The Spaghetti Western Collection
Wild East Productions

When purchasing a DVD, most collectors anxiously anticipate an assortment of extras, including the original theatrical trailer for a particular film. Here's an extra special disc that embodies 36 different trailers for a tasty assortment of Italian and other European-made "Spaghetti Westerns" from 1963-1977. Like horror films, westerns were once a colorful, prolific genre that linked talented actors, directors and composers to create unforgettable celluloid achievements. This DVD delivers a marvelous overview of a classic cinematic era that we'll never see the likes of again.

Many familiar and not so familiar westerns are represented here such as the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood trilogy; the gunslinging exploits of Lee Van Cleef (both his SABATA flicks, DEATH RIDES A HORSE, EL CONDOR, CAPTAIN APACHE, and others); some Terence Hill/Bud Spencer team-ups (ACE HIGH, TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME); and there's an assortment of other well known wild west faces on hand, including Franco Nero (KEOMA, COMPANEROS), Klaus Kinski (WESTERN STORY, A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL), and even Telly Savalas (LAND RAIDERS, A TOWN CALLED HELL).

This collection flaunts the diversity within the spaghetti cycle with comedy westerns (DON'T TURN THE OTHER CHEEK) and the odd "blaxploitation" western (TAKE A HARD RIDE). Each of the action-focused 36 trailers is separated by its own chapter and is introduced by its appropriate poster on the screen, exploding into a million gunshot pieces. All the trailers were transferred from superior 35mm prints and digitally remastered, with exceptional quality and robust sound, and most are shown in all their widescreen glory.

The guys behind Wild East Productions are responsible for the beautiful booklet for Anchor Bay's DJANGO/DJANGO STRIKES AGAIN DVD, and this welcomed DVD release is an honorable first-effort--a real labor of love. It contains an attractive 8-page color booklet, comprised of posters for all the represented trailers, with important data about them (including the numerous alternative titles). On the extras menu, there's informative western film bios for a number of actors (Eastwood, Van Cleef, Kinski, Thomas Milian, Tony Anthony, Bud Spencer, Terence Hill and others). There's also a lengthy poster gallery.

This collection is labeled "Volume One," and I do hope that Wild East plans on doing a few more, but their next effort will be a widescreen DVD of the Lee Van Cleef film, DAY OF ANGER. This compilation is a must for drive-in movie fans and DVD collectors alike, and since it's a limited edition, I'd waste no time in obtaining a copy. You can order A FISTFUL OF TRAILERS over at Luminous Film & Video Wurks. For more information, check out the Wild East Productions Web site and give them your support. (George R. Reis)