Here’s some good news for spaghetti western buffs – VCI is putting out a double bill of The Stranger’s Gundown and Today We Kill… Tomorrow We Die! in March. The first film is famous for gothic-horror overtones that anticipate the later, more famous High Plains Drifter and the latter was an early writing credit for future Italian horror legend Dario Argento. Both films will be presented in enhanced letterboxed transfers and the price point is set just under $15. Read on for all the sharp-shootin’ details…
SPAGHETTI WESTERN DOUBLE-FEATURE:
THE STRANGER’S GUNDOWN
Director: Sergio Garrone
Cast: Anthony Steffen, Rada Rassimov, Paolo Gozlino, Lu Kamante, Teodoro
(Italian: Django il bastardo) With its horror-movie styling and ultraviolent nature, this perfect example of an Euro gothic western garnered an “X” rating on its initial Italian release. During the Civil War, three Confederate officers, leaders of a Confederate regiment, sell out to the Yankees, kill the sentries and allow the enemy troops to slaughter their whole company. One of their men, however, does not die… Left for dead, the Stranger (Anthony Steffen, Italy’s answer to Clint Eastwood!) lies unconscious on the ground, severely wounded. Several years go by and, as though coming back from hell, the Stranger begins hunting down his enemies – the men that left him for dead. Is he a ghost, or just a man – hell-bent on revenge!
107 min / Color / 2.35:1 / PG / 1968
DID YOU KNOW:
The plot is the standard “lone stranger seeking revenge,” but in this instance, it’s not clear if the stranger is a man or just a ghost. This aspect of the story, which is heightened by spooky music and scenes in fog-filled cemeteries, really sets this film apart.
TODAY WE KILL… TOMORROW WE DIE!
Director: Tonino Cervi
Cast: Montgomery Ford, Bud Spencer, Wayde Preston, William Berger, Tatsuya
Nakadai, Diana Madigan
(Italian: Oggi a me… domani a te! ) Bill Kiowa (Montgomery Ford) is released after a five-year prison term for a crime he did not commit. The bandit El Fego (Tatsuya Nakadai), who did the actual crime, also killed Kiowa’s young Indian wife. Once free Kiowa raises a gang to go after the man who framed him. An Italian western in the “A Fistful of Dollars” mold with a better than average cast, which includes Bud Spencer in the debut of his heavy-handed character, later made famous in the “Trinity” series and the outstanding Japanese actor Tatsuya Nakadai, famous for his role in Akira Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha”. And uncharacteristically written by horror-meister Dario Argento. Digitally re-mastered from a 35mm print with the alternate U.S. title “Today It’s Me… Tomorrow You”.
95 min / Color / 1.85:1 / PG / 1971
DID YOU KNOW:
Bud Spencer competed for Italy in the swimming competition at the 1952, 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. He was the first Italian to swim 100 m. Freestyle in less than a minute.
Dario Argento scripts often contain some kind of strange scientific or
Each movie has been digitally remastered and restored.