HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Bruce Lee & I
Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Dinosaur
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Ferdinand
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Crawl
Transit
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Price of Death Sartana must payBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: Lorenzo Gicca Palli
Stars: Gianni Garko, Franco Abbiana, Gelly Genka, Klaus Kinski, Luciano Cattenacci, Giancarlo Prete, Luciano Pigozzi, Alfredo Rizzo, Andrea Scotti
Genre: Western
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Originally known as Il venditore di morte, this spaghetti western curio casts the original Sartana, Gianni Garko in a rip-off Sartana movie making this the genre equivalent of Never Say Never Again (1983). And much like that ersatz James Bond movie, this suffers from something of an uneven tone. Things start well with a giallo style opening scene shot from a killer’s P.O.V. as he stalks and stabs a young Mexican girl to death. Her grieving parents implore Sartana a.k.a. Silver (Gianni Garko), a suave playboy gunfighter enjoying judo practice and sultry senoritas at his lavish villa, who inexplicably refuses to help.

Meanwhile, three masked gunmen hold-up a casino in the town of Appleby, killing three innocent bystanders. The Sheriff kills two but the third man rides away. Suspicion falls on local miscreant Chester Conway (Klaus Kinski), but though gutsy casino owner Polly Whitaker has every reason to want him dead, seeing as he killed her parents, she knows he is not guilty of this particular crime. Polly’s reluctance to testify to the contrary earns her the enmity of the townsfolk, who all seem a little too eager to sweep this incident under the carpet. Chaplinesque lawyer Jeff Plummer brings his old pal Sartana onto the case, though why the legendary her agrees to aid a violent outlaw and not a poor Mexican family is never explained. Sartana does some investigating but finds his efforts hindered by a shotgun-wielding killer in a black hood.

More a mystery-thriller than a wild west shoot ’em up, the film is talky and slow but laced with a rich array of eccentric characters and rife with darkly comic social commentary. The story has some depth in that it highlights how the hypocritical townsfolk scorn various “lowlifes”, yet secretly profit from their exploits. Sartana/Silver unmasks virtually the whole town as corrupt in some way while even those not complicit in the crime are so venal they obstruct his investigation to safeguard their own interests. For example the climax rests on a farmer who won’t let our hero draw the bad guy out from the barn where he’s hiding, for fear they’ll injure his prize cows. Elsewhere, Judge Atwell is more interested in fining witnesses for supposed “contempt of court” than seeing justice done. The local doctor won’t waste good whiskey on a sick man. The town priest is only too happy to assist in a cover-up.

All of this makes for good, substantial drama, but the film is frustratingly inconsistent with characters that are hard to get a handle on. Polly for example (whose very Seventies, skin-tight pantsuits see her ogled by every man in town), seems to be our gutsy female lead, the hub around which the whole plot turns. She has this labyrinthine back-story but after a curious encounter with Sartana (where she takes offence because he does not want to sleep with her), abruptly exits when shot in the head. With a key component removed, much of the unfolding investigation relies on outlandish guesswork. Still, it’s nice to see Gianni Garko don his black suit and trick-shot derringer again. The various punch-ups are played for broad comedy, probably influenced by the success of the Trinity movies, which is somewhat jarring given they make light of more tragic events. Garko shows off his comedic chops as - quite unlike the ‘real’ Sartana - he stumbles from one mishap to the next, but plays a more cynical, mercenary character. The plot seemingly exists to uphold his credo “morality has no part of justice” and emerges a strange, confused fable. Garko played Sartana one last time in another rip-off movie Sartana Kills Them All (1971).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1692 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: