One month before Quentin Tarantino's spelling-impaired opus Inglourious Basterds hits theaters, Severin Films will release the film that inspired it, Enzo Castellari's Inglorious Bastards, on Blu-ray. Previously released on DVD July 29, 2008, Castellari's largely forgotten masterpiece will be available in glorious high-definition in July, just in time to reintroduce folks to its (literally) war-torn landscape before Tarantino put its title, its plot and its characters in that mental meat grinder of his and makes some of the sweetest cinematic sausage of 2009.
I reviewed Severin's original three-disc DVD last year, and in addition to already having a terrific transfer, the set features extended conversations between Castellari and Tarantino, a terrific commentary track, and a collection of the music used on the soundtrack. Despite the fact that so much of Tarantino's source material seems to come from the dregs of cinema history, Inglorious Bastards is actually a genuinely terrific film that would easily have stood up against the war movies of the 1960s and '70s as a classic were it not made and released primarily for Italian audiences.
It's also appropriate that Severin be the lucky distributor who put together the DVD and Blu-ray, since the company is dedicated to finding and rereleasing older and more obcure films, some of which are exploitation benchmarks (The Sinful Dwarf, anyone?) and others are true classics (Patrice Leconte's The Hairdresser's Husband). Check out their site for more information both about their films, and one of the best DVD companies you've never heard of – not the least of which because they call themselves "The Criterion of smut." Check out the box art below.