Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 22nd, 2009
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
BluRay released: July 28th, 2009
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English on non English spoken dialog
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $34.95
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.
The Inglorious Bastards comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. Severin Films had previously released The Inglorious Bastards on DVD in 2008 in standard and a three disc special edition. As good as the transfer for the DVD release looked the transfer for this BluRay release improves upon it in every way as colors and flesh tones look more accurate and details have never looked sharper than they do on this transfer.
This release comes with two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital mono English. 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. Both audio mixes are in excellent shapes as everything is crystal clear and at times robust. There is no contest between the two audio mixes as the better sounding and fuller of the two is the Dolby Digital mono English.
All of the extras (except the bonus CD included with the three disc Special Edition) included on Severin Films previous DVD release of The Inglorious Bastards have been carried over and they are as follows, a English language and Italian trailers for the film and a thirty eight minute interview with Quentin Tarantino and Enzo G. Castellari. Both directors’ show a great admiration for each other films. They discuss in depth Castellari’s The Inglorious Bastards and Tarantino’s impending 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. Other extras include an audio commentary with Enzo G. Castellari that 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. 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. 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. Just about everything there is to know and then some is covered in this documentary. All these extras for this release are also presented in HD. Three new extras exclusive to this release are as follows as English language trailer for Eagles Over London, a seven minute segment filmed during Enzo G. Castellari’s 70th anniversary celebration and a eleven minute segment filmed at the New Beverly in which Enzo G. Castellari, Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson and Severin Films David Gregory do a Q & A after a screening of the film. The most interesting information that comes out of this segment is how Severin Films looked into releasing Enzo G. Castellari’s Great White and how Universal still has an injunction against this film in the USA. Overall The Inglorious Bastards makes its way to HD via another exceptional release from Severin Films.