SARTANA WEEK: Light the Fuse…Sartana is Coming! (1970)

In his very first line in the movie, Sartana paraphrases the Bible verse “I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” before killing a corrupt sheriff and two of his deputies. If I wasn’t already excited about the fourth Sartana film, I’m now fully ready.

Sartana turns himself in for their murders in order to get one of his old friends, Grandville Full, out of the corrupt jail, one so horrible that the wardens urinate onto men desperate for water. That friend I mentioned earlier — Grand Full for short — knows where a half million in gold and two million in counterfeit money is. But there are plenty of people after it too, like an evil widow (Nieves Navarro!), a one-eyed killer, another corrupt lawman and even a general gone deaf and mad.

Like every Sartana movie, the only person you can trust is Sartana himself. The entire town of Mansfield is looking for the gold and ready to kill one another and anyone else that comes to visit. Like Mara Krupp, who pretty much plays the same horny hotel owner that she played in For a Few Dollars More.

Well, maybe Pon Pon, an old friend and inventor, can be trusted. After all, he’s invented a robot for Sartana named Alfie. Yep, in the middle of a spaghetti western, there’s a robot. Welcome to the Sartana films! He’s also building a giant organ for his dance hall, which he claims to be the reason why he needs the money.

The scene where Alfie the robot blows up the sheriff, spraying out burning counterfeit money that Sartana lights a cigarette with while laughing? That’s exactly why I love the Sartana series. They’ve moved from him as an angel of death to a detective with James Bond gadgets over the four Gianni Garko films.

The finale, where the pipe organ is taken into the street, only for it to contain machine guns that mow down hundreds — if not more — soldiers and assorted killers, thieves and liars has to be seen to be believed.

The music, by Bruno Nicolai, is great. He also scored plenty of Jess Franco films, as well as The Red Queen Kills Seven TimesAll the Colors of the DarkThe Case of the Bloody Iris and so many more. Here, he continually brings back the haunting theme of Sartana and ups the intensity at the close of the film.

Of the four Sartana films I’ve watched for this week, this one has been my favorite. Now, it’s not the dark and realistic film that a Leone Western can be, but it has a charm and verve all its own. Also, I want a robot that lights my cigars like Alfie!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.