Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 25th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Ferdinando Baldi
Writers: Ferdinando Baldi, Lloyd Battista, Wolf Lowenthal
Cast: Tony Anthony, Lloyd Battista, Raf Baldassarre, Diana Lorys, Mirta Miller
BluRay released: October 27th, 2015
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.98
Get Mean was co-written and directed by Ferdinando Baldi who’s other notable films include, Texas, Adios, Django, Prepare a Coffin, Forgotten Pistolero, Blindman, Nine Guests for a Crime and Terror Express. The score for Get Mean was composed by Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera. This trio’s other notable collaborations include Four of the Apocalypse, The Psychic and Silver Saddle. There are a total of four Stranger films, A Stranger in Town, The Stranger Returns, The Silent Stranger and Get Mean.
Just when you think that you have seen everything that could be seen from the Spaghetti western genre. Along comes a film like Get Mean that knocks you off your feet with its most unconventional take on this well traversed genre. And where the majority of its contemporaries where shifting the focus away from stylized acts of violence in favor of a more lighthearted version of the genre that was anchored by humor. Fortunately there are always going to be those films that walk to the beat of their own drum and case in point, Get Mean one of the those rarified examples where a Spaghetti western finds that perfect balance between humor and stylized acts of violence.
The premise takes one of the genres most scenarios, a protagonist who pits several characters against each other with promises of riches and in return this helps the protagonist achieve their goals. This is where things familiar end as this film is not just content to be another western. Since the protagonist is reluctantly becomes a fish out of water when they quickly find themselves in over the head in a foreign land. From there things only get more bizarre as the bad guys of this film are cut from a different cloth. The bad guys in this film are Barbarians who have invaded the land and now occupy it. The protagonist with no help from anyone else must come up with the way to help the princess he is escorting regain power.
From a production stand point one would be hard pressed to find any faults in this film. The films visuals are rock solid and the numerous action set pieces are all inventive and well-constructed. Also there are many scenes which give this film a much larger scope then its limited resources. Most noticeably a battle scene that occurs shortly after the protagonists’ arrival in Spain. And of course another standout action set piece is this film’s finale which goes for broke as they just throw in everything imaginable into this scene.
When speaking about this film, everything begins and ends with Tony Anthony’s performance in the role of The Stranger, the protagonist of this film. There is no denying that this is his show and he delivers an extraordinary performance that elevates everyone around him. Another performance of note is Lloyd Battista in the role of hunchback barbarian named Sombra who idolizes Richard the III. Other recognizable faces in this film include, Mirta Miller (Vengeance of the Zombies) and Diana Lorys (The Awful Dr. Orlof) in the role of the Spanish princess.
Get Mean comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source used for this transfer is in excellent shape and this transfer does a remarkable job retaining the intended look of the film. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio sounds great as dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Also included with this release are three subtitle options, English SDH, French and Spanish.
Extras for this release include, poster & stills gallery, radio spots (1 minute 57 seconds), English language trailer (3 minutes 23 seconds), French language trailer (3 minutes 21 seconds), deleted scenes (8 minutes 28 seconds), four interviews – the first interview with director Ferdinando Baldi (8 minutes 19 seconds, in Italian with English subtitles), the second interview with executive producer Ronald J. Schneider (9 minutes 50 seconds), the third interview with actor Lloyd Battista (11 minutes 33 seconds) and the fourth interview with actor Tony Anthony (23 minutes 12 seconds) and an insightful audio commentary with Tony Anthony, Lloyd Battista, Ronald J. Schneider and moderator David Gregory.
Topics discussed in the interview with Ferdinando Baldi include, who he first meet Tony Anthony, the two 3-D films that he made with Anthony and why they failed everywhere except America at the box office.
Topics discussed in the interview with Ronald J. Schneider include, how he approached Tony Anthony about making another movie, they had previous collaborated on The Silent Stranger, the difficulties that he faced in trying to raise the film’s budget and why the film had a limited theatrical run.
Topics discussed in the interview with Lloyd Battista include, his friendship with Tony Anthony and how it got him his first film role, working with Ferdinando Baldi, how he came up with the idea that his character in Get Mean as a hunchback who idolized Richard the III and the benefits of shooting on location.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tony Anthony include, how he got into filmmaking and more specifically Spaghetti westerns, collaborating on the first three ‘Stranger’ films with director Luigi Vanzi, Get Mean and how he got involved in the project, working with Ferdinando Baldi, locations featured in the film and the financial difficulties that arose throughout production.
Rounding out the extras are trailers for A Stranger in Town (2 minutes 23 seconds), The Stranger Returns (2 minutes 16 seconds), The Silent Stranger (2 minutes 31 seconds), Blindman (2 minutes 52 seconds), Comin at Ya (2 minutes 38 seconds) and Treasure of the Four Crowns (1 minute 52 seconds) and an eighteen page booklet with a lengthy essay about the entire Stranger films series written by Howard Hughes. Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Blue Underground rescue a rarely seen Spaghetti western and give it an exceptional release, highly recommended.