Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 15th, 2008
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, February 8th, 1978
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Sergio Grieco, Sandro Continenza, Franco Marotta, Romano Migliorini, Laura Toscano
Cast: Bo Svenson, Peter Hooten, Fred Williamson, Michael Pergolani, Jackie Basehart, Michel Constantin, Debra Berger, Raimund Harmstorf, Ian Bannen
DVD released: July 29th, 2008
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: While being transported a group of American soldiers’ wanted for committing criminal acts escape custody when German’s attack the convoy escorting them. Somehow a handful of them survive the German’s attack. Not wanting to go back to prison and face a possible court marshal for their crimes. They decide to try to make their way to the nearest neutral country Switzerland. Along the way they accidentally kill some Allied soldiers’ posing as Nazi’s. This forces them to pose as the dead soldiers’ and complete their mission.
The Italians have long been known for their unique take of film genres that were originally successful before they put their own slant on them. Enzo G. Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards is unlike most Italian clones’ films. Sure there are many similarities to American war films like The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape and Were Eagles Dare. Despite these similarities The Inglorious Bastards still manages to create something that is unlike most World War 2 films that have come before it or since it. The plot for The Inglorious Bastards revolves around American soldiers who have committed murder and/or deserted the military during a time of war. These are not your ordinary soldiers. They have no honor and they only care about saving their own necks. They do start to band together as the film progresses which show’s that just may be they are not as bad as we once thought they were.
The Inglorious Bastards was directed by Enzo G. Castellari a filmmaker who knows how to craft some of the most explosive action films’ ever committed to celluloid. This film has just so much going on and things move along so quickly that you will be hard pressed to find a dull moment in this film. The film accomplishes some much on so very little and this is mostly due to Enzo G. Castellari’s expert direction. The film is loaded with shoot outs and explosions. Castellari really shines as a director in the films finale. One of the most memorable moments involves a group of female Nazi soldiers’ bathing in a waterfall nude. When they discover that the men they are cozening up with are American’s they grab their guns with their clothes still off and fire away.
The Inglorious Bastards features a solid cast lead by Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson doing what he does best playing Fred Williamson. All around the cast are all very good in their respective roles. The film features a remarkable score from composer Francesco De Masi (The New York Ripper, Fistful of Lead, Any Gun Can Play). Ultimately The Inglorious Bastards is a kick ass action extravaganza that pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.
Severin Films give Enzo G. Castellari’s World War 2 epic The Inglorious Bastards fully uncut and for the first time ever on DVD in America. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This transfer is another solid effort from Severin Films. Colors are nicely saturated, black levels are strong throughout and there is no noticeable print damage. The source material used from this transfer is in spectacular shape making this the best the film has looked on DVD to date.
This release comes with one audio track a Dolby Digital mono mix. The primary language spoken throughout is English. There are some moments in the film that are spoken in German and French. These are subtitled in English. The audio mix if free of any defects and at times it is very dynamic.
The extras for this release have been spread over two DVD’s and one CD. The extras one the first DVD include a English language trailer for the film and a thirty eight minute interview with Quentin Tarantino and Enzo G. Castellari. Both director’s show a great admiration for each other films. They discuss in depth Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards and Tarantino’s proposed remake. The interview starts off with Tarantino dominating the discussion with Castellari adding more to the discussion in the last twenty minutes of the interview. Rounding out the extras on the first DVD is an audio commentary with Enzo G. Castellari. The audio commentary is moderated by David Gregory. For the most part the audio commentary is a lively affair in which Castellari vividly remembers details about the production. The only down side is that some things Castellari says is repeated in other extras on this release.
Extras on the second DVD include a thirteen minute segment with Enzo G. Castellari titled “Back to the War Zone”. During this segment Castellari revisits locations used during the production. Overall it is interesting to see how much the various locations have changed over the years. Rounding out the extras on the second DVD is a monumental seventy five minute documentary titled “Train-Kept-A-Rollin”. This documentary includes interviews with Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Enzo G. Castellari, Filippo De Masi, Gino De Rossi, Roberto Sbarigia, Laura Toscano and Massimo Vanni. Virtually all the major player involved in the making of The Inglorious Bastards has been tracked down for this documentary. Overall just about everything there is to know and then some is covered in this documentary.
The third and final disc included with this release is CD that contains the only surviving music from the score about twenty minutes worth. It is shame that half of the soundtrack has been lost forever and the documentary even reveals why it has been lost. Enzo G. Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards gets an impressive release from Severin Films making it the cult DVD event of 2008.