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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.


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.


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.


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!

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