Written by: George Pacheco on December 20th, 2012
Theatrical Release Dates: Italy, 1967 (Django Kills Silently), Italy, 1971 (Django’s Cut Price Corpses)
Directors: Massimo Pupillo (Django Kills Silently), Luigi Batzella (Django’s Cut Price Corpses)
Writers: Lina Caterini, Paul Farjon, Mario De Rosa, Gaetano Dell’Era
Cast: George Eastman, Luciano Rossi, Jeff Cameron, Esmerelda Barros
DVD Release Date: December 11th, 2012
Approximate Running Times: 94 minutes (Django Kills Silently), 82 minutes (Django’s Cut Price Corpses)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 widescreen (Django Kills Silently), 1.81:1 widescreen (Django’s Cut Price Corpses)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono (Both Films)
DVD Release: Shout Factory / Timeless Media Group
Region Encoding: NTSC Region 1
Retail Price: $6.95
In the world of budget spaghetti western sets, there are a number of titles which seem to continually make the rounds, with most collectors probably having lost count of their God’s Gun, Beyond the Law or Death Rides a Horse prints.
That being said, most Italian western fans were relatively chuffed when Shout Factory and Timeless Media Group announced they were bringing a number of ‘Django’ inspired titles to home video, a couple of which were heretofore unreleased on DVD. Django Kills Silently and Django’s Cut Price Corpses are two of these titles, and represent the typical spaghetti western themes of the era: those of vengeance, greed and bounty killing!
Django Kills Silently—also known as Django Kills Softly or Bill Il Taciturno—was originally released in 1967, and featured Italian genre cinema mainstay George Eastman in one of his early roles as the titular title character of Django, who attempts to play two rival gangs of outlaws against each other, a la Clint Eastwood’s iconic ‘Man With No Name’ figure in the Sergio Leone Dollars trilogy, already a huge success worldwide at this time.
Granted, this isn’t exactly the most original of ideas, and Django Kills Silently makes no real attempts to differentiate itself between any of the other Italian westerns of the day, and it shows within the film’s story and stylistic clichés, most of which are only saved by the likable presence of Eastman, here the fresh-faced and smiling hero; light years away from the villains, killers and cannibals Eastman (born Luigi Montefiori) would eventually portray in such films as Preparati a Bara, Absurd and Anthropophagus.
Django’s Cut Price Corpses fares slightly better, benefiting from a bit more action, some madcap comedy and a slightly more original plot, which deals with Django’s fiancée being abducted by the Cortez Gang, a stolen saddle and the take from a big time bank robbery. Jeff Cameron is adequate here in the Django role, although he lacks any real enthusiasm or charisma when compared to other spaghetti actors of his day. The lighting and cinematography are an improvement here when compared to Eastman’s film, however, perhaps due to this film’s release in 1971, which was relatively late in the Italian western cycle.
Both Django Kills Silently and Django’s Cut Price Corpses are released here in widescreen format which preserves the films’ original aspect ratio. The color palette is smooth, the sound clear and both films look quite fine, given their respective age and rarity. Extras are limited only to posters and trailers, yet for those who simply need to own every spaghetti western in existence, this double feature provides an unbeatable cost effective method to assist in this goal with ease.