The Hellbenders

Overview

Anchor Bay has turned out a solid, no-frills edition of The Hellbenders with this DVD. The disc offers an anamorphic, widescreen transfer that benefits from some digital clean-up. The night scenes are a bit too dark in places but the rest of the film looks pretty good. The mono soundtrack sounds a little battered in places but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, the disc falls down in the area of extras -- the only bonuses it offers are a theatrical trailer and a text biography of director Sergio Corbucci. Given...
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Overview

Anchor Bay has turned out a solid, no-frills edition of The Hellbenders with this DVD. The disc offers an anamorphic, widescreen transfer that benefits from some digital clean-up. The night scenes are a bit too dark in places but the rest of the film looks pretty good. The mono soundtrack sounds a little battered in places but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, the disc falls down in the area of extras -- the only bonuses it offers are a theatrical trailer and a text biography of director Sergio Corbucci. Given the popularity of Corbucci's work, it would have been nice to have a commentary by a spaghetti western historian or perhaps an interview to put the film in context. That said, fans of the genre will be happy to get a decent-looking edition of the film on domestic video at a reasonable price. This disc of the The Hellbenders isn't all it couldn't have been but it's still worthwhile for the spaghetti western fanbase.
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Special Features

Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Theatrical trailer; Sergio Corbucci bio
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The best spaghetti westerns take the familiar elements of the American western and put a unique spin on them by incorporating modern attitudes and elements from other genres. The Hellbenders is a prime example of these tactics: the settings and the gunplay give it a western veneer but this story is really more like a film noir transplanted to the old West. The script enhances the power of its genre twist by giving the proceedings an air of ambiguous morality: the story's nominal protagonists are actually murderous bandits and the money (hidden oh-so-symbolically in a casket) becomes a symbol for the way greed can ruin the lives of all it touches. Director Sergio Corbucci makes these themes felt but never overplays his hand, keeping those themes aligned with the story events and waiting until the finale to lay them on thickly for a memorably operatic effect. More importantly, he gives the film a handsome, classic Western look and maintains a solid pace throughout. In terms of acting, Aldo Sambrell is the most sympathetic of the bandits but it's Joseph Cotton who steals the show as the family's brutal patriarch, a man who preaches God and country but won't hesitate to murder an innocent if they interfere with his plans. All in all, The Hellbenders is a classic spaghetti western whose dark tone lingers in the memory long after the sounds of gunfire have faded.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2007
  • UPC: 013131319996
  • Original Release: 1967
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:29:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joseph Cotten Jonas
Norma Bengell Claire
Julián Mateos Ben
Gino Pernice Jeff
Angel Aranda Nat
Maria Martin Kitty
Al Mulock The Beggar
Aldo Sambrell Pedro
Ennio Girolami Commander of Fort Brent
José Nieto Sheriff
Jose Canalejas
Alvaro de Luna
Claudio Gora Reverend Pierce
Julio Pena Sgt. Tolt
Ivan Scratuglia
Benito Stefanelli Slim
Claudio Scarchilli Indian Chief
Rafael Vaquero
Simon Arriaga
Technical Credits
Sergio Corbucci Director
Albert Band Producer, Screenwriter
Nino Baragli Editor
Enzo Barboni Cinematographer
Jaime Perez Cubero Art Director
Alberto Gallitti Editor
Louis Garfinkle Screenwriter
Ugo Liberatore Screenwriter
José Gutiérrez Maesso Screenwriter
Pier Antonio Mecacci Makeup
Leo Nichols Score Composer
Francisco Puyol Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Hellbenders
1. Broken Wagon (Main Titles) [6:49]
2. For a Fresh Start [6:43]
3. Permit [5:22]
4. Runaway [8:01]
5. Finding a Lady [6:02]
6. The New Mourner [3:13]
7. Posse [6:01]
8. Rivalry [3:38]
9. Another Route [3:35]
10. Sunday Sermon [6:33]
11. Bandits [4:52]
12. A Soldier's Funeral [5:34]
13. Cave Hideout [3:56]
14. Exhuming the Money [6:15]
15. Dinner Guest [5:40]
16. Greed, Lust and Murder [9:55]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Hellbenders
   Chapters
   Extras
      Trailer
      Sergio Corbucci Bio
   Play
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