Blu-ray: Requiescant (1967)
In Fort Hernandez, a group of Mexican villagers hoping for peace are betrayed by Commander Ferguson and his compliant Confederate Soldiers (one of them has a Union Uniform on, must have been army-confused) who machinegun the whole village, leaving only one small boy alive. Taken in by a wandering preacher and his sister they raise him as a son along with Princy; the sister’s wayward daughter as his sister. When she runs away, Requiescant goes after her.
Regular readers will know I’m a massive fan of Westerns, especially ‘Spaghetti Westerns’. So I was very excited by Arrow Films announcement that they were releasing Carlo Lizzani’s Requiescant, with a brand-new transfer taken directly from the original camera negative.
Lou Castel plays the title role, who despite being raised as a pacifist by the travelling preacher miraculously develops this amazing talent as a sharp-shooter who never misses. Castel’s performance is dire, he couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag on fire. His vacant eyes and constant smacking of his horses arse with a frying pan is beyone annoying. It’s a shame because Mark Damon (Black Sabbath, The Fall of the House of Usher), so handsome and cruel gives a performance of a lifetime as the villain of the piece; Ferguson. As do Franco Citti as his henchman, and Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò) in an extremely rare acting role as a revolutionary priest.
This film, although discussed by many as a ‘great’ western, almost like the missing link of Italian cuisine, is unfortunately not a patch on anything Sergio Leone put out. Despite its all-out violence (mostly against women) and beautiful vistas, the story itself is… samey and boring. It lacks that dream-like quality and grittiness of Leone’s films, and for me, is NOT a classic in the mould of the Dollars Trilogy or Once Upon a Time in the West. I would have loved to see Mark Damon star in a few of those films, he would have been fantastic.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
- Brand new 2K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Optional English and Italian soundtracks in uncompressed PCM mono audio
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
- An all-new interview with Lou Castel, recorded exclusively for this release
- Archive interview with director Carlo Lizzani
- Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
- Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Pasquale Iannone
Review by Tina (co-host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by Arrow Films.