The Grand Duel/Keoma (Blu-ray Combo Review)
Where to get it: Mill Creek
Mill Creek has given us a few very cool Blu-ray sets. This combo here features Spaghetti Western films. Over the past year I’ve started to like more and more of these films so it’s always a plus when you run into a two for one deal like this. You may not like both, but you’ll more than likely dig one of these. I know I was rather content with both, so let’s get on with the review.
The Grand Duel (1972)
Director: Giancarlo Santi
Philipp Wermeer has been framed for the murder of a powerful figure known as The Patriarch. Wermeer escapes, but the three Saxon brothers, sons of The Patriarch, have arranged for a large bounty on Wermeer’s head. Clayton is a grizzled ex-sheriff stripped of his office in Jefferson after refusing to acknowledge Wermeer’s guilt. During a series of fire-fights, Clayton contrives to help Wermeer escape from attacks of bounty-hunters. Together, the two make their way to Jefferson, where they can confront the three powerful Saxon brothers, and reveal the surprising truth about who killed The Patriarch.
This movie also has the title “The Big Showdown” and that title comes with very good reason. We have a film with classic characters and a classic theme that we heard in the more recent Kill Bill films. Of course this one of the more stylish western films you will find as it mixes both style and violence to make what I feel is the blueprint for Spaghetti Western films. This film gives great performances and some very cool action that should make it a joy for anyone. And it really is the star of this combo pack. I believe this movie here is worth the price alone and you will be waiting on the edge of your seat to see how this ends.
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Half-breed Keoma returns to his border hometown after service in the Civil War and finds it under the control of Caldwell, an ex-Confederate raider, and his vicious gang of thugs. To make matters worse, Keoma’s three half-brothers have joined forces with Caldwell, and make it painfully clear that his return is an unwelcome one. Determined to break Caldwell and his brothers’ grip on the town, Keoma partners with his father’s former ranch hand to exact violent revenge.
Here we have a film that once was tossed into the Django series with an alternative title, but on its own this film isn’t bad at all. As a matter of fact I think I’d like it better that way. This half-breed named, Keoma, is back and he means business here. Overall he ends up being a very bad ass character and he’s the type of person you can really get behind in a movie. While the film does seem to drag for me in some areas, I did think the overall story was solid and made for some good western fun on screen. The final battle in this one is one I had a lot of fun watching. If you like these movies, you’ll at least like this one.
I have seen what other versions of these movies look like and I believe Mill Creek did a fine job on these. The details are clear 99% of the time, with just a little bit of a soft look here and there. I don’t think these transfers will get many complaints and for the price it really is a bargain!