Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Inglorious Bastards (1978)

There was a time when The Inglorious Bastards wasn't hype, but just one of those crazy italian action movies I owned on tape. It was the old VTC-version, with a golden cover and Bo Svenson grinning on the front. Of course I loved it, because it's hard to dislike this excellent and unpretentious war-comedy. People compare it with The Dirty Dozen and the likes, which maybe correct storywise, but the attitude is more Kelly's Heroes and MASH. The heroes aren't dangerous to innocent people, like in Robert Aldrichs classic, but witty and smart anti-heroes that's tired of war and death and just want to get home.

Of course some parts are tragedy, but our characters just shrug their shoulders and continue the adventure. The part where they kill the americans who are dressed like germans is genius, and one of the few parts that feels disturbing in a funny way. I'm sure you all know's what the movie is about: a gang of deserters who acidentally get's themself a job to carry out a dangerous mission. We have Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Peter Hooten, Jackie Baseheart and chewing gum-fanatic Michael Pergolani. They're joined by Raimund Harmstorf, Ian Bannen, Debra Berger and Michel Constantin. In smaller parts Joshua Sinclair and Donald O'Brien. Not a bad cast, and everybody is in on the fun to.

Another thing that makes different from the director Castellaris other action movie is the lack of slow-motion. There's some slowmo in the end, but more or less everything that explodes, flies or get's shot down is in normal speed. It's okey, because the action itself is so much fun and there's just one action scene after another, so it never get's boring. Castellari let's Rocco Lerros stuntmen work hard, and it's impressive stuff going all the time. But most of the time it's fun, matineé-style action and adventure with not much blood - except a couple of squibs during the end - and a lot of charm.

When I talked with Castellari many years ago I mentioned that it looked like he had use a steady-cam in some shots, and he confirmed it. Now it's a common knowledge that this was the italian movie that probably used this kind of technology first! He also uses is very little, maybe just trying it out, and the few shots are great and it works fine in the way of telling the story.

I'm a train-guy. Not that I collect trains or build models or stuff like that, I just love movies that has at least one train in the storyline! There's endless possiblities for coolt stunts exciting chases. In Bastards there's a lot of it at the end and the actors even seem to do their own stunts, at least the ever macho Fred Williamson. It all ends in a Margheriti-style mega-explosions that takes out an whole area of buildings and vehicles!

My to favorite stunts is quite subtile work to, check out these to screenshots. The one with the motorcycle could be a mistake, and they didn't get enough footage of it, and the burning people is probably a way to integrate them with destroyed miniatures in the foreground. But it looks great and is not right up your face. More discreet... and wonderfully executed.

Studio S (who where the first to release it on dvd ever) has released The Inglorious Bastards again, now in regular 1-disc edition and also in a Limited 3-disc Edition - they one I have in front of me, what else? You can check the details below, and if you're a collector - and especially a fan of this movie - this is a must. It's a new remastered version of the movie, a second disc with interviews and stuff like that and the third is a cd with the only surviving soundtrack. Limited to 500 pieces... and I have nr 11 :)

The Inglorius Bastards is so much more than a movie that Tarantino loves. It's a great-looking, fun and action-filled adventure that holds up excellent even today. It's one of my favorite action-flicks, and it should be one of yours to.


Patrick B said...

That set is amazing! But I don't know if I should buy the Severin Blu-ray or that set. But goddamn that set it awesome!

Weekend Video said...

Actully it was released on Japanese DVD first. A couple of years before this release from Studio S. It released 2006/1/27


Ninja Dixon said...

Yes, but it looks like shit... so why mention it? ;)

I had it many times in my hand, but I decided to wait until a better release was out. And it did happen. I've seen the japanese release in several second hand-stores in stockholm recently by the way.