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The first movie on Sartana as avenger hero is by Frank Kramer (Gianfranco Parolini) interpreted by John Garco , besides it was starred by Klaus Kinski and William Berger . As always , the mythic personage appears elegant and dressed in black and with a killer look . After being continued by Alfonso Balcazar ( Sartana non perdona or Sonora ). Miles Deem directed two Sartanas which are considered as awful . Anthony Ascott(Giuliano Carmineo) realized several movies with George Hilton who replaces to Garco . Hilton plays more natural and roguish than Garco who was cold and peculiar . Garco starred various Sartanas with Carmineo as ¨¨Sartana the gravedigger'(69) , ¨Light the fuse Sartana is coming¨(71), among others. The movie has the typical Spaghetti characters , as the violent facing , greedy antiheroes, bloody and spectacular showdowns, quick zooms , extreme baddies, and musical score with Ennio Morricone influence , it's composed and conducted by Bruno Nicolai, his usual collaborator who creates a fine and atmospheric score . In the picture there are the habituals Western's secondary cast played by the customary plethora of Italian and Spanish actors as the androgynous Franco Ressell, Luis Induni, Robert Dellácqua , Rick Boyd and the Chinese resident in Italy George Wang and ordinary old man Franco Pesce playing his role as gravedigger . Furthermore, two Eurotrash goddesses, the babes named Helga Line and Daniela Giordano . The picture is well set in Elios Film Studios and Cinecitta, Rome and finely photographed by Stelvio Massi . The movie is regular but professionally crafted by Anthony Scott or Giuliano Carmineo and is pretty entertaining . A cult Spaghetti , essential for the genre lovers.
Gianni Garko returns for the fourth time to play the titular black-clad anti-hero, after being replaced by the suave George Hilton for A Fistful of Lead. Garko is typically good as the amoral Sartana, in a plot that combines in typical Carnimeo fashion, mystery and action. After old prospector Benson is killed, several people try to get their hands on his land. Nuggets of gold, discovered in his burnt down shackle, suggest that the old prospector hit a motherlode. A corrupt banker and a Chinese saloon owner each will try to convince Benson's niece, now the sole heir of the property, that the land is nothing but acres of sand and therefore worth nothing. Sartana, as usual, is out for himself and will try to play everyone. Of course, things are not always what they seem. There are enough twists and turns to keep things adequately interesting plot-wise.
But plot is barely the reason I love spags. It's the pure style that I look forward, those little moments of pure cinematic gold scattered in the form of stylish shootouts, off-beat characters, weird angles and close-ups, and style-wise, there isn't enough to go around here. The production seems kind of rushed, which probably was, given the low production values. With this being the 4th Sartana entry, everyone seems to be on autopilot by now, and Carnimeo just gets things over in a workmanlinke way. Which is why I wish Parolini would have worked on the sequels. Carnimeo, never an A-list name even by spaghetti standards, seems to be more of an employee instead of an artist, just getting things on budget and on schedule for the producers.
Anyhow, suffice to say there are lots of better spaghettis out there. If you're a seasoned veteran, and need a quick spaghetti fix for a Sunday afternoon, Have a Good Funeral Amigo will do just fine. Just don't expect anything mind-blowing.
Certainly not what I would call a top of the line Spaghetti Western, Have a Good Funeral, My Friend . . . Sartana Will Pay (let's shorten that to Have a Good Funeral for the rest of this comment) is still an enjoyable enough installment in the Sartana series. Gianni Garko is back as Sartana. He's excellent in the role and provides the character with just the right amount of mystery to throw doubt on his motivations. Even among the super human feats of other SW heroes, Sartana's abilities with a gun, a deck of cards, or being in the right place at the right time are unmatched. The supporting cast features a number of familiar faces Helga Line and Franco Ressel being chief among them. But I was most impressed with Daniela Giordano and George Wang - the latter seemingly enjoying himself as much as anyone. Giuliano Carnimeo's direction is more workmanlike than artistic, though he does provide a visual flourish or two as Have a Good Funeral progresses. The plot has enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. And even thought the man behind the killings is easy to spot for anyone who's seen enough of these movies, it's still fun to watch Sartana figure things out. Finally, Bruno Nicolai's score is definitely a high point of the film, even if it is eerily reminiscent of some of his other work. Overall, not a bad example of what I'm going to call a lesser SW. Trust me, you could do a whole lot worse.
But who cares? It's Sartana, and it seems the longer the series goes on, the more ridiculous (and therefore enjoyable) the films get! He's still dressing in goth fashion and he still has his four chambered Derringer, but this time round he's also got a pack of cards with sharpened edges! You tell me if a film is meant to be taken seriously when Sartana flicks a card across a room into a bible, at the exact page he wants the bad guy to read!
The crooked bank manager (and his many crooked employees) is pretty good too, sending wave after wave of hired killers after Sartana, only for Sartana to waste them, then pay for their funeral, only for the bad guys to use that funeral to try and kill Sartana. Sartana also acts like some sort of ghost in this one, seemingly teleporting anywhere he wants to, which just adds to the strangeness. Plus he can light fireworks by firing a gun at them, at night.
No Mexicans in the one strangely, but we do have George Wang as some mystic casino owner who spends the entire film in a chair only to reveal he's not crippled, he's 'just very lazy'.
I might have to track down Sartana The Gravedigger, Light the Fuse...Sartana is Coming and any other I've missed.