Director(s): Gianfranco Parolini
Country: Italy, West Germany, France
Available Quality: DivX
IMDB Rating: 6.2 out of 10 (290 votes)
After a stagecoach is robbed and the passengers murdered, a long and tangled series of surprise attacks a murderous double-crosses leaves the coachs strongbox in the hands of the killer Lasky. It is up to the legendary hero Sartana to track down the missing money and determine just who is ultimately behind the grisly robberies and killings.
We have taken some photos of "If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death". They represent actual movie quality.
chaosrampant (16 May 2013)
It is very obvious why Sartana created an avalanche of sequels, onlysecond to Django. Even if it looks like yet another tale about stolengold, Mexican bandits and switching allegiances, Sartana feels (and is)different. Of course seen back in 1968, it must have wowed Europeanaudiences with its bleak cinematography and nihilistic characters.However, 40 years (!) down the line, and it still feels as refreshinglydark and stylish as ever.As in with most spaghettis, the plot is near incomprehensible. It hassomething to do about a stolen shipment of gold and a constantswitching of allegiances, as thief betrays thief to get the gold. But,again as in with most spaghettis, the plot isn't the issue at all.Sartana (1968) is a capsule of pure spaghetti western style. Everythingis kept very minimal here, from the scarce dialogues, to theperennially empty town streets. Yet there's a hellish ambiance toproceedings and the nonsensical plot only adds to its psychotroniccharm. I gave up trying to follow the plot after a while and justimmersed myself in the surreal happenings.Sartana himself is like a crossover between The Man with no Name (thestandard by which every spag antihero is measured) and Django, ablack-clad amoral anti-hero. He's not out there to catch the baddies.He's just out for money and blood. His quirky gadgets often bring tomind the other Parolini character, Sabata, but Gianni Garko's characterplays on a whole other level. There is of course, the occasional comicrelief, in the form of an old gravedigger, but it only confirms thatSartana is indeed a grim western. That same darkness would resurface inClint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter years later, on the other side ofthe pond.Overall, this is a must see for SW afficionados. If you're a fan ofCorbucci's nihilistic side (Django, The Great Silence), Sartana willmake you cream your pants. Dark, stylish, with a streak of Euro horrorrunning through it, Sartana is a criminally forgotten piece ofcelluloid. Watch it and find out.
Steve Nyland (16 May 2013)
Frank Kramer's SARTANA (1968) has emerged as one of the mostinteresting examples of the classic era Spaghetti Westerns and yetexists as a sort of exuberant failure, reveling in it's sense ofartiness & bad taste at the same time. Yet it's an important failure, amovie that spawned a recurring character and helped to shape theSpaghetti Western into a genuinely "adult" form of cinematicentertainment. The film was classified with an "X" certificate in muchof Europe when first released and only made it's way to Englishspeaking audiences in a somewhat diminished cut -- and has now beenreleased by indie Spaghetti Western label Wild East Productions on DVDin it's complete form, and demands some re-evaluation. When I firstencountered this movie I was admittedly caught up in a wave ofexcitement about the film's look & style. Here is a pretty much pureexample of the Spaghetti Western, made entirely in Italy by an allEuropean cast with no standout Yankee Gringo star turn, unless youcount Klaus Kinski's ten minutes or so on screen. Gianni Garkoheadlines as Sartana in the second of five screen outings by him as acharacter named "Sartana" but the first from the loosely related seriesfeaturing Sartana as a hero: 1966's $1000 ON THE BLACK depicts Sartanaas a crazed, barbaric killer and is not related to the Good Guy Sartanamovies ... or so the thinking goes.Sartana's character in this first Good Guy outing is actually moresuccessfully realized than the movie he inhabits, which tells a sort oflabyrinthine plot by various bigwigs in a tumbleweed nowhere tointercept a shipment of gold & screw each other over for theirpercentages, resulting in murder and mayhem: the usual boring stuff.What works is Sartana's character fleshed out by Garko: A black garbed,laconic, mysterious gunfighter who appears out of nowhere with motivesall his own and no past history (perhaps the ghost of the originalSartana, sent back to atone for his sins on Earth??). Yet he seems toknow what everybody in the movie is up to and has a plan to play thedifferent sides against each other & move in once the dust has settledto pick up the pieces for himself like a Hyena, which is how onecharacter aptly describes him. Sartana is there to preside over thedeaths, and make sure everyone gets buried in style.This is done with a minimum of dialog, an emphasis on mood and astaggering body count for a movie of such limited scope. Which playsout very much like an arty, dark-toned cartoon or graphic novel, withSartana as a sort of Batman like avenger who takes justice into his ownhands. Garko wears his Sartana personal like a tailored suit, evenperfecting a way of turning while gazing up from underneath the brim ofa hat that reminds me of watching a cobra moving with a snake charmer.He also has more in common with James Bond than Clint Eastwood, armedwith a small pepper-box type Derringer pistol that behaves more like amovie prop than an actual weapon, and more often then not scheming hisway out of a jam or around his adversary's flanks. He is the epitome of"cool" as a Spaghetti Western anti-hero, and it is easy to see why hisperformance spawned a series.The film also boasts a first rate A-list supporting cast of genreveterans: the crazed William Berger, Sydney Chaplin, Spaghetti Westernlegend Fernando Sancho, Andrea Scotti, Sal Borgese, and of course KlausKinski. One of the attributes that gives the film a decidedlysurrealist bent is Kinski's "performance", which appears to have beenfilmed over the course of a long weekend without anyone else present onset but Kinski. Watch him in the barbershop scene: He appears to bedialing it in from another dimension, and in all is on-screen for aboutten minutes. What a way to make a living. The later "Sartana" moviesdirected by Anthony Ascott became increasingly cartoonish but this filmhas a dark, nasty, almost sadistic side to it that is quite special. Iwould almost refer to it as "mean spirited", and filmed on a shoestringbudget that allowed no quarter for artifice. The offbeat musical scoreby Piero Piccioni is uniquely un-cinematic with an organ as the centralinstrument instead of the usual Morricone flavored bravado, and most ofthe outdoor scenes were filmed near a dump outside of Rome. You can seethe green yucky chemicals polluting the pond around which one scene isset, which seems appropriate for a ghoulish, overtly violent cartoon.Or even a horror movie.8/10 for Spaghetti fans, 5/10 for everybody else, and a classic of thegenre any way you slice it.
JohnWelles (15 May 2013)
"If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death" (1968), directed byGianfranco Parolini and starring Gianni Garko, William Berger FernandoSancho, Sidney Chaplin(!) and Klaus Kinski phoning in a cameo role, hasonly one great thing going for it, and that's its ridiculously over thetop title. The rest is a banal Spaghetti Western that has no tensionand no direction.The script, such as it is, has a lot of incident and detail, none ofwhich is interesting, as it is completely convoluted and very hard tocare what happens to whom. Still, the plot is something like this:Sartana (Garko) gets involved with an insurance swindle run by severaldignitaries, who hire a Mexican gang to steal a strong-box, and anAmerican gang, led by Lasky (Berger), to kill the Mexicans.It takes a very long time, too long, to find all this out, and by thatpoint, I ceased to care. Berger is a good actor, one that fits verywell into the greed-fill world of Spaghetti's, but isn't given anythinginteresting to do and is wasted completely. Kinski obviously was doinghis role for the money, which is a shame, as his is, career wise thebest actor in the film. Garko has a good opening line ("I am yourpallbearer."), but not much else, and doesn't have the same magneticpresence as Clint Eastwood or Lee Van Cleef.The director made "Sartana" and other "Circus" Westerns like this.They're called "Circus" Westerns because there is so much jumpingaround and choreographed back-flips that you might be watching akung-fu movie and not a Spaghetti. The sets here aren't so much grandas big, to accommodate all the acrobatics; it has a hefty budget, butthe desert scenes are shot in some quarry. Why? I suspect becauseParolini was more interest in making an action film that just happenedto be set in the West than creating a Western. These types ofSpaghetti's were certainly very popular in their day, and they gave alifeline to an ailing genre a few years later. I just wish the lifelinehad been better. Maybe saying this movie is an insult to the genre istoo strong, but when you see progressive and transcendent SpaghettiWesterns like "Black Jack" and "Once Upon a Time in the West" that weremade in the same year, you realise how lazy this film is.
Mractionadventure (15 May 2013)
This is my fifth spaghetti western review and i am going to review thefirst Sartana movie.This is a classic spaghetti western and it feels just like an AmericanB western from the 1950s.The plot of the movie is about a gunslingergoing after stolen gold from a stagecoach robbery,as you'd expect froma spaghetti western,tons of action follows.I was very impressed with the action in the film, it includes reallyloud shootouts and explosions and there is a very high bodycount,thescene where the stagecoach is chased,shot at and robbed is veryimpressive,this scene is followed by the outlaws who robbed thestagecoach being all shot dead by some of there fellowcomrades,immediately after this,the comrades are killed off by a theirleader who uses a Gattling gun to get rid of them.The rest of theaction includes sartana chasing the bad guys and getting involved inshootouts with them,one brilliant scene is where Sartana bursts intothe baddies ranch all guns blazing leading to an epic scale shootout inwhich several people are shot down. There's also a very good duel atthe end and all the action is more than satisfactory.The movie has a lot of very strong characters who are unique in theirown little way.This is an excellent movie and i highly recommend yousee it,it's my favourite Sartana movie so far.
ma-cortes (11 May 2013)
A coach is stolen and its passengers are killed. Later occur a murdersseries starred by a bandit named Lasky(William Berger, unforgettableco-starring in Â¨SabataÂ¨ as the banjo man). The stagecoach's strongboxhas disappeared turning into several hands. The dark,elegant hero, afreelance gunman, named Sartana(Gianni Garco or John Garco) appears tochase the nasty gunfighter and discover the robberies and killings.Theconfrontation will be inevitable among the town's despots(SydneyChaplin, Gianni Rizzo), a cruel murderous( top-notch Klaus Kinski, asalways), a Mexican general named Tampico( the great Fernando Sancho inhis regular character), Lansky and of course Sartana.The first movie on Sartana starred by Gianni Garco is plenty of action,shootouts, double-crosses, twists and loads of violence and blood. Itwas followed by director Alfonso Balcazar with Â¨Sartana non Perdona orSonoraÂ¨. Miles Deem directed two Sartanas deemed lousy and cheesy.Giuliano Carmineo , alias Anthony Ascott, directed various with GeorgeHilton who replaces to Garco. Hilton played more natural and roguishthan Garco who was cold and peculiar. The movie gets the usual Westernissues, such as greedy antiheroes, violent facing off, quick zooms,exaggerated baddies, among them. Appear very secondaries the habitualat Italian Western and Peplum genre, such as Sal Borgese, CarloTamberlani Andrea Scotti, and cameo by the director Parolini as agambler. Special mention to Franco Pesce, Spaghetti's customary, as anold gravedigger. Atmospheric musical score by Piero Piccioni andappropriate cinematography by Sandro Macori. The picture isprofessionally directed by Frank Kramer or Gianfranco Parolini,subsequently he directed another Spaghetti-hero named Sabata with LeeVan Cleef in two entries.
bensonmum2 (11 May 2013)
Nice Spaghetti Western. The story concerns four rival groups out to geta chest full of gold. While the plot is actually almostincomprehensible, it's fun to watch Sartana and others switchallegiances about every five minutes. But the story here is secondaryto the action. The body count is very high with entire gangs beingwiped out by the burst of a Gatling gun. Gianni Garko as Sartana andWilliam Berger as Lasky are just fun to watch. It's not the bestSpaghetti Western I've seen, but I'm glad to finally have a copy.While the movie prominently lists Klaus Kinski in the credits, hisscreen time totals about 10 minutes.
marc-366 (08 May 2013)
Sartana (played superbly by John Garko) has one of the greatestentrances on screen of all the Spaghetti protagonists. When accused oflooking like a scarecrow, he utters the classic line "I am yourpallbearer" before gunning down all the bandits facing him. A classicmoment, with the black clad Sartana setting the scene perfectly forthis Gothic tinged western.The story itself is a very complicated affair, and one which I'm notcompletely sure I followed from beginning to end (I blame the wineconsumption). In simple terms, the story evolves around a stagecoachrobbery and murder (with the culprits themselves hijacked and massacredby Lasky - played by the ever brilliant William Berger - and his gang).Enter Sartana, in the midst of further double crossing and more doublecrossing. And cue bloodshed aplenty! Sartana combines the gadgetry of Parolini's later Sabata movies, withthe darkness and brutality of Django. There are classic performancesfrom Garko and Berger together with the familiar faces of FernandoSancho and Klaus Kinski.The success of Sartana is clearly demonstrated by the string of sequels(and name-checks) that followed. And rightly so, the character is inequal parts cool, mysterious and deadly. Much like the film. I justwish I understood it better (time to put away the bottle, and rewindthe video perhaps).
Bruce Long (07 May 2013)
I am a big fan of Spaghetti Westerns (the good ones, anyway), and was reallylooking forward to seeing "Sartana." I loved the film "Django"--I canunderstand why it was so successful and inspired so many imitationDjango-films. But after viewing the English language video of "Sartana", Ican't see any reason why "Sartana" inspired any imitators, or was sosuccessful. To me, "Sartana" was just an average Spaghetti, with a highbody count--mostly resulting from the villains killing each other. Iwatched the video twice, and I still don't understand the plot--it was ajumbled mess; perhaps the original Italian version made more sense. KlausKinski's role was limited to just a few scenes, with almost nothing to do.William Berger made a charismatic villain, but his personality inexplicablyalternated between bravery and cowardice. (And I don't know how Berger wasable to recruit gang members, the way he was always killing his own men.)The unshaven anti-hero Garko (who bore an uncanny resemblance to JamesFranciscus in some scenes) was pleasing but unexceptional in the lead role,his only unique feature was his weapon, a tiny four-barrel pepperbox-stylepistol--which in reality, with its short barrels and tiny bullets, shouldhave been vastly inferior in range, accuracy and effectiveness when comparedto an ordinary six-shooter. Even the background music was bland. Too manyincidents were lifted from the Leone/Eastwood films: the musical watch, themetal plate deflecting a bullet, the eccentric coffin maker. And Sartanawins the final showdown by using a trick, instead of his skill. "Sartana"is a historically important Spaghetti Western because of its success and thenumber of imitators (in name, at least) that it inspired, but there are manybetter films within the Spaghetti Western genre.
Review total: 8, showing from 1 to 8