Inglorious Bastards (1978/Severin Blu-ray + DVD Single)
Picture: B-/C+ Sound: C Extras: B- Film: B-
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:
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.
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.
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.
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