And God Said to Cain
In Antonio Margheriti’s (Cannibal Apocalypse) And God Said to Cain (1970), the inimitable Klaus Kinski (Double Face) stars as a man who has spent the last decade in a prison work camp for a crime he didn’t commit and who, upon his release, immediately sets out to wreak vengeance on the men who framed him.
Antonio Margheriti’s And God Said to Cain—the fourth and final film in Arrow’s box set Vengeance Trails: 4 Classic Westerns—is presented here on a dual-layer disc in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The film has been given a 1080p/24hz high-definition encode.
This is the only title in the set not restored by L’Immagine Ritrovata, Arrow stating they were provided the high-def master from the film’s rights holder, Movietime (Arrow restored the English-language credits, though). Arrow doesn’t supply any information on what this was sourced from, or when it was done, but the end results do come out looking quite good; the scan is a tight one and based on the level of detail and the quality of the grain, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ended up being sourced from the negative, or at least the interpositive. The film has a very fine grain structure that can get a little noisy in a few shots, but on the whole I felt it was rendered cleanly and retained a natural look. The film has more in common with a horror a film and takes place primarily at night and/or in very dark settings, but the level of detail is still very impressive and the shadows look strong thanks to some solid black levels; only a handful of shots have murkier look. The film’s brighter scenes also look wonderful, the opening shots delivering incredible levels of detail, most notable in an early shot of a snake hiding in the rocks.
The restoration has cleaned things up quite well, with only a few minor blemishes still popping up. The film has a warmer look, but it’s not overly done to the point where colours are harmed: whites still look white and blues still look blue. The film has a different, much darker look than the other films in the set, but the presentation pulls it off well.
As with the other films in the set Arrow includes two audio tracks, English and Italian, both in lossless single-channel PCM. They’re both pretty flat, dynamic range severely limited, but damage isn’t an issue and dialogue is clear. Since both have been dubbed over they have that detached feel that most dubs have, and one isn’t really better than the other when it comes to general quality, but lips probably synch better in the Italian track. Still, as with the other titles in the set, it will come down to personal preference which one to view the film.
Outside of a couple of inclusions I can’t say the supplements in this set have been anything special, but the material for this film ends up coming off the most underwhelming. I was especially let down by the audio commentary provided by author Howard Hughes, who also provides essays for each of the films in the set in the included booklet. I enjoyed reading his writings on each film in that booklet so I was looking forward to the commentary. Unfortunately it’s a sadly dry affair, falling into the trap, on occasion, of just seeming to reference whatever could be found on IMDB. He does touch on the film’s genre mashing of the western with gothic horror, Kinski’s work in Italy around this time, and the spaghetti western in general, but it’s obviously scripted nature also makes it a bit of a drag, especially compared to the looser and more dynamic tracks that preceded it. His essay on the film in the included booklet is a far better read, maybe because he didn’t have to pad the time.
The other supplements aren’t anything all that special, either, though are probably still at least worth viewing. Fabio Melelli pops up again to talk about the film, though this may be one of his better contributions to the set, as he looks at the film from the perspective of a gothic horror and includes excerpts from an audio interview he had done with the film’s lead actress, Marcella Michelangeli, who confirms what we probably already suspected about Klaus Kinski. There is then a 12-minute interview with actor Antonio Catafora, who also shares his thoughts on Kinski and the film’s other actors, while also rightfully questioning being made a blonde in the film. The disc then closes with a small image gallery, and like the other galleries in the set it presents German promotional material limited to posters, lobby cards, and photos.
Sadly, for what is one of the more interesting films in the set, that's it.
I found the film to be one of the more interesting ones in the set, making it all the more disappointing that it ends up having the weaker set of supplements. At the very least, the presentation is solid.