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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > War > Revenge > WWII > Italy > Inglorious Bastards (1978/Severin Blu-ray + DVD Single)

Inglorious Bastards (1978/Severin Blu-ray + DVD Single)


Picture: B-/C+     Sound: C     Extras: B-     Film: B-



As the Western peaked with a series of Professional Westerns involving groups of men doing it for money more than revenge, the War Genre (especially with Vietnam as a factor) also turned into a series of similar storied all-star cast films that kept upping the violence and grit factor.  Enzo G. Castellari’s Inglorious Bastards (1978) is the final peak of that movement, whose predecessors include major Hollywood hits like The Magnificent Seven and these classics:


Dirty Dozen



Wild Bunch




Despite being an Italian production, the cast includes many name actors including Bo Svenson (the Walking Tall sequels), Fred Williamson (M*A*S*H, Black Caesar), Peter Hooten (Orca), Ian Bannen (The Hill, Too Late The Hero) and Michael Constantin in a dirty tale of restless criminals grouped together by the Allies to find and mercilessly kill Nazis and anyone else who stands in there way.  There are no rules and morals, along with certain ideas of right and wrong, go right out the window in this gutsy and sometimes cold, brutal, sadistic, darkly comic tale.


Castellari is not always a great director, but this is some of his best work and one can see (especially after eight years of Bush II) Quentin Tarantino wanted to remake it.  How that will fare remains to be seen, but this holds up well enough to be enjoyed now and is more impressive than you might expect.  Sure, we have seen this before, but it is the film to end all such films and worth revisiting.  Thin skinned people may be shocked at times.


The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image can have good color, but the print needs some work throughout and is softer than it should be, but that is still much better than the rather weak anamorphically enhanced DVD.  Sadly, no higher definition sound mix (PCM, DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD) is available for the Blu-ray, leaving Dolby Digital 5.1 on the Blu-ray and Dolby 2.0 Mono sound mixes on both.  This is just too weak for its own good in both formats and is the one weak point to really complain about.  Hope this gets restored further sometime.


Extras on the basic DVD include the theatrical trailer, Castellari audio commentary track not noted on the DVD case (!) and Tarantino interviewing Castellari, while the Blu-ray adds the featurettes Train Keeps A Rollin’ and Back To The War Zone (both from the double DVD set) and Blu-ray exclusive new extras Inglorious Reunion At The New Beverly and Enzo’s 70th Birthday Celebration In L.A. that makes up for the playback shortcomings somewhat.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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