Tuesday, July 26, 2022

[Blu-ray Review} - That Dirty Black Bag: Season One

That Dirty Black Bag: Season 1 lands today on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of RLJ Entertainment. The series was created by Italian filmmaker Mauro Aragoni and aired on the streaming service AMC+ earlier this year. Mauro Aragoni wrote and directed the series alongside co-director BrianO’Malley (The Lodgers, Let us Prey). Additional writing came from Marcello Izzo (“Il cacciatore”), Silvia Ebreul (“Il cacciatore”), and Fabio Paladini (“Il cacciatore,” Border Queen). The first season stars Douglas Booth (The Dirt, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Dominic Cooper (“Preacher,” Captain America: The First Avenger), Niv Sultan (“Tehran”), Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”), and Travis Fimmel(“Raised by Wolves, “Vikings”).

The 8-part debut season centers on Greenvale, a town full of bandits, prostitutes, bounty hunters, and bloody vendettas. The arrival of the bounty hunter Red Bill (Douglas Booth), known for decapitating his victims and stuffing their heads into a dirty black bag, sets off a series of deadly events. Upon arriving, Red Bill bunts heads with the incorruptible Sherriff Arthur McCoy (Dominic Cooper), and it's plain to see from the beginning that these two share a dark past - a past that'll be revealed by the season's end.

Final Thoughts

I've seen countless advertisements for That Dirty Black Bag while watching The Walking Dead shows this past spring. The series looked promising, but, at the time, it wasn't enough for me to subscribe to AMC+. (Seriously, I can only afford so many streaming services.) From my understanding, the series was an exclusive for AMC+, so I was surprised it came out on physical media (DVD, Blu-ray) shortly after the first season concluded.

The first two episodes ("Chapter One: A Head Weighs Less Than a Body" and "Chapter Two: Prisoners") are slow-burners. Episode one introduces an overload of characters and subplots, and it's a bit too much to grasp ahold on in a single viewing. I lost interest within a few minutes of episode two, barely paying attention to anything that came across the screen. It wasn't until the flashbacks of episodes three and four that I became invested in the characters. From there on out, I was glued to the series and binge-watched the rest in one afternoon. 

Overall, That Dirty Black Bag: Season One is a bleak and gritty spaghetti western with top-notch performances and stunning cinematography.

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