After waiting two decades for a sequel, in 1987 Franco Nero and director Nello Rossati (Alien Terminator) finally delivered the sequel that Italian Western fans had been craving (and had kind of received with thirty unofficial sequels).
Where was Sergio Corbucci, the director of the original, who had co-written the sequel and had initially agreed to direct it? Well, Django Strikes Again was dreamed up and produced in parallel with Duccio Tessari’s Tex and the Lord of the Deep. The hope was that this would lead to a revival of the Western in Italy. But when Ted failed, Corbucci bowed out, possibly not wanting to soil the legacy of what is probably his best-loved film.
Nero had already entered in El Topo territory in Keoma. This feels like a similar tone — at least at first — as Django has left behind the life of the gunfighter — indeed, the movie starts by mentioning all of the cowboys that are dead (that’s William Berger in a cameo) — to become a monk. Yet when he learns from an old lover that he has a daughter that he has never met and that she has become a prisoner of El Diablo Orlowsky (Christopher Connelly in his last role), he has to pick up his guns one more time.
I’ll be blunt. This movie is a pale shadow of the original. That said, there are moments of greatness here, like El Diablo’s butterfly obsession, Django burying his machinegun in a grave with his name on it, Rodrigo Obregón from the Andy Sidaris movies as a henchman, a small role for Donald Pleasence and Nero acting like Stallone as he single-handledly blazes away an entire army with that gigantic gun.
Oh well. At least the ending, where Connelly is ripped to shreds by the slaves he’s treated so wrong rise up and tear him apart as if they were zombies, is pretty great.
How weird is it that I can point to at least two fake Django films that are way better than this, though?