Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pasta Masters

Django - he knows where you live! The Spaghetti Western, (along with live-action ant movies, French Policiers, old school Kung Fu and Surf Music), is one of the perfect genres. Spaghettis (or Macaroni Westerns as they are called in Japan, for some reason) would like to believe they are thematically rich, taking in political theory (Face to Face) and existentialism (The Big Silence), but to be honest we only love them because they feature hilariously ugly heavies getting blown away by heroes with some sort of killing gimmick (Manco/Joe's lightning draw in the Eastwood trilogy, Django's coffin containing a machine gun, etc.). The atmosphere helps too, typically a flyblown, bleached frontier town with scurrying black-cowled grannies, cowardly sherrif's, corrupt judges and shopkeepers. Even the truly terrible examples get by due to their astonishing titles. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Heads You Die ... Tails I Kill You (1971)

  • Get the Coffin Ready (1968

  • Trade your pistol for a coffin, Sartana's in town (1968)

  • God forgives - I don't (1966)

  • Massacre Time (1965)

  • Alive, or Preferably Dead (1970)

  • Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears (1969)

  • 15 Scaffolds for the Killers (1968)

  • Hate Thy Neighbour (1969)

  • Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming (1969)

I'm trying to track down Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears in the hope that Johnny Ears is a guide dog for Deaf Smith...

And the prize for hardest line in a Spaghetti Western, and possibly of any film, goes to Django the Bastard:
There's a fella here got a cross with your name on it and today's date.

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