Sunday, June 7, 2009

Planet Griffin's Top Ten Movies That Move On Paper: Comics Undreamed Of! Pt. 9

Back in 1966, Director SERGIO CORBUCCI began filming a small indie western with a little known italian actor named FRANCO NERO and a $15,000 production budget... The far reaching impact of this film brings us to number 2:


This movie is a personal favorite of the genre (well, THE WILD BUNCH claims top spot, but this flick is still alot of fun), and as I said, its impact is still felt today. One of the visual appeals to this film is that despite being a western, Corbucci gives it the gloomy appearance of a gothic horror film--- mud caked streets brought on by the non-stop downpours, the world weary demeanors of the town's inhabitants, and the violence--- oh, the violence--- factors that kinda make you scream out for a hero to save you... Be very careful what you wish for.

Originally scripted, Django was NOT the main character's actual name---
Django was, in fact, the name of a Gatling gun that the Stranger kept in a coffin that he dragged around; laying waste to the redband caballeros that terrorized the countryside. Watching this film, you can tell that Corbucci made it paramount to take all of Leone's thematics one step further--- and it shows in every frame. ( To put it another way: Leone was BOYZ IN THE HOOD to Corbucci's MENACE TO SOCIETY... You get the idea.)

DJANGO only had one sequel (simply, DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN w/ Franco Nero and Donald Pleasence in 87_, yet over 100 films were made using the Django title. Kind of like Jim Lee imitators floating around during the Image boom of the early 90's, the impact of this new genre style was painfully clear.

And the impacts mentioned earlier? Robert Rodriguez would utilize the Django idea to greater effect in his EL MARIACHI series. The now legendary ear scene from Tarantino's RESERVOIR DOGS got its start with this film. John Woo hailed this film as an example of how to greater exemplify the hero surrounded by evil men during the filming of HARD BOILED. Takashi Miike immortalized his own tribute to Corbucci recently with SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO.
I can conjure the idea of DJANGO as a limited series with unlimited imagination. If A MAN WITH NO NAME can make it to the comicstand, it's only a matter of time before someone else realizes the power of the obvious. I'll make it! Anyone of The NEXT 100 will tell you: If you want to see something new, you've gotta make it yourself!


samax said...

i'm a HUGE fan of naming your gun!

Rodbuddah said...

Firepower with personality... Imagine having a conversation with a machine gun named 'Sue'--- it takes a phrase like '...that TIME of the month...' to a whole NEW level!

John Aston said...

I actually own the two-disc set!

Django is by far the most violent western I've ever seen, in particular the horse-stomping bit. Although the Gatling gun scene is a good hook early in the film, maybe it was better used towards the climax somehow.

On a side note, the 70s Elvis-like theme song rocks and is one of the few songs in general I would sing karaoke, if brave enough.

Rodbuddah said...

I NEED THE 2 DISC SET!!! I can't find nothing up here! If you think DJANGO is violent, you should see SARTANA... That's another story...

As far as the title song, I think it vibes perfect with the film--- most italian westerns/crime films have soundtracks that are unique to the film that seem almost tailor made.