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  Django and Sartana Are Coming... It's the End The end of excitement that is
Year: 1970
Director: Demofilo Fidani
Stars: Hunt Powers, Gordon Mitchell, Victoriano Gazzara, Simone Blondell, Ettore Manni, Dennis Colt, Celso Faria, Attilio Dottesio, Paolo Rosani, Krista Nell, Amerigo Leone, Mariella Palmich
Genre: Western, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: An outlaw gang led by the aptly-named Crazy Burt Kelly (Gordon Mitchell) kidnap Jessica Cobb (Simone Blondell), daughter of a local bigwig, in order to cover their escape from a pursuing posse. With the price on their heads raised even higher, the gang are targeted by notorious bounty hunter Django (Hunt Powers) and by Sartana (Victoriano Gazzara under the alias Chet Davis), local protector of the common people. Burt decides the best course of action is to get them first and so orders his lieutenants Slinky (Dennis Colt) and Ramirez (Celso Faria) to lay separate traps for the legendary gunfighters.

Another substandard spaghetti western rip-off from Demofilo Fidani, the infamous hack writer-producer-director (under the hilarious pseudonym: Dick Spitfire!) whom genre buffs often dub the Ed Wood of the Italian western. Unlike his other cut-price cowboy offering of that same year: One Damned Day at Dawn… Django meets Sartana (1970) (that also stars snake-eyed Hunt Powers), this one actually does feature a Sartana though inevitably far removed from the quasi-mystical sharpshooter popularised by If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968) and its official sequels. Here Sartana is presented as a dogged defender of the downtrodden on a one-man crusade to clean up the west. But for a so-called "champion of the people", Sartana does bugger all besides ride around, mumble and get beaten up a bit. When someone suggests he might try, you know, rescuing Jessica, he merely replies: "Oh really?" Both leads wear similar black costumes and even have the same red hair, which coupled with Fidani's tendency to film them from afar means things often get confusing.

Fidani's listless direction ensures a story that is as simplistic as a Thirties two-reeler, is somehow even flimsier. The film crawls through tedious non-events where characters prattle inanely about nothing in particular. A lengthy card game between some people who having nothing to do with the plot smacks of screen filler, though one of the gamblers is played by Fidani's cinematographer: future porn and exploitation mogul Aristide Massaccesi a.k.a. Joe D'Amato. Outlaws chatter about how they're going to ambush Django and Sartana, but Fidani serves us boring scenes of horsemen riding this way and that. He throws in a few nonsensical punch-ups and shootouts but nothing resembling a coherent plot. His cast mostly grimace and try to look mean, or in Jessica's case stand about looking bored, with the exception of former sword and sandal star Gordon Mitchell. His outlaw is barking mad, first seen playing cards and having a violent argument... with his own reflection ("I ain't gonna play with you no more! You cheat more than me!"). Away from crappy westerns, Fidani dabbled in crappy comedies, crime thrillers and a giallo, but prior to his death in 1993 became well known in Italy as a spiritual medium.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


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