Django Kill… If You Live Shoot!
Original Title: Se sei vivo spara
Directed by: Giulio Questi
Italy / Spain, 1967
Spaghetti Western, 117min
Distributed by: Blue Underground
There are two main plot devices that make for a great Spaghetti Western: Greed and Vengeance. If you know how to use those ingredients the right way you will probably have made a movie that we still enjoy to this day.
Guido Questi’s Django Kill ...If You Live Shoot! is a very entertaining Spaghetti Western featuring the great Tomas Milian [Sergio Corbucci’s Compañeros 1970, Umberto Lenzi’s Almost Human 1974, and Stephen Soderberg’s Traffic 2000] as “the Stranger”. Note that he’s called the stranger in the movie and not Django, as the re-titling would have one believe. In fact this movie has nothing to do with Corbucci’s 1966 classic Django, (apart from being in the same genre), as it’s once again merely a distributors trick to cash in on the success of the previous movie. This is unfortunate and it’s understandable that Questi, dislikes the Django re-naming as his film is a completely different kind of movie even though it uses the same sort of plot devices. But Questi has a few tricks up his sleeve to push this one a bit further than the common Greed and Revenge motifs, and the main protagonist; Milian, has a change of character throughout the movie.
Keeping Sorro out of the loop, the gold is now divided between the two companions, Temblar and Ackerman [Francisco Sanz – also seen in Grau’s Let Sleeping Corpses Lie 1973, Amando de Ossorio’s The Blind Dead 1971], the stranger left without his share. But this is a Spaghetti Western and greed soon raises its ugly head once again as Temblar and Ackerman argue over the gold. The gold is the tool that everyone in the own needs to get out and start all over again.