17th Nov2015

‘Requiescant’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Lou Castel, Mark Damon, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Barbara Frey, Rossana Martini, Mirella Maravidi, Franco Citti, Luisa Baratto, Ninetto Davoli, Nino Musco, Carlo Palmucci, Vittorio Duse | Written by Lucio Battistrada, Andrew Baxter | Directed by Carlo Lizzani

REQUIESCANT

Lou Castel takes the lead role in Requiescant, a young man raised to be a pacifist by a travelling preacher who discovered him as a baby after a massacre of his family. Searching for his adopted sister he soon finders her in the employment of George Ferguson (Mark Damon) an evil landowner who manipulates the young man for his own amusement. When his history is heritage is discovered it is revealed Ferguson was the man who ordered the death of the man’s family all for the control over the land that belonged to them.

Requiescant may not be the strongest story for a Western and it does tend to fluff over a few facts to get to concentrate on its political message, but it still manages to entertain. This is a film not only about family but about the politics of working as a community and the right to be free.

Mark Damon’s portrayal of George Ferguson is impressively gothic in a movie that isn’t even classed as a horror. Striding around the scenes like a vampire like creature, he has nemesis written all over his performance, which of course is the point. Just as Lou Castel’s character is portrayed as the pure and just, Damon’s character is everything that is evil. The message the film is sharing is blunt and to the point, Ferguson is a dictator that needs to be taken down so that the people can live as a community and be free.

In terms of special features on the disc, there are interviews with Lou Castel and Carlo Lizzani but that is it, which is a surprisingly light selection for Arrow Video releases. There is a booklet though as always which provides details about the film. For the most part the picture quality of the film is impressive, with some damage visible on the print. While noticeable, this does not get in the way of the enjoyment of the film.

Requiescant is an interesting film and a Spaghetti Western that is well worth watching. It may not be the strongest story but it does provide a narrative that you come to expect from Westerns. Underneath the Western style, there is a political message worming its way through, and this does feel slightly forced at times with the themes of family and community laid on pretty thick. What the film does provide though is two unforgettable characters in the pacifist who just happens to be an excellent shot, and the charismatic bad guy whose evilness dominates every scene he is in.

While the political message of the film may sometimes feel a little more important than the plot itself, Requiescant is still a good Spaghetti Western that brings the expected Italian flair to the American west. A little light on special features, the focus is on the movie to deliver, and that is exactly what Requiescant does.

****½  4.5/5

Requiescant is available on dual format DVD and Blu-ray now from Arrow Video.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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