Django Unchained

Django Unchained

Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Django Unchained
There will be SPOILERS for Django Unchained below the fold. If you don’t want to get spoiled, please read one of our many other fine reviews and come back later. Thank you.
Django Unchained
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Ghost-Town Gold

Ghost-Town Gold

Written by John Rathmell and Oliver Drake
Story by Bernard McConville
Based on the book by William Colt MacDonald
Directed by Joseph Kane

Ghost-Town Gold
The Three Mesquiteers is a prolific series of dime store cowboy novels (beginning with 1933’s Law of the .45’s by William Colt MacDonald) that became a long-running movie franchise. The span of films lasted 12 actors in the three lead roles over 51 films, probably most famously John Wayne during a long stint. Republic Pictures produced all of the films in the series. The original film is simply called The Three Mesquiteers, and stars Robert Livingston, Ray “Crash” Corrigan, and Syd Saylor. Saylor was replaced by Max Terhune as Lullaby Joslin and the three lasted until the 17th film in the series – Pals of the Saddle, where John Wayne took over for Robert Livingston (Livingston also missed one film when he was injured and was replaced by Ralph Byrd.) The cast changes the get more complicated (including Livingston returning after the other two stars were replaced) and if I ever get around to watching all 51 films I’ll be sure to do a retrospective.
Ghost-Town Gold
As is the case with all popular things, there were a slew of imitation cowboy trio series trying to capture the magic of The Three Mequiteers. Monogram Pictures lured Ray Corrigan away for The Range Busters series (1940-43, with Max Terhune also showing up for a few), and then got later Mesquiteer Raymond Hatton for The Rough Riders series (1941-42). Their final attempt was The Trail Brazers (1943-44). Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC) had two attempts of their own, The Texas Rangers (1942–45) and The Frontier Marshals (1942). Info on these films can be found on the wonderful B-Westerns site.

Ghost-town Gold is the second film in the series. It’s also the “supernatural” one, in that ghosts are referenced, though ultimately it turns out to just be an elaborate ruse by a crazy old man. Spoilers. It is a typical cheapo Western excursion of the 1930s, back when movies were pumped out like crazy to fill theaters before TV turned America into a land of couch potatoes. Thanks to the magic of existing sets and stock players, these cheap films look way more expensive than many of the cheap films produced today. The supporting cast (as is the case in many of this films) is like a laundry list of legendary Western actors and actresses. Kay Hughes plays the daughter of the mayor, she had a career that was notable for many parts in Westerns. Dirk Barrington is played by LeRoy Mason, who often played the villain in cowboy pictures before his life was cut short by a heart attack. Yakima Canutt, Bob Kortman, and Frank Hagney are among the other players.
Ghost-Town Gold

Stony Brooke (Robert Livingston) – The self-appointed leader of the Mesquiteers who isn’t afraid to shy away from a fight, but will always try to do things right. Bob Livingston played both Zorro and The Lone Ranger in his career.
Tucson Smith (Ray “Crash” Corrigan) – The tough Mesquiteer who will beat the crap out of anyone and ask questions later. Luckily, he manages to only beat up evil people when he leaps into the fray. Besides his serial and Western career, Corrigan is best known to B-movie fans today for his appearances in ape costumes, such as Nabonga.
Lullaby Joslin (Max Terhune) – The Mesquiteer most likely to cause trouble that his two pals have to clean up. Throughout his film appearances in many different Western series, Terhune would bring his dummy Elmer, who often got screen credit! Terhune was in vaudeville and was an expert at magic and card tricks, the card tricks often showing up in films as well.
Elmer the ventriloquist doll (Himself) – The most famous ventriolquist doll in cowboy cinema. And maybe the only one, I haven’t figured that out yet.

Ghost-Town Gold
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Cango Korkusuz Adam (Review)

Cango Korkusuz Adam

aka Django vs. Kilink aka Cango Ölüm Süvarisi / Korkusuz Adam

Written by Recep Ekicigil
Directed by Remzi Jöntürk

Scene guest directed by the director of Battlefield Earth!

Remember last month when this site and Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! both reviewed a long-lost Turkish Kilink film that suddenly became found? Well, it’s deja vu all over again because here’s ANOTHER double lost Killink review! Cango Korkusuz Adam. This time, Killink travels to the Old West where he’s trying to take over valuable land with a gold mine on it, and terrorizing the adjoining town. Sadly for Killink, the nephew of the man he kills to get the land shows up and is so cowboy that even a guy dressed in a skeleton costume and a cowboy hat can’t stand a chance, because he become Django! Or as he’s called in Turkish, Cango! Neither name is Rango, though, so don’t get too excited.

More lost Killink films??!!

Cango Korkusuz Adam is another flick that was unavailable, except for the fact it showed up on TV! Oddly enough, the print used looks pretty tore up and like the tape it was playing on was getting a bit long in the tooth. As it was shown without subtitles, two enterprising young dudes made some custom subtitles which are very good (except they confuse the words for niece and nephew, leading to a lot of talk about McLan’s niece Cango. And as this is a Turkish film, the only soundtrack is a stolen soundtrack.

This is the worst production of Pirates of the Penzance I’ve ever seen!

Cango Korkusuz Adam turns out to be a pretty okay old western that just happens to have Killink as a villain. It’s like an oater/comic book mashup. You could easily see this as an old 1930s western, or even an episode of Gunsmoke! Chiko is pretty much Festus and Cango is close to Matt Dillon. We even have Rozita as Miss Kitty!

Nothing says tough Western saloon like kitten posters on the wall!

Cango/Tom (Tunç Oral) – You see, he’s Cango, not Django, so send back those copyright lawyers! Tom is the nephew of a murdered landowner come to get revenge on his family’s killer. To do so he becomes a gunfighting badass mofo! And also dresses in black and doesn’t talk much. You get the good and the bad.
Chiko (Yilmaz Köksal) – Local quack pharmacist turned sheriff when he gets caught in the middle of all the turf wars going on. Becomes Cango’s ally.
Rozita (Figen Say) – Local saloon owner and dancing girl, was on the payroll of the bad guys, but her love for Chiko turns her straight. And ticks off the bad guys even more!
Killink/Death Cavalier (Oktar Durukan) – How can Killink time travel? It must be magic! It is just proof that there will always be a Killink somewhere, ready to be evil or slightly less evil. This Killink is dressed in a cowboy costume with hat and six-shooter and cape over his iconic skeleton costume.
Jack (Yavuz Karakaş) – A one-eyed lieutenant of Killink who is crazy insane and gets joy out of torturing his own men as well as the good guys.
The Dog (Himself) – Killink has a dog (a bull mastiff) and also a fondness for chopping off the hands of people who fail him, which are fed to the dog. As Killink doesn’t seem to be a ladies man in this film, this dog is the only real companionship he has.
Damn Red Ryder BB gun…

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The Good, The Bad, and The Weird (Review)

The Good, The Bad, and The Weird

aka 좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 aka Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom

Directed by Kim Ji-woon
Written by Kim Ji-woon and Kim Min-suk

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird is the best Korean movie I have seen in years. There was a point a few years ago where Korea was the darling of the cult movie lover’s heart. Korea produced more good films a month than certain places (like Hong Kong at the time) made all year. From about 1998 until 2005, South Korea was supreme as far as Asian film was concerned. Then Korea started to falter. Movies became less good, budgets became smaller, the market became flooded with inferior products from the boom years, and the government let more foreign films into theaters. Other Asian film markets started to climb out of their slumps, and now the whole region is more competitive. Only a few great gems come out of Korea each year now, and this is one of the brightest.

From the title alone, you can guess where much of the influence comes from. The Good, the Bad, and the Weird borrows from Sergio Leone westerns in style and basic character archetypes, moving the setting to 1930’s Manchuria and allowing the influences of the Indiana Jones films. The stylization creates a universe of its own, sucking you in and taking you along for the ride. The action is non-stop, the only pauses are just to set up even bigger and more exciting action sequences.

With a budget of 20 billion won (US $15.43 million) it still lost money even with the year best ticket sales of 6.68 million tickets (at 10,000 won ($7.70) each, that should be 66.9 billion won, so something isn’t adding up even if they lose half the money to the theater owners.) Maybe someone with more knowledge of film costs in South Korea can enlighten me, but until then, we’ll just be confused. Just dub this thing and drop it off at Blockbuster, it will make money in a week. Of course, this assumes this ever shows up in America, as the track record for movies like this is that they disappear for years and everyone who wanted to see it gets it by other means… EDIT: I wrote this several months before it appeared on site, and since then a limited theatrical release was announced.
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Go West (Review)

Go West



Groucho Marx as S. Quentin Quale
Harpo Marx as Rusty Panello
Chico Marx as Joe Panello

The Marx Brothers return for a western spoof this time, as the boys find themselves in a heap o’ trouble involving land speculation, railroad cars, helping young lovers, scams, gun fights, safe cracking, and robot knife fights. Well, maybe not the last thing. On with the show… Continue reading