Quentin Tarantino's latest film, "Django Unchained," which mashes up the slavesploitation of "Mandingo" with the Spaghetti Western, has shocked some viewers, especially those previously unfamiliar with these particular sub-genres. Those who have found the gunplay in the film to be beyond the pale have probably never seen its inspiration, Sergio Corbucci's 1966 ultra-violent revenge tale 'Django,' starring the one and only Franco Nero (who also has a nice cameo role in 'Django Unchained').
This week, the four Alamo Drafthouse locations in Austin – the Austin Classic Movies Examiner would like a moment of silence here for the old Alamo South Lamar, which will be closed most of this year due to massive renovations – are screening the original 'Django' in a new digital restoration. Fans of the Spaghetti Western, and of QT, should not miss the opportunity to see this influential and insane shoot-'em-up on the big screen.
The Alamo blog calls 'Django' "the most explosive, amoral, blood-hungry western of the 20th century." And the hyperbole doesn't stop there:
"Back when Quentin Tarantino was still in a booster seat, this rampaging, vengeance-crazed Italian powderkeg ripped open the spaghetti western genre, leaving a trail of corpses and about a hundred sequels and knock-offs. Unmatched euro-star Franco Nero is Django, a tortured drifter who wanders the populated wastelands of a nightmarish west, dragging a heavy coffin through the sands behind him. He stumbles across a small, dying down filled with banditos, racists and unwashed psychopaths, and it doesn't take long before the lead heats up and the bodies lay cold...Sure, Sergio Leone's iconic "Man with No Name" trilogy had already firmly established the European western, but 'Django' director Corbucci assaulted it with as much grit, grime, rage and mania as you'd find in the actual law-free days of free-range homicide. It's a major achievement in dust-choked, breakneck misanthropy, now restored and ready for rediscovery in the light of the new Tarantino film."
'Django' screens Saturday January 5th at 1 p.m. at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, 320 East Sixth Street; Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. at Alamo Lake Creek, 13729 Research Boulevard, and Alamo Slaughter Lane, 5701 W. Slaughter Lane; Monday at 7 p.m. at Alamo Village, 2701 West Anderson Lane, and the Alamo Ritz; Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Alamo Slaughter Lane; and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Alamo Lake Creek and the Alamo Village. Reserved seating available at drafthouse.com/movies/big_screen_classics_django/austin
J.M. Dobies, Austin Classic Movies Examiner Facebook Page