Written by: John White on April 3rd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1977
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Cast: Fred Williamson, Peter Hooten, Bo Svensson, Ian Bannen
DVD released: March 2006
Approximate running time: 99 mins
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0
DVD Release: DEX entertainment
Region Coding: Region 2 NTSC
Retail Price: $39.95
An assortment of miscreants facing court martial escape when being transported in WW2 France. They decide to head for freedom in Switzerland and capture a Nazi deserter along the way. The deserters include a compulsive thief, a racist gigolo, a hard as nails man mountain, and a romeo pilot. When they come across some men in German uniform they send the Nazi to speak to them and think he has betrayed them when they gun down the soldiers only to find they were a crack US force imitating Germans. Racked by guilt and caught by the French resistance they decide to carry out the dead soldiers mission. Will they succeed in destroying a new Nazi weapon and get a pardon?
This is one of those films that is gathering a reputation on the back of Tarantino advocating its greatness and in this films case QT talks of remaking it. Tarantino undoubtedly has been hugely influential in creating interest in films which has led to great DVD releases but Inglorious Bastards is only available on this one Japanese disc so far.
Here at 10kbullets we are swimming in DVD releases of Castellari’s films. You can check out Heroin Busters, Street Law, the Big Racket and High Crime on these pages but Inglorious Bastards is the daddy of them all. Sure it’s a rip off of the Dirty Dozen, sure the stars are hardly A-list, sure the budget is not huge but this is cracking entertainment.
Bo Svensson leads this band of criminals, racists and outcasts on a rampage through nasty Nazis, cute French nurses and naked women with machine guns. Essentially, Inglorious Bastards is a characterful set of setpieces from the initial introduction of the characters in military prison through skirmishes with the Nazis, the French resistance, and into a great train based mission which combines great redemption with top explosions. This is an action movie par excellence which has great wit, terrific images and real tension. It borrows liberally from other war movies and never stops being cool. Do you want to see a cigar chomping Fred Williamson dispatching Nazis with his machine gun, do you want to see a nude troop of female storm troopers, do you want to see Bo Svensson defeat a fiendish Nazi bomb by sticking a pencil in it!
The budget restrictions affect the very end of the film in terms of the models of the train which gets blown up but this is a minor quibble in a film which is a tremendous ride which never lets up. On pure entertainment grounds this is nigh unbeatable.
This Japanese release boasts a remastered print which looks good but the skin tones do look a little too warm and there is a lack of sharpness at times. The transfer does have moments of motion shake and I imagine this has been converted from a PAL source.
The good sound comes with Italian, Japanese and English audio but there are no English subs. On the English track there are several scenes in French and German which do get explained but English subs in these scenes would improve this disc.
The disc comes with scene access and a theatrical trailer.
This is the first proper DVD release of a terrific movie. It will probably make it easier for future releases to come but this disc is more than acceptable and the picture will look excellent on most TV sets. There is no other option if you love this film, so buy it.