Sunday, May 03, 2020

His Gun is Quick, His Titles are Long

You think you're hot stuff, out there in the old west, with your pistol and your freedom. But you know what? Sartana's Here . . . Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin. It's plain sense at this point. From 1970, it's the third film to feature the preternatural Spaghetti Western hero and the only one not to feature Gianni Garko in the lead role. Uruguayan actor George Hilton is a decent enough substitute in a film that's basically a series of gags, repeated scenes where Sartana faces certain death. It is amusing seeing each new clever way he finds to pull a hidden gun from some prop or garment but the weirdness and subtle mystery of the first two films are sadly lacking.

There is a somewhat difficult to follow plot about the owner of a gold mine possibly hiring men to steal from his own shipments. Sartana is on the trail and massacres one set of bandits or outlaws after another, often in rooms where it seems Sartana is definitely surrounded and has no possible way of getting to his gun and shooting three or five guys instantly. No realistic way, maybe, but that's never stopped Sartana before . . .

There's a running gag about Sartana shooting through bread. In one of the final scenes, he conspicuously sets up three loaves of bread on a table before his enemies rush in, a sure sign he's probably not going to use the bread. In fact, his little fake outs do start to get rather predictable.

A rival/friend/bitter enemy for Sartana appears called Sabbath (Charles Southwood), of course having nothing to do with the main plot. He's a dandy dressed in white who likes to gamble, suspiciously similar to Hot Dead, the character played by Klaus Kinski in the previous film. Sabbath doesn't have quite the charm of Hot Dead but his stand-off with Sartana at the end of the film is an amusing tangle of one-upmanship and ridiculous plot twists.

Sartana's Here . . . Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin is available on Amazon Prime.

No comments:

Post a Comment