Ehi Amico…c’è Sabata. Hai Chiuso! (1969)

That title translates as Hey buddy…That’s Sabata. You’re Finished! Gianfranco Parolini had gone from making Eurospy films to If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death, which was a success but the series ended up being given to director Giuliano Carnimeo.

Producer Alberto Grimaldi then got in touch with Parolini to make a new series. He had a great actor to star in it, too. Lee Van Cleef, whose work in Leone’s films is the stuff of legend. What may not be known to many is that a car crash in 1958 nearly cost the actor his life and career. He actually went into interior decorating with his second wife before getting back into movies three years later, but any time he rode a horse, he’d always be in great pain. That’s kind of amazing, because for someone so well-known for being a cowboy, he gutted through it to give us all these awesome roles. What can you say for a guy whose tombstone literally says, “Best of the bad?”

Sabata is basically a man who can’t be stopped. He can hit any target and has really no morals, which is a great combination for the Italian West. He carries a four-barreled derringer and a rifle that he uses to wipe out just about everyone he meets.

The one enemy that he doesn’t immediately kill is Banjo (William Berger), who keeps trying to play every side against each other. He also has a great weapon that he hides in the music instrument that lends him his name.

There’s drunk Civil War vet Carrincha, who throws knives at people, and his only friend, a Native American named Alley Cat who can escape anyone and is the master of acrobatics.

The bad guy here is named Stengel, one of the town’s leaders who is robbing the bank to buy a railroad. Sabata learns the secret and has to deal with thugs being sent his way for the rest of the film. Stengel has a dart gun in a cane, which is pretty awesome, and he’s played by Franco Ressel, who was in 121 movies, a resume which includes Hercules the AvengerBlood and Black LacePassword: Kill Agent Gordon, Have a Good Funeral, My Friend… Sartana Will Pay and Naked Girl Killed in the Park.

This movie is a blast — everything great about Sartana but with Lee Van Cleef as the hero instead of Gianni Garko (or George Hilton, George Martin, Jeff Cameron, William Berger, Hunt Powers, Johnny Garko, George Ardisson, Robert Widmark or the lack of anyone playing the role in a movie named Let’s Go And Kill Sartana).

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

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