Each Monday, I continue to share Western movie reviews as I go through the process of making my own 12 Westerns in 12 Months during 2020. I am watching these films not from an audience perspective but as a filmmaker, as a student of the genre.


Week Fifty Eight: Sabata & Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming




With this and Sartana, I’ve tried giving the Spaghettis another shot… it just ain’t happening. With few exceptions (Duck You Sucker and Bullet for the General), this variation on the Western just doesn’t work for me.

The reasons became more than clear as I watched the Lee Van Cleef led adventure. It’s a comic book. It takes the serious traditions of John Ford, Hawks, Mann, and Boetticher (however silly their representations may sometimes be) and transcribes them into a cartoon. How many times can Sabata evade the baddies? How many gadgets does he have at his disposal? Like modern day superhero films, the movie loses any semblance of suspense ten minutes in when it becomes clear that no villain has a chance against Sabata. The rest is just heroic masturbation.

What I prefer about the Sartana film I watched is that it at least went all out, with a visual style that made the movie feel like it was directed by someone with ADHD. Sabata is dull by comparison. And it’s runtime is way too long with about five different places the film could have (and should have) ended before it finally does.

Oh well, I guess I’ll stick with steak and potatoes and leave the spaghetti for those who enjoy it.

Seen on Amazon Prime.


Light the Fuse, Sartana is Coming


I’ve been joking about Sartana since March when I started calling out titles from the movie series for our slates on the set of my third Western. Well, I was excited to see Light the Fuse show up on Amazon. Little did I know that most of the official Sartana series was already available there. While making my fifth Western in the desert, I figured there was no better time to dig in and see what this is all about.

I’ve never been a fan of Spaghetti Westerns, causing many of my peers to shake their heads when I confess no love for the Dollar Trilogy. For me, they’re more about style than story, more about playing dress up and shoot outs than connecting with the true core of the genre. That being said, Sartana is a lot of fun. In the first five minutes alone, there might be fifty zoom shots. It’s rare for the camera to remain still at all. This is mostly humorous and not otherwise effective but a few of the shots, how they play in the edit, are quite good. Overall, it’s a situation where you have to surrender to what this film is and have a good time, all the way down to the machine gun firing organ.

I like Sartana’s detective/Western James Bond schtick, gadgets and all. He’s a fun character and I may very well venture more into this series.

Seen on Amazon Prime.