer
The Bottom Line
Django, Prepare a Coffin! is an enjoyable Spaghetti Western. Performances are enjoyable and the plot has enough turns to keep the audience interested. I also really enjoyed the score to the film. Technical specs on the disk are solid with beautiful picture quality. Unfortunately the supplemental package is pretty light. Fans of these films or this genre will probably want to add this one to their collection.