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Nothing short of great stuff here with an excellent cast and a well written script punctuated by some great little moments of humor. Garko is better than usual as the eagle-eyed, razor toungued and lightning fast Sartana and has a wealth of great character actors to support him, including the vastly underrated Frank Wolff. The direction is exceptionally stylish, with numerous POV shots and expressionist angles that add loads of atmosphere to what, in lesser hands, could have been a rather average outing. Great stuff, that may not convert the heathens, but will definitely please the spag aficionados.
"Sono Sartana, Il Vostro Becchino" aka. "Sartana The Gravedigger" aka,
"I Am Sartana Your Angel Of Death" is a quite humorous Spaghetti
Western with a Great Cast.
Like in all the original "Sartana" movies he stars in, Gianni Garko is once again very cool as Sartana, the genre's most well-dressed (anti-)hero. This time, bounty hunter Sartana needs to clear his name after someone robbed a bank dressed up as Sartana and he is blamed and hunted by his fellow bounty hunters. Accompanied by a fellow bounty hunter, the not so well-dressed Buddy Ben (Frank Wolff), Sartana is out to seek those who dared to blame him for their crime.
"Sartana The Gravedigger" is not exactly a 'Comedy' Spaghetti Western, but it's certainly a very funny one. Hot Dead, a bounty killer, fast shot and very unlucky gambler, played by the great Klaus Kinski is one of the ironical characters who make this film so funny. Another funny character is villainous and slightly insane bounty killer Deguejo (played by B-Movie star and regular Spaghetti Western actor Gordon Mitchell), who is, as most of the characters played by Mitchell, very exaggerated, but exaggerated in a good, funny way. The great Frank Wolff is funny in his role, and Gianni Garko is great and epitomizes coolness (as in the other Sartana movies).
The movie's score is pretty good, although the composers actually just plagiarized the work of Ennio Morricone (Kinski's theme in this movie is basically a lesser version of Cheyenne's theme in "Once Upon A Time In The West" and the rest of the film's soundtrack also resembles various Morricone compositions). It's okay to learn from the master, however.
All things considered, "Sartana the Gravedigger" is a good Spaghetti Western with great actors (especially Kinski, Wolff and Garko). Highly recommended to every fan of Spaghetti Westerns. 7/10
This is the third Sartana played by Garko film I have seen and while I
found the first two to be mediocre at best this one hit me positively.
Sartana is falsely accused and is searching for the real bank robbers.
The evolving story consists of many little entertaining episodes and
whenever you think that the real bad guy is already revealed there is
one more twist. In his quest Sartana is assisted only by Buddy Ben who
is well played by Frank Wolff, the rest of the characters is hunting
the bounty put on his head. No problem for Sartana who kills them all,
most of them with his Derringer pistol. Kinski with more screen time
than usual shines in his role as an addicted gambler.
The lead characters are having their own and nice scores. Cinematography is above average but I've seen already better. The German budget DVD is OK and has even the original Italian soundtrack.
7 / 10 (**1/2)
This Sartana movie gets the usual Western issues , such as greedy
antiheroes , quick zooms , exaggerated baddies and musical score with
Morricone influence , among them . When a bank is secured with the help
of group of bounty hunters , it takes a special man to rob it : Sartana
(Garco) . The gang members wear the same clothes as the bounty hunters
contracted to defend it . Their leader pretends to enter the bank to
collect the reward of a bandit he has murdered . Is the leader really
Sartana ? . Of course , he isn't , he is only dressed like him , but
the hoax is so effective that a reward is put on his head and he is
soon pursued by some of his earlier colleagues bounty hunters , among
them : Shadow (José Torres) , Deguejo (Cameron Mitchell) and Hot Dead
(Kinski) . Then Sartana is falsely accused of robbing a bank , and must
find the real robbers and clear his name . Alarmed , the dark , elegant
hero named Sartana begins investigating with the help of a friend , a
dubious and ragged man called Buddy Ben (Wolff) . The trail leads them
to the town of Poker Falls , where the gambling flourishing and crime
is rampant . The expert card player Sartana arrives in a small city
where various bounty hunters attempt to kill him . It follows the
seemingly endless adventures of Sartana in search of the true guilty .
At the end takes place the inevitable confrontation , a showdown in
which Sartana contends against all .
This is a Western all'Italiana post-Sergio Leone era , this period received a big boost with Sergio Corbucci's very influential Django . However in the following years use of irony and cunning became more prominent . This was seen in ulterior Westerns with their emphasis on unstable partnerships . In the last phase of the SW with the Trinity movies , the Leone legacy had been transformed almost beyond recognition , as terror and deadly violence gave way to harmless brawling and low comedy . It contains an interesting but twisted plot , double crosses , shoot'em up and results to be quite entertaining , though drags at times , balancing in ups and downs . At the beginning takes place an outrageous and ambiguous opening scene in which we witness the robbery of a bank that is thought to be impenetrable . There is plenty of action , guaranteeing thrills , decent body-count or stunts every few minutes . SARTANA is a fundamental archetype in Spaghetti/Paella genre as well as James Bond in spy-genre , here Gianni Garco-Sartana stars an entertaining SW with lots of action , gun-play and fun . As always , the mythic personage appears elegant and dressed in black and with a killer look . Sartana is the standard by which every spaghetti antihero is measured along with Lee Van Cleef's Sabata and Franco Nero's Django . It's a thrilling western with breathtaking confrontation between the protagonist Gianni Garco against the heartless enemies formed by various bounty hunters , judge , sheriff and bankers . There is a very odd implementation of shots in the camera work during some particular scenes as well as a lot of twists and turns , as the film approaches its climax , as in the final and the unusual conclusion . German Gianni Garco or Gary Hudson is good in this Sartana Western , he is fine ; as he ravages the screen , brawls , shoots , run and kills . The cast is standard with lots of Italian b-movie heroes , there appears usual actors from Spaghetti such as John Bartha , Federico Boido or Rick Boyd , Samson Burke as Judge's right hand , Ettore Manni , Renato Baldini , Sal Borghese ; of course , the great Kinski and special mention to Frank Wolff who early committed suicide . Atmospheric Eastmancolor cinematography by Giovanni Bergamini though being necessary a remastering and filmed in Elios studios , as usual . Enjoyable musical score by Vasco and Mancuso , including catching leitmotif .
Sartana himself is like a crossover between Clint Eastwood's The Man with no Name and ¨Django¨, a black-clad amoral anti-hero ; adding the special characteristics from James Bond , his quirky gadgets , elegance and dressed in cloak . Sartana character is in equal parts mysterious , cool and deadly ; he is not out there to chase the bandits like a simple bounty hunter , he is just out for money and blood . His quirky gadgets often bring to mind the other similar character , Sabata played by Lee Van Cleef and Yul Brynner . The first Sartana was ¨Gunfighters Die Harder" or "If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death" a trend-setting film by Gianfranco Parolini with Garco , Kinski and Fernando Sancho . The best Sartana are directed by Giuliano Carmineo , alias Anthony Ascott, he realized various with George Hilton who replaces to Garco . Hilton played more natural and roguish than Garco who was cold and peculiar . They cooperated in some Westerns in the late 60s/early 70s, most remarkable is the "Sartana"-Series. The later "Sartana" movies directed by Anthony Ascott became increasingly cartoonish and humorous . It was followed by director Alfonso Balcazar with ¨Sartana non Perdona or Sonora¨ with George Martin and Gilbert Roland . Miles Deem directed two Sartanas deemed lousy and cheesy . Furthermore , a string of sequels and rip-offs with other Z-series directors. This ¨Sartana¨ movie perhaps is not a Spaghetti masterpiece , but a watchable and sometimes unusual movie nonetheless .This is definitely one of the best Sartana-Movies ; tough, cynical and with a lot of humor, seasoned with all herbs of a cool Spaghetti. I had a lot of fun with this one and it's worthwhile it more than one time .
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.
It's true that the spaghetti western genre isn't one to brag about
originality. Movies from it often borrow thematic elements from one
another and most of the time that results in one very unsuccessful
imitation of the real thing. But sometimes a director is able to look
past the genre's obvious limitations and instead of just trying to
blindly emulate he focuses on creating something that stands good on
it's own. Such is the case of Giuliano Carnimeo's "Sartana the
The whole movie revolves around it's main star and character, namely Gianni Garko as the crafty, nearly legendary gunslinger, Sartana. Whom soon after the opening scene finds himself framed for a bank robbery and chased by a never-ending wave of bounty hunters. This of course prompts him to track down the people who were actually involved in the robbery and have wrongfully framed him for it. From then on this becomes a fast ride, never slowing it's pace. It doesn't try to be anything more than entertainment and it works. Garko's character is an obvious Eastwood look alike both in physical looks and in terms of behavior, but then again this has already become an accepted feature to most Spaghetti westerns and for all the good it does, Garko has captured (if only partially) that mysterious "man with no name" persona that made Eastwood famous. The support cast is equally good in their respective roles with Klaus Kinsky playing a down on his luck bounty hunter and Frank Wolf as the comedic sidekick to Garko's Sartana.
Giuliano Carnimeo directs with a strong emphasis on action rather than simply trying to copy Sergio Leone. "Sartana the Gravedigger" is indeed a fast moving picture. With a large body-count and countless firefights it doesn't stop to entertain even for just a minute. Some of the action scenes are particularly well done, with the battle in the church making the biggest impression. It is by far one of the most unique showdowns I've seen in an Italian western. There Carnimeo employs, complete darkness with the only visible light coming from aimless fire of dozens of guns that are trying to hit Sartana while he himself silently kills them off one by one. The battle is accompanied with an atmospheric musical piece by composer Vasco Mancuso that further helps in establishing a claustrophobic no escape feel of the scene.
The movie does have it's share of problems and it, as a lot of others in the genre suffer from low production values. Typical example would be the not so good costume designs, especially in the opening bank robbery where we saw guards wearing some very un-western like clothing.
All in all "Sartana the Gravedigger" is a very good spaghetti western that is sure to please fans of the genre, with it's non-stop action, good music and characters
Garko displays true stellar charisma in this film, the second film in the Sartana series. Although this film borrows some plot elements from the first Sartana film, the script, acting, and direction is far superior to the first film. The plot has Sartana framed for a bank robbery; the price on his head results in countless bounty killers seeking to claim the reward, while he strives to discover the true criminal. Sartana, supremely cool, never loses his excellent sense of humor, and is always in control of every situation. Klaus Kinski gives another of his deliciously weird characterizations as a bounty killer addicted to gambling. The biggest action sequence in the film has Sartana taking on two dozen opponents in sequence (and he doesn't use a gatling gun, either). And there is a nice musical theme. If you are a Spaghetti Western fan, don't miss this excellent one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I saw this Italian western under the title I AM SARTANA...YOUR ANGEL OF
DEATH, which I suppose is just as good a title as SARTANA THE
GRAVEDIGGER. It sounds very much like a dark and violent DJANGO rip
off, but this spaghetti western is surprisingly light hearted. It's
watchable enough as entertainment, no classic but a nice film to pass
As is usual with this genre of film-making, it's the supporting faces who add real entertainment value. Gianni Garko is the heroic lead, a gunslinger who finds himself set-up by the villains so goes on a mission of revenge accompanied by his larger than life buddy, played by Frank Wolff. Late into the film comes Klaus Kinski in yet another genre appearance, playing a gambler, and rest assured he's as bizarre as always. There's also a strong turn for former peplum star Gordon Mitchell playing a typical bad guy character with aplomb. Expect plot twists galore, plenty of action, and a score that sounds suspiciously like Morricone...all par for the course, then.
The Sartana franchise is alive and kicking in this fine entry. An
above-average script gives the cast and director plenty of meat to work
with, and they deliver.
Sartana is always unruffled and always has the upper hand, in difficult situations in which he is jailed or outnumbered or chased. Klaus Kinski as a bounty hunter has a substantial part. His repartee is as notable as Sartana's.
Sartana's "helper", played by Frank Wolff, projects a degree of uneasy ambiguity.
In between scenes, the music volume rises.
I watched a well-dubbed widescreen version, and it seemed more than adequate.
This is a very satisfying spaghetti western with plenty of variety and freshness to it. Garko reminds one of Clint Eastwood, but he still manages to create his own character.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Wily top gunslinger Sartana (a typically excellent portrayal by Gianni Gark) gets falsely accused of robbing a bank. Sartana must find the real robbers in order to clear his name. Meanwhile, a bunch of ruthless bounty hunters are eager to bag Sartana in order to collect the hefty prize money placed on his head. Director Giuliano Carnimeo, working from a clever and involving script by Tito Carpi, Enzo Dell'Aquila, and Ernesto Gastaldi, keeps the crafty plot moving along at a constant swift pace, maintains a playfully quirky tone throughout, further spices things up with a nice sense of wickedly amusing sardonic humor, and stages the thrilling shoot-outs with considerable skill and brio (the opening bank robbery set piece is especially daring and exciting). The cast have a field day with their colorful roles: Frank Wolf contributes a lively and engaging performance as Sartana's loyal fellow sharpshooter partner Buddy Ben, the always interesting Klaus Kinski is a sleazy treat as slimy and effeminate luckless gambling addict Hot Dead, and Gordon Mitchell makes a strong impression as the fearsome and lightly crazed Deguejo. Giovanni Bergamini's crisp and agile cinematography boasts a lot of fierce whiplash pans and crazy tilted camera angles. The twangy and dynamic score by Vasili Kojucharov and Elsio Maneuso hits the rousing spot. A very solid and satisfying spaghetti Western.
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