Keoma (1976) (Arrow Video) (Blu-ray Review)

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Keoma (1976) (Arrow Video) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Enzo G. Castellari
Starring: Franco Nero, William Berger, Olga Karlatos
Rated: R/Region A/2:39/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Arrow Video

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.

The first thing you might take notice of while watching Keoma is the theme song, a song that seems to be about as long as the entire film. It adapts its lyrics to the situation and its pretty funny if I am, to be honest. But we’re not here to talk about the music, we’re here to talk about the film that is finally finding the Blu-ray release it deserves thanks to Arrow Video. Franco Nero rides into action doing battle with many wrongdoers, all the while fighting his estranged half brothers, defending equality, and bedding up with a woman who apparently has the plague. Now you could say that last part there isn’t safe nor smart for our leading man, Keoma, but fear not. He will find the cure and ride the west of the bad guys in a trail of bullets. There’s a good story to be seen here and we have it here finally in a very solid HD transfer on the Blu-ray. If you want to know just how solid it really is, just take a look at Nero’s trademark blue eyes here on Blu-ray.

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 badass 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. You can just never be sure where it will end up. If you like these movies, you’ll at least like this one. It came near the end of the Spaghetti Western craze, but it wasn’t least in story and content. Arrow does this one well with a nice list of extras. If you had this film before now, you’ll probably want to toss it and pick this version up for the best overall quality.

Extras

– NEW 2K RESTORATION FROM THE 35MM CAMERA NEGATIVE
– Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
– Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles, and credits
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary by spaghetti western experts C. Courtney Joyner and Henry C. Parke
– The Ballad of Keoma, a new interview with the legendary star Franco Nero
– Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, a new interview with director Enzo G. Castellari
– Writing Keoma, a new interview with actor and writer Luigi Montefiori AKA George Eastman
– Parallel Actions, a new interview with editor Gianfranco Amicucci
– The Flying Thug, a new interview with actor Massimo Vanni
– Play as an Actor, a new interview with actor Volfango Soldati
– Keoma and the Twilight of the Spaghetti Western, a newly filmed video appreciation by the academic Austin Fisher
– An Introduction to Keoma by Alex Cox, an archival featurette with the acclaimed director
– Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
– Gallery of original promotional images from the Mike Siegel Archive
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips
– First pressing only: Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Simon Abrams and Howard Hughes

Quality of Transfer: 98%

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