Django the Last Killer / L’ultimo killer (Giuseppe Vari, 1967)

(dicfish) #41

A nice Low-Budget-SW with a good script and great characters. I liked it very much, but the main theme is really used to often. Ghidra´s acting is great, Eastman is ok. I would give it 4/5.

(djvaso) #42

I give 5 stars to this film because I am not objective regarding Dragomir Bojanić Gidra. On other hand, I wouldn’t dare to say that it is better than ‘I giorni dell’ira’

(scherpschutter) #43

You’re not alone on this, Stanton’s with you

And I’m a Dragomir fan too, great face, great guy, great movies

(p.pereira) #44

This is one of the movies I watch during this hollydays. I’m a fan of Dragomir too and as a low-budget I really enjoy it… but nevertheless Gemma and Valerii are still my very favourites in the genre.

(davidf) #45

i’m going against the grain on this film as i think it’s only ok, it’s not that bad,and it’s not boring but to me it is so utterly predictable.I have always liked George Eastman in SW’s and that does not change here, he gives a very capable performance. Not a great fan of Ghidra eithier, although i’ve only seen him in A hole in the forehead before this, and thought he gave a bland performance in that, and that summed up the film as well.He is better here, but nothing more than ok. One thing i did like in this film was the music, but even that became repeatative. 5/10

(Phil H) #46

Watched the Koch Media release of this one today. I enjoyed this film before but probably liked it even more this time around. The picture quality of the Koch disc is cleaner than the WE release but of course no English audio. I think I prefer the Italian audio though. Either way, a very good little film that gets better with each viewing.

(Bawtyshouse) #47

Ramon, a peasant farmer, is suffering under the thumb of the greedy land baron Mr. Barrett. He has been beaten and run out of town by Barrett’s henchmen. Worse, he has seen his family farm burned; his elderly father killed. On the outskirts of town, he comes across the solitary hitman known as Django, another man with no place in Barrett’s town. The two strike up a friendship, with the elder gunman teaching Ramon the ways of the gunslinger. Eventually, will each man settle a score with Barrett … and possibly with each other?
This modestly-plotted western by Joseph Warren/Giuseppe Vari features some nice dramatic action at the beginning and end of the film; with a long, deliberate middle section detailing the grudging friendship between the two outcasts. Despite a simple story, the film is engaging and brisk, a solid “programmer”-type picture.
Ramon is played by George Eastman, a tall, lanky Italian who bears more than a passing resemblance to Tomas Milian. Ramon is a generally decent, gentle but proud peasant who resorts to violence not as a matter of course, rather, only when he is pushed to his emotional limit by cruel, evil men. Probably safe to say that by 1967, when this film was made, the “Tomas Milian” type was already emerging as a western archetype, and Eastman plays to that standard. That said, Eastman’s depth of charisma and ability to channel emotions, while passable, cannot match the natural ability of Milian. Much like every squinty-eyed loner was compared to Eastwood; every peasant turned violent would be matched against Tomas Milian.
As the gun-toting loner Django, we have Lorne Greene look-alike Anthony Ghidra. Ghidra’s Django is not the miserable black-clad outcast as is often seen; the character here is a handsome, well-kept loner with a stiff upper lip and stylish neck scarf. The portrayal is that of a resigned, world-weary soul that would rather stroll the streets of his hometown than commit murders-for-hire. Ghidra is good in the part. He spouts the philosophies and axioms of the Gunfighter’s Way in a sincere fashion; a lesser actor might have sounded ridiculous saying this dialogue, but Ghidra pulls it off with straight-faced charm. (Apparently the name Django was added to the character after the fact for marquee value – in the original Italian version Ghidra’s character is called Rezza. That explains the un-Django-like mannerisms and wardrobe.)
Daniele Vargas as Barrett provides the film with its villain, and he is a good one, all smug and cowardly as greedy land barons all seem to be. On hand as Barrett’s love interest and the girl from Ramon’s past is Dana Ghia as Lola, strikingly attractive and effective in her small role.
Director Giuseppe Vari, billed as Joseph Warren, keeps the slow middle section of the picture engaging despite little action. Notable is a series of “Karate Kid”-style training sequences in which Ramon learns to handle a gun. During the initial “in-town” setup of the story, Vari utilizes a few quick zooms and cuts here and there to increase dramatic tension; at other times (the “outskirts” scenes) he languidly captures some nice wide vistas. The look of these latter scenes is great, with especially bright blue skies and green trees laid bare.
The score, by Roberto Pregadio, is particularly unmemorable. In fact, as I type, I cannot recall a single theme or musical motif. Guess that’s better than a terrible score.
The film is in public domain, and is readily available to view in full on YouTube and other similar sites. As a run-of-the-mill “programmer”-type of Eurowestern, with no real star power to boost it, THE LAST KILLER is still pretty good. It is never boring, is ably acted and directed, and is pleasingly photographed. 7/10 stars.

(AngelFace) #48

A decent western, a good one even but I did not find anything particularly impressive in it. I found Eastman’s performance somewhat annoying and unlikeable, however, Ghirda comes accross very well. I also thought the actor playing the main villian was good he reminded me a bit of Pedro Armendiaz.

The score was by turns nice and ridiculously dramatic. But a solid film none the less, brisk and never boring.

(I love you M.E. Kay) #49

Mighty impressed by this one, a true gem. Eastman and Ghidra were simply excellent and the supporting cast was damn fine. Great direction by Vari, a strong script which gives a lot of memorable lines to the character of Ghidra, or maybe it’s Ghidra who makes them memorable (whether his advices about gun-fighting are all really helpful or not, you sure believe them), and a more complex relationship between the apprentice and the master then, say, Day of Anger. Speaking of Day of Anger, this film has made me re-think my appreciation for it, L’ultimo killer might just steal its spot on my top 20 list. Back to Vari, I think his direction really makes the movie exciting, it’s filmed in such a way that, coupled with the great acting, it’s hard not to be truly engrossed by the story. Pleasant, if not particularly great, score by Pregadio, too.

So yeah, count me in as a member of the “L’ultimo killer is superior to Day of Anger” gang, though I don’t think it is that much better.

(sartana1968) #50

2 stars for me
it’s bore at the most time, but has some good moment’s
looks a very rip-off to day of anger, worth for one time to see, not a second

(Andy) #51

[quote=“sartana1968, post:50, topic:1664”]2 stars for me
it’s bore at the most time, but has some good moment’s
looks a very rip-off to day of anger, worth for one time to see, not a second[/quote]

I agree, this movie can’t compete with Day of Anger. I would give this at least a 3 out of 5 though, it’s decent. I mean seriously, Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano Gemma were both among the very best of the SW actors. Ghidra and Eastman are ok but not spectacular imo.

(I love you M.E. Kay) #52

I thought they were all great in their respective films. Roughly equal in their performances.

(Stanton) #53

Ghidra and Eastman (and Vari) give their roles a depth not to be found in Day of Anger. Van Cleef and Gemma are somehow well cast, and they are by no means bad in their roles, but their acting remains on the surface, which is no problem for other films, but helps that Day of Anger remains beneath its possibilities.

(Andy) #54

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve watched either film but I have watched Day of Anger at least 2 times whereas I only watched Django the Last Killer one time. Perhaps I need to watch them both back to back.

(TheBigSmokedown) #55

They are very different films. Day of Anger is overall a better film, in my opinion, but I loved The Last Killer. All the training scenes and the philosophy of gunslinging stuff is just fantastic.

(ENNIOO) #56

Not viewed this one yet. Seems one to look forward to after reading some of the comments in this thread.

(Stanton) #57


Don’t they have a lot in common? What makes them very different in your opinion?

(TheBigSmokedown) #58

[quote=“Stanton, post:57, topic:1664”]Really?

Don’t they have a lot in common? What makes them very different in your opinion?[/quote]

They do have some elements in common plotwise, but I think The Last Killer as a film is rougher around the edges. I think it is more generic when compared to other low budget spaghetti westerns, although it is nevertheless well crafted. I’m sure there’s plenty of violence in Day of Anger, but somehow The Last Killer felt more violent, and the action less sanitised, for want of a better word.

(Stanton) #59

Reading this it sounds like The Last Killer is the better film. :wink:

But I think they have a lot in common plotwise, so much that if they weren’t made at the same time one had to be blamed as a rip off of the other. Both tell pretty interesting father/son stories, and the father/son elements are not only restricted to the 2 main protagonists, only that Valerii remains on the surface with his directing, while Vari goes deeper.
Day of Anger ends quite conventional, while The Last Killer has an open end which can be seen very pessimistic.
Gemma has freed himself from his “wrong” father by turning the lecture of his former master against him, that’s what a conventional filmmaking demands, but the wolfish Eastman has destroyed himself when after killing his father figure he fulfils his revenge.

(Mickey13) #60

Agree with Stanton.
I didn’t like Day of anger’s ending too much (a bit too naive - Gemma becomes in a week a marvelous pistolero that is able to kill a such giant like Cleef… Van Cleef never dies! - except for the bad’s character ;)), although the film’s very good.
L’ultimo killer is a very interesting movie, however without Ghidra this film would be much less impressive. He’s a god in this one. I simply love him. He’s so convincing that it was hard to believe this actor is so forgotten. ;D
Something is missing to become Top 20 stuff for me, nevertheless I’d give this one 4 or 3 stars but I still it’s closer to 4. Really nice movie that doesn’t focus on action, violence, but is trying to be something different.
Great western with a really nice atmosphere. :smiley: