Coming to Blu-Ray for the first time in North America from Arrow Video on July 21st is Robert Hossein’s, ‘Cemetery Without Crosses.’
Revenge is all consuming, like a snake eating its own tail. ‘Cemetery without Crosses’ follows the recently widowed Maria Caine (Michele Mercier) seeking revenge against the Rogers family for lynching her husband in front of her. When she finds her husband’s brothers, Thomas (Guido Lollobrigida) and Eli (Michel Lamoine) impotent to the task, Maria’s last hope is her brother’s friend Manuel (Hossein), but he doesn’t believe in revenge, even for her. Eventually, he gives in and infiltrates the Rogers’ gang as a hired hand. One night, he releases all the horses as a distraction, kidnaps the beautiful Johanna Rogers and delivers her to the ghost town to Maria, who lets her husband’s brothers have their way with her as Manuel turns a guilty, blind eye. Maria’s revenge is not yet complete, as she wants to humiliate the entire Rogers family, so she wants them to pay for and attend the funeral for her husband so she can stare them all down. Thomas and Eli go to the Rogers’ and tells them about Johanna at the ghost town and a bloody battle ensues.
In an interview in the special features, Hossein confesses his admiration for Leone and his regret with not being able to work as an actor on ‘Once Upon a Time in the West;’ ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’ is his dark, grungy love letter to Sergio Leone. Although it is more grim than exciting, ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’ is no less entertaining. It opens with a bang as the Rogers ride down Ben Caine and beat him and hang him in front of his own wife. There is not a lot of dialogue, but the stars’ capable acting makes up for that. There is even a small touch of gialli in that Manuel dons a single black glove before he kills someone in a shootout AND Italian horror Maestro Dario Argento even has a writing credit.
The brand new 2K transfer from the original negative is very nice with enough film grain to make even the most jaded film snob content. The colors of the desolate landscapes pop and add to the attitude of the film.
Although not as exciting as a Leone film, I highly recommend ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’ to any Spaghetti Western fan, as it offers something a little darker.
- Brand new 2K restoration of the film from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
- Original Italian and English 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
- Remembering Sergio: an all-new interview with star and director Robert Hossein, filmed exclusively for this release
- French television news report on the film’s making, containing interviews with Hossein, and actors Michèle Mercier and Serge Marquand
- Archive interview with Hossein
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by James Flames
- Illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing by Ginette Vincendeau and Rob Young