Written by: Michael Den Boer on February 13th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1967
Director: Domenico Paolella
Writers: Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci, Fernando Di Leo, Domenico Paolella
Cast: Antonio Sabato, John Ireland, Piero Vida, Nadia Marconi, Fernando Sancho, Mirko Ellis, Gloria Milland
DVD released: March 27th, 2012
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Warner Archive
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $17.95
Synopsis: An aging robber is serving his sentence when his family becomes the target of one of his former partners who is hell bent on collecting his share of their last job. Unable to protect his family he enlists the help of a aspiring artist. Will his former partner be satisfied once he collects his share of the heist or will his greed lead to more bloodshed?
Hate for Hate was co-written and directed by Domenico Paolella (Story of a Cloistered Nun). Key collaborators on Hate for Hate include screenwriters Bruno Corbucci (Cop in Drag) and Fernando Di Leo (Milano calibro 9) and cinematographers Alejandro Ulloa (The Diabolical Dr. Z, One on Top of the Other) and Giovanni Bergamini (The Inglorious Bastards).
On the surface all of the ingredients one would expect and want from a Spaghetti western are on display in Hate for Hate. Nevertheless the end result is unlike anything that the genre has offered before or since. Sure there is the obligatory heist followed by a double cross. But that is when things start to get interesting and take a very refreshing turn. The plot revolves around one of the more unlikely of pairings: a lifelong criminal named James Cooper nearing the end of his life and a much younger Hispanic man named Miguel who dreams of being an artist. Seems that James Cooper and his partner robbed a bank that had the money that Miguel was saving to start his career. Miguel becomes further involved when a case of mistaken identity lands him in a prison with James Cooper. Though this opening set up follows a narrative that has been done in countless other spaghetti westerns, it’s the story that follows makes this film so engaging to watch.
Spaghetti westerns are known for their stylish visuals and operatic violent set pieces, and in this regard the film passes with high grades. Most notably an ambush scene in which Miguel single handedly fends off an army of assassins with nothing more than some inventive ingenuity that gives his would be assassins the impression that he is not alone and has some help keeping them at bay.
Other areas in which this film often excels are its first rate score that is evocative of some of the more memorable ever featured in Spaghetti westerns. Performance wise the cast are very good in their respective roles with the most surprising performance coming from Antonio Sabato (Seven Bloodstained Orchids) in the role of Miguel. Ultimately Hate for Hate is a vastly underrated Spaghetti western that hopefully, after years of languishing in relative obscurity, will now find the audience that it so justly deserves.
Warner Archives presents Hate for Hate in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves this films intended aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in very good shape. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and details look crisp throughout. Black levels fare well, with only a few minor moments in which darker scenes are lacking in detail. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is minimal.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio is in great shape. There is no problems with distortion or background noise and dialog always comes through with crystal clarity. Everything sounds balanced, with sound effects and the score for the film being well represented in this audio mix.
Extras for this release are limited to a trailer for the film (2 minutes 52 seconds – letterboxed widescreen). Overall Warner Archives gives Hate for Hate a strong audio / video presentation.