Requiescant – New Blu-Ray Release Review

Today we take a look at Carlo Lizzani’s Requiescant (aka Kill and Pray!) as it hits UK shelves. Re-released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on the 16th November this is one of the essential films of its type and yet this is the first time it has had a worldwide blu-ray release! Read on for our thoughts…

The Film

Lizzani uses the tried and tested storylines of the genre in order to bring a political and social class consciousness to the fore. This doesn’t have the level of excitement and visceral thrills which Leone brought to his films, nor does it have the filmmaking vocabulary evidenced in many of the top tier Spaghetti Westerns, but it’s political bent alongside a perfectly serviceable story of revenge makes this an entertaining and interesting take on the genre which is very much worth watching.

Audio and Visuals

An excellent job has been done on this transfer which came straight from the original print. The sound quality, which is so intrinsically vital to a Western, is excellent and a real joy to listen to. The visuals too have been very carefully handled and for the most part look superb. It’s a very good looking film and Arrow clear laboured over this to get it looking as good as it could. There are still odd patches where damage shows up, but they are brief and do not meaningfully impact upon the scenes in which they occur.


Presentation

As ever Arrow have ensured that their product looks great with multiple choice artwork on the box and stylishly designed menus. It’s hard for us to know which cover art we prefer, which is a nice position to be in and one gets the feeling that real thought and effort went in to making the owner be able to choose to display the film as either an exciting Spaghetti Western or as a more sombre and thoughtful piece, both of which suit the film in different ways. It’s nice that you can choose which to go for depending upon which element of the film you get more out of.

Extras

The biggest disappointment here has to be the choice of extras. Arrow normally treat to us to all sorts of goodies and informative bits and pieces but here we have the obligatory Theatrical Trailer and then a couple of interviews – one archival with with director Carlo Lizzani and one new with Lou Castel. There is nothign wrong with these two interviews as they provide more context to the film itself and help to enrich our understanding of what we’ve just seen but it does feel a little miserly. Admittedly it may be difficult to obtain much from when it was made, but you would think some scholar or critic would be willing to come forward and talk about the film in a modern context or perhaps look back on how it played its part in the wider scheme of politically concious films of the time. There’s a whole lot of interesting possibilities that could have been covered here and the rather lacking bonus features therefore come as something of a disappointment.

Overall

An interesting film that has been loving brought back to the world on Blu-Ray by Arrow. It’s well presented but lacks the informative extras needed to really bring this up to the level of Arrow’s best releases.


Requiescant receives its re-release on DVD & Blu-ray today (16th November) in a definitive, restored edition by Arrow Video! Will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!

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