After a stagecoach is robbed and the passengers murdered, a long and tangled series of surprise attacks a murderous double-crosses leaves the coach's strongbox in the hands of the killer Lasky. It is up to the legendary hero Sartana to track down the missing money and determine just who is ultimately behind the grisly robberies and killings.
From the same director
Gianni Garko (Sartana (as John Garko)), William Berger (Lasky), Sydney Chaplin (Jeff Stewal (as Sidney Chaplin)), Gianni Rizzo (Alman), Fernando Sancho (Jose Manuel Mendoza), Klaus Kinski (Morgan (as Klaus Kinsky)), Andrea Scotti (Perdido (as Andrew Scott)), Carlo Tamberlani (Reverend Logan), Franco Pesce (Dusty), Heidi Fischer (Evelyn), Gianfranco Parolini (Gambler (as J. Francis Littlewords)), Maria Pia Conte (Jane), Sabine Sun (Girl at the saloon), Sergio Jossa (as Serge Jossa), Antonietta Fiorito, Ugo Adinolfi (as Adinolfi Ugo), Rossella Bergamonti (Meggie Sam - Stagecoach Passenger (as Patricia Carr)), Arrigo Peri (Speedy - the Telegrapher), Sal Borgese (El moreno), Fortunato Arena (Tampico Gangmember (uncredited)), Bruno Ariè (Lasky Henchman (uncredited)), Gino Barbacane (Lasky Henchman (uncredited)), Gianlorenzo Bernini (El Moreno Henchman (uncredited)), Omero Capanna (Lasky Henchman (uncredited)), Remo Capitani (Lieutnant Miguel (uncredited))...
It is very obvious why Sartana created an avalanche of sequels, only second to Django. Even if it looks like yet another tale about stolen gold, Mexican bandits and switching allegiances, Sartana feels (and is) different. Of course seen back in 1968, it must have wowed European audiences with its bleak cinematography and nihilistic characters. However, 40 years (!) down the line, and it still feels as refreshingly dark and stylish as ever.
As in with most spaghettis, the plot is near incomprehensible. It has something to do about a stolen shipment of gold and a constant switching of allegiances, as thief betrays thief to get the gold. But, again as in with most spaghettis, the plot isn't the issue at all.
Sartana (1968) is a capsule of pure spaghetti western style. Everything is kept very minimal here, from the scarce dialogues, to the perennially empty town streets. Yet there's a hellish ambiance to proceedings and the nonsensical plot only adds to its psychotronic charm. I gave up trying to follow the plot after a while and just immersed myself in the surreal happenings.
Sartana himself is like a crossover between The Man with no Name (the standard by which every spag antihero is measured) and Django, a black-clad amoral anti-hero. He's not out there to catch the baddies. He's just out for money and blood. His quirky gadgets often bring to mind the other Parolini character, Sabata, but Gianni Garko's character plays on a whole other level. There is of course, the occasional comic relief, in the form of an old gravedigger, but it only confirms that Sartana is indeed a grim western. That same darkness would resurface in Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter years later, on the other side of the pond.
Overall, this is a must see for SW afficionados. If you're a fan of Corbucci's nihilistic side (Django, The Great Silence), Sartana will make you cream your pants. Dark, stylish, with a streak of Euro horror running through it, Sartana is a criminally forgotten piece of celluloid. Watch it and find out.
Se incontri Sartana prega per la tua morte ((original title)) • Sartana ...bete um deinen Tod (Austria (dubbed version)) • Ако срещнеш Сартана, моли се за смъртта си (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Se Encontrar Sartana, Reze Pela Sua Morte (Brazil) • If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (Canada (English title); USA (alternative spelling)) • Si te encuentras con Sartana... ruega por tu muerte (Spain) • Sartana (France; Greece; Norway; Sweden) • Imádkozz a halálodért! (Hungary) • Sartana Reza pela Tua Morte (Portugal) • Dacă dai de Sartana, fă-ţi rugăciunea (Romania)
grindhouse film, mercilessness, surprise, money, stagecoach, robbery, street shootout, gunfight, cult film, ambush, trap, prostitute, evil woman, evil man, evil, hat, darkness, ambition, greed, treachery, nihilist, nihilism, knife throwing, knife, stabbed in the chest, lie, revelation, unfaithfulness, infidelity, dead woman...
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