Execution (1968)

a.k.a. - Django - die Bibel ist kein Kartenspiel (GER)

John Richardson is the star of this rather poor and muddled Spaghetti Western. German R2 DVD - from the Koch Media Django Boxset.

The Film

In a small town in the Wild West, various men are waiting. A travelling circus arrives in town, starring the expert gunman Bill (John Richardson - known as Django in the German cut). A Bounty Hunter stops the circus and 'arrests' Bill, saying that he is the wanted gunman John Coler. Suddenly a group of Mexican bandits arrive in the town to capture the bounty hunter and Bill himself. Under torture he tells them that John is actually his brother, and proves it because he lacks a tatoo on his arm - the Mexicans head out with Bill to find John, and the Bounty Hunter escapes. The various parties converge on a deserted gold-rush town where John has hidden a lot of stolen gold...

Like any cinematic genre, especially in the European-exploitation markets, the Spaghetti Westerns ranged from the classics (Leone and Corbucci) through a variety of solid mid-card efforts, to some generic and completely forgettable productions that only existed to cash in - sadly Execution is one of the latter. Problems with the storyline are clear from the beginning when we are introduced to a random mix of characters who seem to serve no real purpose to the plot and it takes forever for the storyline to start moving. Characterisation is poor throughout and plot holes abound, making the climax completely non-sensical and the "emotional" ending just seem stupid. Often a chore to sit through, even the gunfights are rather unexciting as the "unlimited bullets" that Bill possess will be noticable to the most casual viewer.

Direction is rather pedestrian from a director more at home shooting pepla, although he does make good use of the Spanish landscapes with some beautiful horse riding scenes. The soundtrack and production are very average but serve the film decently well.

Actor John Richardson takes the lead role here in a rather well played dual role - previously starring in John il Bastardo (1967) he was one of the only British stars of a Spaghetti Western and had made a small career in European cinema. Unfortunately he is lumbered with the film's poor script and doesn't get much to do. The rest of the cast are similarly burdened, but do their best, Peplum regular Mimmo Palmara is the most recognisable face.

An unoriginal and poorly written Spaghetti Western, Execution is an unimpressive genre entry and only really of interest to completists. Not recommended.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? John Richardson - a British actor who starred in Hammer's Cave-Man classic One Million Years B.C. (1966)
Directed by anyone interesting? Domenico Paolella - director of a few peplums such as Ercole contro i tiranni di Babilonia (1964) and a pair of nunsploitation titles including Le monache di Sant'Arcangelo (1973)
Any gore or violence? A lot of blood and lots of death.
Any sex or nudity? A very brief and gratuitous topless scene.
Who is it for? Only of interest to Spaghetti Western completists.

Visuals 1.78:1. Anamorphically Enhanced. Colour. (No noticable cropping, might well be Original Aspect Ratio)
The picture quality is very good with only a minimal layer of grain and minor print damage.
(Some of the slow motion scenes look rather more grainy, due to the camera processes used).
Audio Original German and Italian mono tracks, both sound fine.
German is missing a few scenes which play in Italian.
Subtitles German (translates the Italian)
German for the missing scenes in the German soundtrack.
English (translates the Italian).
Extras This disc includes:
  • Original Italian theatrical trailer.
  • A brief, manually scrolling poster gallery.
The soundtrack from this film is included on an audio-CD in the boxset.
Region Region 2 (UK, Europe) - PAL
Availability DVD Title: Django - die Bibel ist kein Kartenspiel
This disc is only available as part of the Django Italo-Western collection.
Other regions? No other discs available.
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut (although some scenes do cut away as though cut, could just be bad editing). Print used is Italian language.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 16th February 2007.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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