Mannaja


1h 35m 1977

Film Details

Also Known As
Mannaja - Das Beil des Todes
Release Date
1977
Production Company
Medusa Film

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Synopsis

Film Details

Also Known As
Mannaja - Das Beil des Todes
Release Date
1977
Production Company
Medusa Film

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m

Articles

The Spaghetti Western Boxed Set - THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION - A great introduction to a unique genre


Outside of the Clint Eastwood "Dollars" trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 1966) directed by Sergio Leone and that same director's Western epic, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the spaghetti Western craze that swept Italy and most of Europe in the sixties remained a relatively obscure phenomenon to most American audiences. While there have been homages to the genre over the years by directors like Alex Cox (Straight to Hell, 1987), Sam Raimi (The Quick and the Dead, 1995), and others, it hasn't been until recently that the spaghetti Western has started to receive the attention it has long been denied. Part of this is due to the availability of bootleg VHS tapes through outfits like Video Search of Miami and European Trash Cinema and a proliferation of articles and books on the subject like Thomas Weisser's comprehensive overview, Spaghetti Westerns - the Good, the Bad and the Violent (McFarland Press). Now, Blue Underground has come forward with their impressive DVD box set - THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION (distributed by Image Entertainment) - and it should serve as a further enticement for the uninitiated to explore this long unheralded genre.

Blue Underground deserves some kind of award for the presentation of this collection alone - not only for the beautiful re-mastering of these titles (which have previously been available only in inferior VHS versions), but for showcasing the vast scope and range of the genre. The collection includes Django (1966), which is a much more frenetic variation on the "stranger in town" motif popularized by Clint Eastwood's "man with no name" character; Django Kill...If You Live, Shoot! (1967), a wildly surrealistic exercise that prefigures the phantasmic gore level of Alexandro Jodorowsky's El Topo (1970); Mannaja (1977), a no-nonsense western revenge drama with a "hero" as obsessed as James Stewart's character in such Anthony Mann noir westerns as The Naked Spur (1953); and Run Man Run (1968), a lighthearted comedy with political overtones that features a particularly scruffy misfit as the unlikely hero. Below are brief descriptions of each title with information on the DVD extras.

- Django
Imagine A Fistful of Dollars with a faster narrative pace, a higher body count and three times the carnage and you get the picture. Franco Nero makes an indelible impression from the first time you seen him on screen, dragging a coffin behind him, across a desolate frontier landscape. The lone gunman ends up incurring the wrath of two rival gangs, battling for control of the town, and the grim climax features Django, wounded in both hands, making a last stand in a desolate graveyard. Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci, was a huge hit in Europe and inspired countless sequels featuring the nihilistic title character. This edition of Django was re-mastered from the original camera negative, recently discovered in a Rome vault untouched for over three decades. The DVD extras include an optional Italian audio track with English subtitles, "Django: The One and Only" (a mini-documentary that includes interviews with Nero and assistant director Ruggero Deodato), the original theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by Christopher Frayling, author of Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death.

- Django Kill...If You Live, Shoot!
Not like any other Euro-western you'll ever see, this ultra-violent yarn follows a half-breed bandit (Tomas Milian) as he tracks the men who shot and left him for dead to a bizarre frontier town known as "The Unhappy Place," which is an understatement, to say the least. Here Django encounters a sadist named Zorro, a gang of homosexual rapists dressed in black, and the local citizens who couldn't be a more perverse gathering of hypocrites, thieves and murderers. Filled with shocking imagery and unusual stylistic touches (upside down and backwards shots), Django Kill aroused considerable controversy in Italy upon its release and incurred the wrath of the local censors who excised some scenes such as the notorious "digging for gold" segment (which is intact in this version). The DVD extras include optional English subtitles, "Django, Tell!" (a collection of interviews with co-writer/director Giulio Questi and actors Tomas Milian and Ray Lovelock), the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by William Connolly, editor of Spaghetti Cinema.

- Mannaja.
Also know as A Man Called Blade, Mannaja stars Maurizio Merli as a hatchet-throwing bounty hunter who comes up against a corrupt town boss (Philippe Leroy) and his evil accomplice (John Steiner). The story takes a darker turn after Blade is ambushed, buried up to his head and left for dead. Rescued from his grave by his former prisoner (Donald O'Brien), Blade returns to take his revenge, even though his ordeal has left him practically blind. This was Merli's only spaghetti western though he was quite famous in Italy for his appearance in numerous cop thrillers like Violent Protection (1976) and Hunted City (1979). Mannaja has been fully restored from original Italian vault materials including the "not-for-the-squeamish" eyeball torture scenes. The DVD extras include optional English subtitles, an interview with director Sergio Martino, the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by Tom Betts, editor of Westerns All'Italiana.

- Run, Man, Run!
Cuchillo (Tomas Milian), a petty thief goes in search of a hidden fortune worth $3,000,000 after a dying revolutionary reveals to him the secret location in Texas. He soon finds himself on the run, pursued by a bounty hunter (Donald O'Brien), two French secret agents, rival Mexican gangs, a Salvation Army officer (Linda Veras) and his volatile girlfriend Dolores (Chelo Alonso). A sequel to The Big Gundown (1966), Run, Man, Run! reunites the director (Sergio Sollima) and star (Milian, playing the same character) of that film but is not a blood-drenched oater. Instead, it's a comic misadventure set against the sprawling backdrop of the Mexican revolution that predates Sergio Leone's very similar A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), aka Duck, You Sucker!. Fully restored from original vault materials, the Run, Man, Run! DVD includes optional English subtitles, interviews with Sergio Sollima and Tomas Milian, "Western Italian Style" (a documentary on the genre that includes scenes from The Great Silence and other important titles), the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and the Italian main titles sequence accompanied by Milian singing the rousing theme song.

All of the films featured in THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION are presented in the widescreen format of 2.35:1/16:9 with the exception of Django, which is presented in the 1.66:1/16:9 format. As previously stated, these DVDs are beautifully rendered transfers and also serve as a wonderful introduction to Italian composers like Ivan Vandor, Luis Enriquez Bacalov, and Guido e Maurizio de Angelis whose music played a large part in the success of the spaghetti Western. For more information about THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION, visit Blue Underground. To purchase a copy of THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION, visit TCM Shopping.

by Jeff Stafford
The Spaghetti Western Boxed Set - The Spaghetti Western Collection - A Great Introduction To A Unique Genre

The Spaghetti Western Boxed Set - THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION - A great introduction to a unique genre

Outside of the Clint Eastwood "Dollars" trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 1966) directed by Sergio Leone and that same director's Western epic, Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), the spaghetti Western craze that swept Italy and most of Europe in the sixties remained a relatively obscure phenomenon to most American audiences. While there have been homages to the genre over the years by directors like Alex Cox (Straight to Hell, 1987), Sam Raimi (The Quick and the Dead, 1995), and others, it hasn't been until recently that the spaghetti Western has started to receive the attention it has long been denied. Part of this is due to the availability of bootleg VHS tapes through outfits like Video Search of Miami and European Trash Cinema and a proliferation of articles and books on the subject like Thomas Weisser's comprehensive overview, Spaghetti Westerns - the Good, the Bad and the Violent (McFarland Press). Now, Blue Underground has come forward with their impressive DVD box set - THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION (distributed by Image Entertainment) - and it should serve as a further enticement for the uninitiated to explore this long unheralded genre. Blue Underground deserves some kind of award for the presentation of this collection alone - not only for the beautiful re-mastering of these titles (which have previously been available only in inferior VHS versions), but for showcasing the vast scope and range of the genre. The collection includes Django (1966), which is a much more frenetic variation on the "stranger in town" motif popularized by Clint Eastwood's "man with no name" character; Django Kill...If You Live, Shoot! (1967), a wildly surrealistic exercise that prefigures the phantasmic gore level of Alexandro Jodorowsky's El Topo (1970); Mannaja (1977), a no-nonsense western revenge drama with a "hero" as obsessed as James Stewart's character in such Anthony Mann noir westerns as The Naked Spur (1953); and Run Man Run (1968), a lighthearted comedy with political overtones that features a particularly scruffy misfit as the unlikely hero. Below are brief descriptions of each title with information on the DVD extras. - Django Imagine A Fistful of Dollars with a faster narrative pace, a higher body count and three times the carnage and you get the picture. Franco Nero makes an indelible impression from the first time you seen him on screen, dragging a coffin behind him, across a desolate frontier landscape. The lone gunman ends up incurring the wrath of two rival gangs, battling for control of the town, and the grim climax features Django, wounded in both hands, making a last stand in a desolate graveyard. Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci, was a huge hit in Europe and inspired countless sequels featuring the nihilistic title character. This edition of Django was re-mastered from the original camera negative, recently discovered in a Rome vault untouched for over three decades. The DVD extras include an optional Italian audio track with English subtitles, "Django: The One and Only" (a mini-documentary that includes interviews with Nero and assistant director Ruggero Deodato), the original theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by Christopher Frayling, author of Sergio Leone: Something To Do With Death. - Django Kill...If You Live, Shoot! Not like any other Euro-western you'll ever see, this ultra-violent yarn follows a half-breed bandit (Tomas Milian) as he tracks the men who shot and left him for dead to a bizarre frontier town known as "The Unhappy Place," which is an understatement, to say the least. Here Django encounters a sadist named Zorro, a gang of homosexual rapists dressed in black, and the local citizens who couldn't be a more perverse gathering of hypocrites, thieves and murderers. Filled with shocking imagery and unusual stylistic touches (upside down and backwards shots), Django Kill aroused considerable controversy in Italy upon its release and incurred the wrath of the local censors who excised some scenes such as the notorious "digging for gold" segment (which is intact in this version). The DVD extras include optional English subtitles, "Django, Tell!" (a collection of interviews with co-writer/director Giulio Questi and actors Tomas Milian and Ray Lovelock), the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by William Connolly, editor of Spaghetti Cinema. - Mannaja. Also know as A Man Called Blade, Mannaja stars Maurizio Merli as a hatchet-throwing bounty hunter who comes up against a corrupt town boss (Philippe Leroy) and his evil accomplice (John Steiner). The story takes a darker turn after Blade is ambushed, buried up to his head and left for dead. Rescued from his grave by his former prisoner (Donald O'Brien), Blade returns to take his revenge, even though his ordeal has left him practically blind. This was Merli's only spaghetti western though he was quite famous in Italy for his appearance in numerous cop thrillers like Violent Protection (1976) and Hunted City (1979). Mannaja has been fully restored from original Italian vault materials including the "not-for-the-squeamish" eyeball torture scenes. The DVD extras include optional English subtitles, an interview with director Sergio Martino, the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and liner notes by Tom Betts, editor of Westerns All'Italiana. - Run, Man, Run! Cuchillo (Tomas Milian), a petty thief goes in search of a hidden fortune worth $3,000,000 after a dying revolutionary reveals to him the secret location in Texas. He soon finds himself on the run, pursued by a bounty hunter (Donald O'Brien), two French secret agents, rival Mexican gangs, a Salvation Army officer (Linda Veras) and his volatile girlfriend Dolores (Chelo Alonso). A sequel to The Big Gundown (1966), Run, Man, Run! reunites the director (Sergio Sollima) and star (Milian, playing the same character) of that film but is not a blood-drenched oater. Instead, it's a comic misadventure set against the sprawling backdrop of the Mexican revolution that predates Sergio Leone's very similar A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), aka Duck, You Sucker!. Fully restored from original vault materials, the Run, Man, Run! DVD includes optional English subtitles, interviews with Sergio Sollima and Tomas Milian, "Western Italian Style" (a documentary on the genre that includes scenes from The Great Silence and other important titles), the theatrical trailer, poster and stills gallery, and the Italian main titles sequence accompanied by Milian singing the rousing theme song. All of the films featured in THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION are presented in the widescreen format of 2.35:1/16:9 with the exception of Django, which is presented in the 1.66:1/16:9 format. As previously stated, these DVDs are beautifully rendered transfers and also serve as a wonderful introduction to Italian composers like Ivan Vandor, Luis Enriquez Bacalov, and Guido e Maurizio de Angelis whose music played a large part in the success of the spaghetti Western. For more information about THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION, visit Blue Underground. To purchase a copy of THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN COLLECTION, visit TCM Shopping. by Jeff Stafford

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1977

Released in United States 1977