California (Michele Lupo, 1977)


#179

After viewing this, I find it to be my favorite of the “twlight” spaghetti westerns. This entire film is depressing as hell, violent, bleak and downright dim. Guilano Gemma is brillant as Michael Random/California. (Gemma’s most serious role, and my favorite spaghetti western of his) At the end of the civil war, California is released from prison camp and must start a new life with no family, no home, and few supplies. California does gain one friend, named Willie Preston, Preston offers California to come and stay with him, but not all goes according to plan. Willie is killed, and California takes it upon himself to go to Wilie’s ranch to deliver the bad news. California gets work from Willie’s father, and falls in love with Willie’s sister, who is eventually kidnapped. This forces California to become the cold killer he was in the war. So glad I got to see this. worth every minute, and is one of my top ten favorite sapghetti westerns. This is no “Ben and Charlie” film thats for sure.


#180

Yes, California is my second favorite spaghetti western of the 1970’s ( not far behind Shoot the Living… Pray for the dead 1971) Unlike the other “twlight” spaghetti westerns, this one seems very authentic. I can imagine a man coming home from the civil war in a situation nearly identical California’s. Gemma’s best performance, by far.


(The Man With a Name) #181

I was disappointed the first time I watched this one as I felt that the film was uneven. After watching it a second time, I’m glad they decided to go for action instead of drama. My rating has gone up from 3 to 4 stars. It’ll probably end up being in my alternative top 20. Still undecided. This is definitely Gemma’s best spaghetti from the 70s. I like it a lot more than Silver Saddle.


#182

Nearly a year to the date of my first viewing, I want to mention somethings I noticed after my first viewing of the wild east disc/ version. First off, the audio is pretty crisp, the picture beautiful and the bonus features make this package one of my favorites from wild east yet. Every time I see “California” fist fighting I cant help but cheer him on! Since The last twenty minutes are as memorable as any film I’ve seen ( yes any film), and the moment the film ends and the credits start coming up from the bottom I found myself clapping! Just a terrific film. I cant recommend this enough! Thank you Wild East!


#183

Anyone else get the wild east disc?


#184

I love the part where he’s asking Gary Luke where the girl is, but he’s punching him so much he doesn’t give him a chance to answer. It’s rather cathartic to watch!


#185

I’ve just ordered it along with Adios Gringo/Blood for a Silver Dollar. I’m not one of those film fans who collects everything for completion purposes but I love Gemma and this and BFASD two of my favourites of his so I couldn’t pass them up.


#186

I love it too, never saw Gemma get so emotionally involved into a role. This is definitely his best performance if you ask me.


#187

I started watching my 20 favourite spaghetti westerns in chronological order of when they were set the other night (I do this to kill time in the evenings every couple of years) and watched the Wild East disc for the first time last night. I wasn’t quite as good as I was expecting but a still a good print and (from what i can remember) a good improvement over the German NEW disc I already had. Recommended if your a fan.


#188

The Koch print will probably never be beaten, unless it hits blu-ray. Anyway I’m planning a re-watch of this film very soon, I’m craving some mud, blood, rain and ghost towns.


#189

I haven’t seen the koch version yet, I didn’t think it was worth buying a box set for the one film. How does it compare to the the NEW and WE versions?


(Søren) #190

The NEW-version looks like shit, the WE is probably just a PAL->NTSC transfer of the Koch Media one, but hang on you would be buying the box set for all 4 movies surely? All 4 movies are most certainly in a better transfer than any other releases of the same movies currently out there. Buying all three box sets should really be mandatory for any sw fan :slight_smile:


#191

NEW: Muddy shitty mess
Koch: Very good
Wild East: Decent

Yep, very nice releases. Almost as nice as their Django/Hallelujah boxes.


(chuck connors brother) #192

Wild East looks very good


#193

I love California and I watched A Taste of Killing years ago and thought it was okay but I’ve never been a fan of the others like Cowards Don’t Pray and A Sky Full of Stars… etc. After I’ve got all the other films on my list I might get vol. 2 just for California.

I actually don’t mind the NEW release. It doesn’t look great but I think the dark print helps accent the dark tones of the movie.


#194

Gemma was a madman! They don’t make em like that anymore! and to think he made this film on a shoe string budget ( especially when compared to todays average film budget) and never had the distribution that todays foreign films have. ( dvd, blu ray, Netflix, amazon prime, etc.)


(Jonny Powers) #195

Has anybody seen the Japanese blu-ray? Saw it wasn’t in the SWDB:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/California-Blu-ray/163907/


(Sebastian) #196

it is now :slight_smile:


#197

If I get that, it’ll be my 4th time buying the film.


(Søren) #198

If they spent as much time on the quality of the disc as they did on the cover we’re in for a bumpy ride :slight_smile: That looks like a $1 US public domain release. Yuck.