I think they are mostly easy to obtain these days. When I started collecting sw’s there was something like 20 english friendly DVD releases available. I’m amazed how much there’s been releases both in DVD and bluray since then.
I 2nd both @Bill_san_Antonio and @QuickDraw with their suggestions. To add to this, I recommend checking out the YouTube channels Film&Clips - YouTube and Western | Peplum - YouTube to see if the film you’re curious about is one you want to add to your collection of DVDs and Blu Rays. These channels are also good for checking out the films that don’t have physical releases yet.
In addition to the other excellent suggestions, the free movie app Tubi currently has 100 or so spaghetti westerns available on there. It isn’t available everywhere though so it all depends on where you live.
As others have already said, I don’t think availability is much of an issue these days. Actually there’s so much being released around the globe that I have to be quite selective in what I buy. With some labels I wait until I read some reviews of the technical aspects of the release before I make a purchase. If they screwed up I’ll pass. I’m also hesitant to dish out money for a Fidani or a Batzella film and the likes, but that’s just me. YouTube may be good enough for these. Then there are films where I think my old DVD is good enough and I don’t need the upgrade to Blu-ray unless it’s in a sale or something. And then there are the rarer ones that I have only old VHS rips or TV recordings of.
If you’re just starting your collection and you want to get your hands on as many films on physical media as possible in a short time there’s another idea. If you’re okay with DVDs instead of Blu-rays there may be a decent chance to get some good bargains second hand from other collectors who have upgraded to Blu-ray.
I second LankyGringo’s post about Tubi. One of my recent favorite streaming apps. I just wish there was an easier way to search for spaghetti westerns on it. Other apps, too. Also, since I’m dreaming, maybe a forum on this lovely site dedicated to our fave subgenre on streaming services.
When I started delving into Spaghetti Westerns in around 2011, I actually bought 10 films from an eBay seller on DVD-R for around £50 as well as a couple of the cheap compilation DVDs from Amazon - using the SWDB Top 20 list as inspiration. Since then I have spent a small fortune collecting Wild East (got all but 4 or 5 I think), Koch Media and Arrow DVD’s and Blu Rays and multiple others. More recently I have slowed down buying physical media - tend to go for the “must buys” e.g. Blood Money: Four Western Classics Vol. 2 which was delivered a couple of days ago. There are some great YouTube channels and some of the copies are better than some of my original DVDs! Sorry for waffling Amigos!
You guys make some good points regarding physical media availability. However, I believe it’s a very outdated and impractical way of CONSUMING movies these days. I really wish you could just pay to get a digital copy instead. I get the appeal of having physical copies for collecting reasons but for consumption, they’re very inconvenient in this day and age.
Furthermore when it comes to collecting for me unless it’s the original release it just feels fake and inauthentic. There’s this artificial feeling to rereleases, it’s not the real deal just like a pirated DVD isn’t IMO since whilst it’s technically official it doesn’t feel that way. When I do buy physical releases it’s always to make my own rips of them, rather than to collect them.
Tubi I have to check out, thanks for the suggestion. Edit: yeah tubi isn’t available in Europe, weird how it has a lot of Italian movies but isn’t available to italians, lame. I guess Ill use a VPN.
How can I explain… it’s just not authentic, it’s not the original release, not the original production company, not the original cover, not the original vision. It’s essentially officially endorsed fan-made rips of the movies, which is not much different from a pirated DVD and is just as inauthentic.
I’m not the only one who feels this way either, in the music industry first pressings go for ridiculous prices because they’re the real deal. Sure, it’s a different medium, but the same thing can be applied to how I feel about movie releases.
Ok, I understand that with music, but these are old films that sometimes don’t even have an official release, let alone a watchable one. And these new ones coming out are also vast improvements on what VHS or DVD ‘original release’ came before, often rendering those versions redundant. So its really a completely different thing here altogether.
How does a digital copy feel anymore authentic than a physical copy? With digital you have lesser quality as you rely on an internet connection and then also suffer from compression from whichever service you bought it from.
A lot of the time physical releases are monitored by the original filmmakers so they are usually even superior to the original versions. Christopher Nolan recently said in an interview that he loves physical media and considers it the ultimate way to experience the perfect version of a film as he, the filmmaker, gets to make sure it’s perfect for the viewer.
If Mr. Nolan isn’t a good enough advocate then I don’t know who else could be!