Film & TV

Django Kill If You Live, Shoot! (1967)

Django Kill If You Live, Shoot!

Django Kill If You Live, Shoot! (1967) is perhaps the most violent, surreal, horrific, Biblical and apocalyptic Western ever made. Thomas Milan plays the mysterious Christ-like character yet again christened The Stranger who returns from the dead in the opening scene of the film –he literally crawls out of his grave and is brought back to life by a pair of Indian witch doctors– and is later crucified in a prison cell in one of the most blatant Western gunfighter-as-Christ images ever put to celluloid. When a group of outlaws are murdered and hung in the town square, The Stranger takes them down, evoking another religious image, the Pieta.

Django Kill, If You Live, Shoot! was described by film historian Howard Hughes as “difficult to pigeonhole”, noting it encompassed the Western, horror film, and splatter film genres, describing it as “the weirdest Italian made Western”. It is well known for the surrealistic violence and for the psychedelic editing of Franco “Kim” Arcalli. Phil Hardy defines it as “the most brutally violent spaghetti western ever made”. Describing the film, Christopher Frayling says that “the violence was of an extraordinarily savage kind”. Antonio Bruschini writes that “this film is the first western to offer a sample of truly horrendous scenes”. Marco Giusti defines the film as the most violent and bizarre ever filmed in Italy. It has also been characterized as an Acid Western.

Django Kill If You Live, Shoot!

Despite the fact that it has “Django” in its title, the film is unrelated to the Django series, and was just one of many Spaghetti Westerns to incorporate the name into the title to cash-in on the success of the Franco Nero film.

Django Kill, If You Live, Shoot! was shown in Italy in January 1967 and was withdrawn from release within one week due to complaints from censorship boards. The film was then cut from its 117 minute running time to a 95 minute running time. The film was released as Oro Maldito in Spain and was reissued as Oro Hondo in an Italian re-issue and under the alternative name Gringo Uccidi! in Italy.

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