Road Rash Reviews

Cult Spaghetti Westerns: Django, Keoma and A Bullet for the General Review

Cert 15 | 311 mins | 1966, 67, 76

5 Star

Bullets, Death and Mexicans.

From Cult Films via Alternate Current comes a box set of iconic Spaghetti Westerns, spanning ten years from 1966-76, when these Westerns were at their height of popularity, a popularity that still appears sixty years later. This box set is for the true fans, and also if you are new to the genre, this offering is an excellent way to delve into a portion of Spaghetti Westerns.

Django: The Seminal film from Sergio Corbucci (The Great Silence, The Con Artists), his film was banned for many years because of its violent nature, but now you can watch this film and the others, after the 2k restoration. This introduced Franco Nero (Force 10 From Navarone, Django Unchained) to the world of Spaghetti Westerns and the rest of the world as it rocketed him to stardom. Django (Nero) is a coffin dragging gunman with rugged looks and piercing blue eyes. Whilst dragging his coffin, he comes across Maria (Loredana Nusciak, No Way Out, 7 Dollars on Red), a prostitute from a nearby town being whipped by General Hugo Rodríguez’s (José Bódalo, $100,000 for Lassiter, Spies Strike Silently) bandits from across the border, these men are ruthlessly killed by red hooded men under Major Jackson’s (Eduardo Fajardo, Murder Mansion, Eagles Over London) control.

Django kills the hooded men and saves Maria, and gives her protection. At the town there is a brothel run by Nathaniel (Ángel Álvarez, Tigers in Lipstick, The Fabulous Journey to the Centre of the Earth) and his five girls. Maria used to work the brothel, her return is unwelcome as she went to the Mexicans. The brothel is neutral ground, as both sides have needs, and take it in turns using the brothel. Which the Major extorts, and this puts him at odds with Django.

Keoma: Sees the return of Nero as Keoma, this time as a half-blood son of a famous gunfighter, William Shannon (William Berger, Face to Face, Hercules). He is pitted against Caldwell (Donald O’Brien, The Name of the Rose, The Train) and his gang who rule over his hometown with an iron fist. Not only him but his three racist brothers, Butch (Orso Maria Guerrini, The Bourne Identity, The Conformist), Lenny (Antonio Marsina, Colt 38 Special Squad, The Big Racket), and Sam (Joshua Sinclair, A Rose in Winter, The Golden Lady). Plus, Caldwell’s grip is stopping medical supplies getting to the plague ridden town. Can Keoma’s old friend George (Woody Strode, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Spartacus) help save the town?

A Bullet for the General: Mexico, between 1910-20 was in turmoil as the revolution rages on and factions fight for guns and bullets to fuel their campaigns for power. One is El Chuncho Muños (Gian Maria Volontè, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More) and he is after the guns on a government train. On this train is mercenary Bill Tate (Lou Castel, The Birth of Love, Fists in the Pocket) who helps Chuncho by bringing the train to a halt after the bandit’s first attempt failed. He poses as a prisoner to get in with the bandits because he has a secret agenda, but first he needs to be in with Chuncho. More gunfights and big guns, and treachery.

Revenge is best served with hot lead.

This release has historical uses of the ‘N-word’ and other racist references and prejudices, which many offend some modern viewers. That aside, this is a cracking release, and will thrill the lover of Westerns and this great phase in the European wilderness will enthral with its amazing vistas and visceral violence. Highly recommended.


Cult Spaghetti Westerns: Django, Keoma and A Bullet for the General is on Blu-ray 8 January.

Django is on special edition 4K UHD.


Complementing this definitive boxset is a riveting on-screen tribute by Quentin Tarantino enthusing on the deep influence which Sergio Corbucci, the creator of Django, had on his entire career. In the feature-length piece, illustrated with never-seen film-set footage and many film clips, Tarantino explains how – whimsically – in his ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’, the fictional Hollywood cowboy actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio ends up working for the real Sergio Corbucci in Italy.

Django Special Features (Disc 1)

Interviews with Franco Nero on being Django, Ruggero Deodato on being Corbucci’s assistant, Alex Cox defines Django
New reworked English subtitles and additional SDH
+ Django and Django
A Bullet for the General aka Quien Sabe? Special Features (Disc 2)

Interview with director Damiano Damiani
Alex Cox introduces A Bullet for the General
New reworked English subtitles and additional SDH
Keoma, The Violent Breed Special Features (Disc 3)

Interview with director Enzo G. Castellari on the making of Keoma
Interview with editor Gianfranco Amicucci
Alex Cox presents Keoma
Second interview of Enzo Castellari Westerns and Crime Flicks
New reworked English subtitles and additional SDH

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DirectorSergio Corbucci, Damiano Damiani, Enzo G. Castellari
GenreAction, Drama, Western
StarringFranco Nero, Gian Maria Volonte, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Woody Strode
Available to buy on : Own Cult Spaghetti Westerns as a Blu-ray Box Set