Spaghetti Western w/ a definite twinkle in the eye
The second film in the popular Sartana series is, on the whole, pretty entertaining ..well spun in Carnimeo's typical "Sartana" style....combining a whodunit...w/ elements of a smokey good mystery...with Spaghetti Western action & humor. More than a bit tongue in cheek...yet straining for credibility & often (but not always) hitting the mark.
"Sono Sartana......" hits the ground running...in a snappy opening...as Sartana is implicated in a bank robbery. A $10000 reward on his head insures that he's pursued by bounty hunters....many of whom are known to him already as friends, allies, competitors. There's a good amount of tension & unpredictability as Sartana tries to get to the bottom of it all, as he follows the trail of clues as to who framed him.. as well as the wherabouts of the $$$$$...all the while being stalked by bounty hunters and people trying to get their own grubby little hands on the $$$$$. Unfortunately...those remaining who can shed any light on the issue are knocked off before he can get to them.
The trail takes him to Poker Flats...a gambling town where everybody's a cheat...out for themselves...& can't be trusted. A shady saloon owner...corrupt judge...dishonest sheriff....are but 3 of the slightly twisted characters we meet in this quirky corner of 'Spaghettiville'.
Frank Wolff puts in a nice turn as Buddy Ben...although willing to lend his assistance, you never know exactly where his loyalties or motivations lie............& it's a nice performance.
Kinski delivers one of his most sane Spaghetti Western roles as the unlucky gambler/bounty hunter...........Hot Dead.
Mancuso's music/score has some nice moments...and some lesser ones. Sartana's theme is good..but tends to be overplayed...over & over & over (and over)...........Kinski's theme --> a little banjo tune --> is recognizable as "Santa Claus is coming to town." Interesting choice of melody...to say the least.
All in all...an enjoyable romp.......with enough twists & turns to keep you guessing....... Within a genre filled w / copycats & overused plots...I appreciate any Spaghetti Western that has a different style...w/ at least an attempt at an original plot. "Sono" manages to be intelligent...funny ..pretty brutal w/ a lot of action...& an entirely satisfying conclusion.
Sprinkled throughout are some great names ..Slim Shotgun...Shadow...DeGuello......some great dialogue...the bounty hunter who announces his arrival with "I am death"...& of course Sartana's quip "I'm your gravedigger".
My cherished little copy used for this review is in Italian w/ English subs..so I can't comment on the English dubbed version...nor can I be aware of any changes or differences in the English translation (and there always are differences). Spaghetti Western w/ a definite twinkle.
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