Una nuvola di polvere... un grido di morte... arriva Sartana (1971)

a.k.a. - Light the Fuse... Sartana Is Coming (USA)

Gianni Garko stars in Giuliano Carnimeo's darkly comic Spaghetti Western. German R2 X-rated Kult DVD

The Film

Sartana (Gianni Garko) arrives in a small town to find a trio of corrupt lawmen taunting and then gunning down a man. Sartana kills them all and takes the bodies to a local prison where he hands himself over to the authorities. He is not locked away for long however and manages to escape, taking with him Grand Full - a man who was party to a corrupt deal to buy $2 million in fake dollars with half a million dollars of gold, both of which have since disappeared. Grand Full denies any knowledge of where the money has gone so Sartana heads to Mansfield, where the deal happened, to try and find the loot - but everyone else in the town is after it too...

After a rather typical fast-gunplay opening scene, Light the Fuse takes an iconoclastic turn as Sartana ends up in a brutal prison, being beaten and literally pissed on by the prison guards. His escape however is pure Sartana and pretty quickly we are back on familiar ground as he stays one or ten steps ahead of his opponents and there are a few neat gadgets as well as an impressively big gunfight and the usual dark humour. The storyline itself is an elaborate mix of characters and twists, or so it would seem, but really the twists have little impact on the main storyline - for example, a big deal is made about one character being a US Marshall and another pretending to be, but it seems to be completely irrelevant to the way the story pans out - and the denoument is not particularly surprising.

Giuliano Carnimeo (as Anthony Ascot) takes the directoral role once again here and gives a typical display with some neat point-of-view shots and eccentric camera angles including a very unusual fisheye lens, with some generally solid direction throughout. Bruno Nicholai provides a rather generic soundtrack but it suits the film fine.

Gianni Garko is once again cast in Sartana, a role he really made his own in four of the five 'official' films - he gives another typically strong performance in the part with a wry knowing smile. He is joined by genre regular Piero Lulli (Se sei vivo spara (1967)) as Grand Full and the beautiful Nieves Navarro (Una pistola per Ringo (1965)) who gets rather daring (if ultimately unrevealing) bathtub scene. A large number of familiar faces fill the rest of the cast.

An elaborate storyline never really adds up, but the script is generally strong with plenty of classic Sartana moments and a fascinating opening; Garko is on typically fine form and Giuliano Carnimeo does good work behind the camera, adding up to a generally enjoyable Spaghetti Westerns which fans of the genre will certainly enjoy.

In Brief
Anyone famous in it? Gianni Garko - a Spaghetti Western regular who also starred in Per 100,000 Dollari ti Ammazzo (1967)
Directed by anyone interesting? Giuliano Carnimeo (as Anthony Ascot) - a hard working Italian exploitation director who also helmed the Edwige Fenech drama Secrets of a Call Girl (1972) and the Spaghetti Western Il momento di uccidere (1968)
Any gore or violence? A lot of Western violence, a little blood, nothing particularly vivid.
Any sex or nudity? A quite riské bathtub scene, but nothing seen.
Who is it for? Fans of the Sartana series and Spaghetti Westerns should enjoy this.

Visuals Original Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1. Anamorphically Enhanced. Colour.
Picture quality is generally solid with good colours - light speckling and medium grain is noticable throughout.
Audio English, German and Italian mono - all sound fine.
Subtitles Forced Subtitle Track - German subtitles are forced when English and Italian audio are selected. These are confired to the bottom matte.
Extras The first disc includes:
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Bonus trailer for Buon funerale, amigos!... paga Sartana
  • 'Sartana-Beste Sprüche' - an audio featurette on the Sartana series - German audio only (3 minutes)
  • Still photo gallery - as a video file with soundtrack behind it. Not chapter divided. (4 minutes)
The second disc (where included) includes:
  • Western trailer gallery - contains 50 trailers covering the lesser known genre titles including a number of very obscure films. Mostly English audio. Quality varies. Non-anamorphic (120 minutes)
Region Region 2 (UK, Europe) - PAL
Availability This disc is available as a two disc set in a hardbox. Also available under the 'Simpel Movie' banner as a single disc, without the bonus trailers.
Other regions? Also available from SPO in Japan with Italian audio and Japanese subtitles. Available in Italy and Spain, without English options.
Cuts? Believed to be fully uncut. The print is Italian language.



All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 20th July 2009.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

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