The sloppy state of Italian intellectual property law and enforcement in the mid-20th Century enabled all sorts of cinematic shenanigans. For instance, Zombie Flesh Eaters was known as Zombi 2 in the Italian market and presented as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead (whose Italian release was called Zombi), and a number of movies came out presenting themselves as Zombi 3 when it became clear that there was a hungry audience for this sort of stuff.
Another example is the Django craze of the late 1960s and early 1970s. After the 1966 release of the Spaghetti Western Django, a swathe of Westerns came out capitalising on its popularity – often by just adding the name “Django” to their titles and changing nothing, which is awkward when the movies in question don’t include a character called Django (or even a character who resembles Franco Nero’s character in the original movie).
Some of these were dross, some are pretty good, and naturally any obscure movie craze from this period is going to sooner or later catch the attention of Quentin Tarantino and be recycled by him: thus, Django Unchained, with Jamie Foxx in the title character, came out in 2012, prompting in turn a brace of reissues of Django movies. Talking Pulp has produced some reviews of these, and here’s my take on two of them.
In the first Django movie the iconic character – played this time around by Franco Nero – is introduced to us as he’s dragging a coffin through mud and filth in a miserable rainstorm, wearing the remnants of a Union uniform. He encounters and rescues María (Loredana Nusciak), a prostitute who has become caught up in a conflict between Mexican bandits and the forces of Major Jackson (Eduardo Fajardo), a Confederate officer who, with the Civil War over and ol’ Dixie run down, has gone off West to fight his own private war against those he considers racially inferior.