Welcome to theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Blog! Here you will find information, photos, videos, and some of my opinions of the badman himself.

Many thanks to the wonderful members of theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Web Board for their contributions and continued enthusiasm!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 End of Year Round Up

Another year has come and gone, so I thought it appropriate to take a look back at some of the events and blog highlights from 2017.

New Blu-ray Releases


This year brought us first time US releases of Death Rides a Horse and Return of Sabata, as well as another controversial release of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.


5 Years of The LVC Blog

It's hard to imagine that the blog has been active for 5 years this week.  It's even harder to believe that it's been over 20 years since I published the first website (and message board).  In these 5 years, the blog has received 250,000 visits!

When creating this blog I was thinking of it to be a supplement to the website thebad.net, yet it basically became the replacement as now, anything new on the blog is linked to the website.

The first few years of posting were fairly fast and furious, before settling into the weekly posts that are made now.

I've enjoyed doing the many blu-ray reviews of the all the new releases that have come out in the past 5 years.  It's amazing to think about the amount of material that is now available in hi-def format.

50+ individual location reports from my trips to Spain and elsewhere have been well received.  With a 4th trip to Spain in the spring of 2018, I am looking forward to doing a dozen or so more reports.

Thanks for the great support over the years!


Rare and Candid Photos












Make sure to revisit the press photos and candid photos section to check out some of the great shots that are not often seen!


Into 2018...

Look for the usual weekly updates!  Have a Happy New Year!







Saturday, December 23, 2017

LVC Soundtracks on Vinyl

What's old is new again!  Recently Dagored Records has released 3 LVC film soundtracks onto vinyl, including; The Big Gundown, Day of Anger, and Death Rides a Horse.  Each is limited to 500 copies.  The scores are from newer masters, so they contain music not on the original LPs in the 1960's (although currently available elsewhere on CDs and streaming).

More information here:  dagored-records.com

Images of these attractive looking releases below-










Purchase below-

Saturday, December 16, 2017

"The Master" Blu-ray and DVD Update

Kino Lorber had previously announced that they will be releasing all 13 episodes on blu-ray and DVD.  We now have a street date of February 20th, 2018.  It doesn't look like there will be any extras, however the package will have reversible cover art (as seen below)-


Press release-
Coming Soon on Blu-ray and DVD! Brand New HD Masters! 
The Master (1984 Complete Series) Starring Lee Van Cleef, Timothy Van Patten & Shô Kosugi 
Guest stars include: Claude Akins, Crystal Bernard, Edd Byrnes, William Campbell, J.D. Cannon, James Gammon, Clu Gulager, George Lazenby, George Maharis, Jock Mahoney, Monte Markham, David McCallum, Doug McClure, Bill McKinney, Demi Moore, Diana Muldaur, Dick O’Neill, Soon-Tek Oh, Robert Pine, Jennifer Runyon, William Smith and Stuart Whitman

Ordering info-

    


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Return to Sad Hill


My recent trip to Spain, also marked my return trip to the filming location of finale of The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly commonly known as Sad Hill, the fictitious cemetery from the film.  My first trip in 2013, and was well documented here, here, and here.  At that time Sad Hill was mostly forgotten and grown over, with only a sign to mark it's location and two freshly erected grave markers put up by what would become The Sad Hill Cultural Association.

Now four years later, a lot has changed!

Through passion and crowdfunding, the Association has restored the cemetery to it's 1966 glory!  The original stone circle has been unearthed, and at least a thousand grave markers have been placed back on the original mounds.  Parts that had become overgrown have been cleared, and great details have been added such as the stone grave marker Tuco lands on after the cannon blast, the hanging tree above the unknown grave, and the empty grave Angel Eyes falls into.

The restoration of this location is also the subject of the forthcoming documentary Sad Hill Unearthed.

The location is beyond amazing, and was a true labor of love for all those involved.  I have been in contact with Sad Hill Cultural Association member Sergio Garcia since directly after my first visit, and was honored to finally meet him at the location he has worked so tirelessly at, to make his dream a reality.


Myself and Sergio at the spot where LVC stood during the duel


Recreating an iconic shot


Comparison with stone circle



Below are some additional photos.  Click to enlarge!

a group of tourists look over the Angel Eyes "grave"











Finally for comparison here is a wide shot of 2013 vs 2017





Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Day of Anger 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray Announced (Germany)



Coming to blu-ray on 2/2/2018 in Germany is the 50th anniversary edition of Day of Anger.  While the US received a spectacular release in 2015, this will be the first European blu-ray release of the film, and the first German language blu-ray.

Extras look to be the same as the US disc, so no need to upgrade if you already have it.


Specifications:

  • Speech / Sound: German DTS-HD (mono), Italian PCM (mono), English PCM (mono) 
  • Picture format: 2.35: 1 (1080p) 
  • Subtitles: German, English 
  • Running time: 114 min.


Extras:

  • Extensive booklet 
  • Interviews with director Tonino Valerii, scriptwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, film critic Roberto Curti
  • Deleted Scene 
  • German movie trailer


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Blu-ray Review: Death Rides a Horse (US)


Released in November of 2017 in the US by Kino Lorber, who also have released also Sabata, Barquero, Return of Sabata, Captain Apache, Bad Man's River, and most recently the 50th Anniversary The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.  This marks the first instance of Death Rides a Horse on Blu-ray in the United States.

While this review is to discuss the merits of the blu-ray and not the actual film itself, I will say that this is a great film featuring LVC in his Spaghetti Western prime.

The blu-ray itself comes in a standard case with some great artwork as seen on the original movie poster.  This is a one disc release.

Video

The majority of the transfer for Death Rides a Horse appears to be the same as the HD transfer supplied to Explosive Media by MGM.  However as many of you are aware, the Explosive Media release featured a significant framing issue the impacts the last 8 minutes of the film.  The entire end sequence was considerably zoomed in on this Blu-ray.  More information on that here.

However, that framing issue has been corrected in the Kino release!  See comparisons below-




This is a very good looking transfer, by no means reference, but the image is sharp with the proper colors represented.  No major print damage.  There is a fairly high level of film grain, especially in the darker scenes.






Audio

The film itself has never in my opinion sounded that great.  Ennio Morricone's great score has always sounded muffled, and nothing like the glorious stereo original score recordings soundtrack fans are used to.  Dialog is very clear.  No major issues.  Audio is available in English and Italian.

Extras

Kino has gotten film director Alex Cox to give a spirited commentary of the film.  Mr. Cox is well versed in all things spaghetti western, and even has a nice recollection of meeting LVC in 1977 to discuss the screenplay LVC was working on.  A very good listen!

The remaining extras are a vast array of western trailers, all released by Kino, many LVC titles included.

In Conclusion

While the Explosive Media version from Germany offers some additional extra features, the proper framing of this US Kino release makes it the definitive version available on home video!  Highly recommended!


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Where are the LVC Euro-Crime Movies?

While much of LVC's work in the 1970's was that of the (fading) spaghetti western, he did make a handful of European Crime genre films.  These films are increasingly hard to find today, which is a shame.

First let's take a look at which films I am talking about.  Click on the links to learn a bit more about each film. 


Some may also lump The Squeeze in with these, but as it was shot mostly in New York, I don't count it.

We are now ready to move onto availability of these films.

Mean Frank and Crazy Tony

Mean Frank and Crazy Tony was released on VHS in the mid-80's as part of Sybil Dannings Adventures Video line (which also include The Killing Machine). 

The film a a cheesy introduction by the scantly clad Sybil Danning who also shows up after the movie is over.

As far as I know this is the only way to get the complete version of the film.  Copies come up from time to time on eBay.  There is one on Amazon marketplace right now for $25.00. 



The film is also available on DVD in a highly cut version called Escape From Death Row.  This originally released in the early 1980's no-doubt to cash in on the success of Escape from New York. 

This version clocks in at 76 minutes, which cuts out over 20 minutes of footage. 

I know the $1 price you can find it for is appealing, but do yourself a favor and avoid the cut version at all costs!



I know there are bootleg sources where you can find Mean Frank and Crazy Tony on DVD, but I have not sourced one yet.



The Perfect Killer

This one seems to be the hardest to get.  I can find no trace of it on DVD (despite one 9 film LVC DVD megaset claiming to have it, I ended up with two episodes of The Master instead).




This film was released on VHS under it's original title as well as The Satanic Mechanic (no idea where that title came from!)

  



The Hard Way

Finally a legitimate DVD release! (in the UK anyway). 

This was released in 2009, and the DVD includes a trailer and stills.  It's doubtful this will see a US release so you might as well get the UK version (and hack your DVD player if you are in the US)

You can get it from Amazon here
The Hard Way (1979) [PAL Region 2 Import]





Happy hunting!