I got this DVD cause I have heard a lot about Cut Throats Nine, mainly that it is one of the bleakest and goriest westerns of the era (which is saying a lot considering this was released the same time the Italians were really pushing the envelope in terms of violence with their westerns). And it is true, I was expecting scenes of people getting riddled with bullets or scalped by Native Americans but instead I got these long Fulciesque, lingering shots of the aftermath of mutilation and murder... it is really nauseating. The story is also very bleak and there is a constant feeling of hopelessness from the beginning to the end of the film. At the same time, I think the film is very well acted and the story is quite compelling, even throwing in a predictable but nice little twist. Another thing I liked a lot about the movie is the locations, it's mainly shot outdoors in some truly beautiful snow covered mountain ranges. All in all, though quite unpleasant, I do think Cut Throats Nine is a well made and intriguing movie.
The other movie that came with the DVD is Joshua, one I had never heard of. It's sort of a blaxploitation western starring none other than Fred Williamson who starred in many other blaxploitation flicks, including the totally cool Black Caesar. Here he is a man of few words, out for revenge against the people that murdered his mother. The plot is totally cliche but it works and even though Fred isn't as cool as he is in some of his other efforts, he still lends a lot to the movie just by sitting there on his horse and looking like a hard ass. It's not a memorable movie but it still manages to be an entertaining one. One question that kept coming up in my head is, "did blue jeans exists back in the old west?" cause almost everyone in this movie is wearing blue jeans.
The DVD from Code Red is nice, I like these double bill DVDs that they are releasing. There are not really any special features but there is the "42nd Street Experience" that plays both movies in a row with trailers before and in between. I recommend, if you are patient enough to sit through 2 movies, to try the 42nd experience cause it's how these films might have been viewed back in the day.
I guess of the 2, I thought Cut Throats Nine was the best but Joshua was definitely a more enjoyable watch. If you are into old grind house/exploitation/western movies I think this is well worth picking up. It's 2 movies for the price of one, neither are amazing but neither are bad either and I promised you will be entertained!