Some people are just born to kill…
Set to be released on Nov 17th, 2015 is Carlo Lizzani’s, ‘Requiescant,’ a Spaghetti Western that proves the genre didn’t belong solely to Sergio Leone.
Just after the Civil War, a group of Mexican villagers show up at a fort that contains a bunch of Union Soldiers led by George Ferguson (Mark Damon). Dean Light (Ferruccio Viotti) and Burt (Franco Citti) speak to the villagers, guaranteeing them a large tract of land to live on and make their own, but they are soon betrayed and gunned down via gatling gun, leaving only 1 love survivor: a young boy. After wandering the desert for days, the boy is picked up by a preacher, Father Juan (Pier Paolo Pasolini. Yes, that Pasolini), and his family and they raise him as their own.
Years later, the Boy (known as Requiescant; Lou Castel) is all grown up, and while the family is relaxing, he throws a butcher knife perfectly in the center of a horseshoe. When Father John sees this, he looks horrified and instead gives the Boy the knife and a potato to peel. Some time later, Requiescant’s sister, Princy (Barbara Frey) runs away to live the care free life as a cabaret dancer. As Requiescant vows to find her, there is a stagecoach robbery right in front of him. The Stagecoach Driver is shot and his gun falls right into Requiescant’s hands. Although he was raised as a pacifist, his hands seem to know what to do as two of the Gunmen are shot down in a flash, while the other two get away. Requiescant stands over the two dead men and offers a prayer.
Requiescant stops for rest and food at someone’s home. Not long after he begins eating, Requiescant is called out by the two Men that got away. He steps outside to face them, and while they discuss who is going to kill him, Requiescant fires two quick kill shots and offers the same prayer. Just then, a group of Mexican travelers show up, and he asks them to bury the two Men. They take the guns and bury the men.
In San Antonio, Requiescant goes into a saloon for some rest and food, and witnesses the abuse of a Mexican man, who’s begging a doctor for help, at the hands of Light and Burt. As he is about to intervene, Princy enters the room and gets groped before she goes up to her room. Requiescant follows her and offers to get her out of town. She explains that she barely more than a prisoner. Requiescant offers to go to the law, and Princy calls out his naivete, and explains that the only law is George Bellow Ferguson, who is now a self-proclaimed aristocrat and positively mad. Requiescant shows up at Ferguson’s home and asks for Princy’s freedom, which Ferguson grants, but little does he know that Requiescant’s destiny is intertwined with his own.
‘Requiescant’ starts off very dark with the wholesale slaughter of the wayward villagers and the kid getting shot in the head. The shoot off between Ferguson and Requiescant was very well done, and really showed how insane Ferguson was; in the basement of Ferguson’s home, a woman was holding a candelabra about twenty paces away. Ferguson, Requiescant and the other guests were to drink and shoot the flames out without hitting the woman. If they miss, they are out. It was down to Ferguson and Requiescant with the woman standing about 45 paces away and each man could barely see, let alone stand.
I can’t express how awesome it is to see any Spaghetti Western given the Arrow white glove treatment…well, actually, I can: it’s bitchin’! The colors are earthy and vibrant. When the horses gallop, you can almost feel the dust hitting your face. The Riz Ortolani score could only sound better if you were to go back in time and watch him conduct it live.
This is one Arrow release that should definitely be on your radar and soon, on your shelf.
- 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