All the easter eggs in Day of Vengeance - Part I
In Tarantinoesque fashion, Day of Vengeance is full of quotes, easter eggs and homages to spaghetti westerns and other films! In this post I'll showcase all of those you can see in Part I.
this post may contain spoilers on the following:
A fistful of dollars (1964), directed by Sergio Leone
Navajo Joe (1966), directed by Segio Corbucci
Keoma (1976), directed by Enzo G. Castellari
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966), directed by Sergio Leone
They call me Trinity (1970), directed by Enzo Barboni
The Four horsemen of the apocalypse (1975), directed by Lucio Fulci
The Great Silence (1968), directed by Sergio Corbucci
Interstellar (2014), directed by Christopher Nolan
Dunkirk (2016), directed by Christopher Nolan
Breaking Bad, episode Ozymandias 5x14 (2013), directed by Rian Johnson
Reservoir Dogs (1992), directed by Quentin Tarantino
Kill Bill vol. 2 (2005) directed by Quentin Tarantino
For a few dollars more (1965) directed by Sergio Leone
Django (1966), directed by Sergio Corbucci
The Hateful Eight (2015), directed by Quentin Tarantino
Extreme close up
The film's opening scene features many close ups, some very close to the characters' face. This ain't anything new: one of Sergio Leone's signature shots is extreme close ups.
It takes almost a minute until the viewers witnesses the first murder of the film, a minute that serves to build up tension. Spaghetti westerns are slow films. Of their total runtime, really just a small portion is occupied by its signature duels, heists, showdowns. I tried to convey that in this film.
Natives in westerns
Because of the budget spaghetti westerns had, and because they often were shot in Spain, there are more mexicans than natives. There are however two notable examples: Navajo Joe and Keoma. The first film has a young native with a very indian appearance, Keoma follows a native turned bounty hunter. Our Native is nothing like Keoma, being older, having a clothing that resembles that of the Peones, and a moral solidity despite his job.
Before the opening credits, there are three prologues. Each of them introduces a lead character: Native, then Vengeful, then Mormon, and the last prologue is the one that sets the story in motion. In a similar fashion, the first three scenes of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (right after the opening credits) each introduce respectively Tuco (the Ugly), Sentenza (the Bad) and the Good. This latter scene has Good and Tuco meet, thus starting the plot of the film (although some context for the second half of the plot is provided in the second introductory scene, that of Sentenza).
the third prologue and Sentenza's introduction
The third prologue reminds more of Sentenza's introduction in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The original screenplay demanded that Sancho would eat the food the mormons offer him before killing them, just as did Sentenza in his scene (Sentenza's victims weren't mormons though and the whole thing happened in-house), and similarly Sentenza spared one family member (in that case it was the wife). Additionally, there is a very similar temolo violins theme in that scene aswell.
Mormons in Spaghetti Westerns
Mormons don't appear too often in westerns, but there are a few notable examples.
One is "They Call me Trinity", Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill's debut in the fist fight/western/comic genre film, where the entire plot centers around the protection of a Mormon settlement. Sometimes the mormon pioneers are mixed up with other religious pioneers. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse features a group of Amish pioneers which sing a mormon Hymn in their first scene (note: the two religions have little in common). Mormons often are represented stereotyped in Spaghetti Westerns. I tried to keep the depiction of mormons as realistic as possible, though for most of the film, the only Mormon we meet with is the protagonist, who's in a "transitional period".
The shot with a moving camera that zooms out of the ground and follows the cart passing nearby (in other words, the first shot of the third prologue) mirrors the beggining shot of A Fistful of Dollars, where the camera follows similarly Joe and his donkey. There are more parallels set in this third prologue. The trembling shots resemble closely those that follow the wagon in "The Great Silence". The shot that is taken from behind a wheel apparently by a camera attached to the cart resembles a kind of shot Christopher Nolan lately used frequently in Interstellar and Dunkirk with IMAX cameras. The zoom in on Sancho as he appears for the first time is a frequently used camera movement in Spaghetti Westerns. The shot of Mormon falling to the ground in pain mirrors a sequence in episode Ozymandias of Breaking Bad, where
Spoiler (highlight to read)Walter White falls to the ground in similar fashion when Hank is killed
, and Mormon having the gun pointed at him resembles an iconic shot from Reservoir Dogs (though here, unlike in the film, Mormon has no gun).
Main Theme and opening credits
when the main theme starts, its slower first portion quotes a motif that is used in Navajo Joe's theme, composed by Ennio Morricone (Tarantino used it also for Bill's death scene in Kill Bill vol. 2). The afterwards theme (although similar to an existing song, as pointed out in previous discussions) is completely original.
They Call me Trinity has a similar opening credits sequence, showing Trinity travelling with his horse.
The windmill homages the squeking windmill from the opening scene of "Once upon a time in the west". Similarly, the camera movement from below to above as the city is introduced resembles the shot from that same movie that first shows the town.
The climax shots with extreme close ups on Mormon and Sancho's wanted poster as gunshots are heard parallel an identical sequence from For a few dollars more, where the Colonel shares a similar scene with Indio's wanted poster.
Jack the slaver's gang
The way Vengeful introduces Jack the Slaver and his gang as a group of ex-confederates now turned bandits reminds of a few gangs appeared in spaghetti westerns. Django has such a gang, and The Hateful Eight mentions frequently a similar group of revolutioners.
Saloon scenes are a must in westerns. The structure of the saloon as shown here, with the rooms being on a second floor accessible through a staircase next to an inner balcony is the most common layout.
Native and Vengeful come up with a plan that requires Vengeful to infiltrate the gang. A similar dinamic occured in For a few dollars more between the colonel and Clint Eastwood's unnamed gunslinger.
Last edited by LegoStudiosP (September 1, 2017 (01:27am))