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Franco Nero returns in the only official sequel to Sergio Corbucci's trendsetting Django. Twenty years later the repentant gunman has buried his past and entered a monastery, but he is rallied into action when his daughter is kidnapped by slave-driving Prussian autocrat Christopher Connelly. Captured and set to work in Connelly's silver mine, Django escapes with the help of a prisoner (a warm performance by Donald Pleasance), digs up his trusty machine gun, and returns wielding death, appropriately from the seat of a hearse. Django Strikes Again was shot in the jungles of Columbia, and the landscape only vaguely resembles the American Gulf Coast, but the lush river settings create a magnificent backdrop for the film's set piece, which features a black, armored steamship that cruises local towns for mine slaves and young girls to be sold to the bordellos. Director Ted Archer maintains the strong brutal streak that runs through the history of Italian westerns. Kids are tortured and monasteries and convents raided by Connelly's men, while Django beheads a pair of raiders with a swipe of a scythe. The carefully plotted (if at times preposterous) story and the transformation of Django from heartless mercenary lifts this from the mire of spaghetti Western sadism to create a genuinely involving film that is, at its best, better than its inspiration.

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VT10920 Django Strikes Again VHS (1987/Franco Nero) $7.99