Dracil’s BlogJournal

May 16, 2008

Sukiyaki Western: Django

If the trailer doesn’t interest you, you aren’t going to like the film. It really is a love it or hate it film. I’m more in the love it side, because I like weird, unique stuff.

As you may notice from the title, this film is a parody of spaghetti westerns. The film itself is supposedly a remake of Sergio Corbucci’s Django, but the story more closely resembles Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, which itself was a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, which is based on the film adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s The Glass Key, although the plot resembled his Red Harvest book more. Meanwhile, the setting for this film is based on the historical Genpei War. These people also references the War of the Roses (which, like the Genpei War, was divided into white and red factions) with a character even reading Shakespeare’s take on it. And from watching it, the film’s style felt a lot like the Kill Bill movies. Heck Quentin Tarantino even plays a character in the film. As you can tell, this film has a very mixed ancestry (if Japanese people speaking Engrish in a Western wasn’t obvious enough).

Speaking of the Engrish. This is one of the things you’ll either love or hate. The Engrish is intentional, because the spaghetti westerns of old were supposedly badly dubbed for whichever country it was being shown. Unfortunately, without English subtitles, it can be hard to understand what’s being said unless you’re used to Engrish and/or pay careful attention. If you can read Japanese, the Japanese subtitles certainly help. That said, if you can get past the first ten minutes, you’ll probably get used to it.

I’ve heard that the American version that’s coming out, which will most likely have the missing English subtitles, will also be cut by about 20 minutes. I already predict that they will release an “extended director’s cut” later that’s really just the full Japanese version with English subtitles. Cutting the film by 20 minutes may not be so bad, as some people did feel the film was too long and had unnecessary parts (I’m guessing probably the sheriff’s solo parts, which were a little overdone).

If you’re a fan of Miike’s films (Audition, One Missed Call, Ichi the Killer), weird Japanese films (Battle Royale, Suicide Club), Quentin Tarantino, any film in this film’s ancestry, or Westerns in general, you’ll probably like this film. Otherwise, you may want to save some money and watch it at a friend’s house instead.

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