Spagvemberfest 2023 - or the crows will drink our beers

For a moment, I got confused by the title ( Una Nuvola di polvere… un grido di morte… arriva Sartana’).

Certainly, check out the other Garko Sartana films. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
My favourites are the first two

Although the third, (pictured below), has a great score by Bruno Nicolai.

Also: I must admit that I have a soft spot for the ‘Sartana’ film starring George Hilton…fun, silver, and lead aplenty…


Day 7 - Mannaja: A Man Called Blade (1977)

With a protagonist this cool, apparently the folks who made the Blue Underground DVD thought they’d give his name twice!

Rewatch. Previously I’d given it a 5/10, but maybe I just feel generous during Spagvember. Squarely in the mold of Keoma, with some homages to Sergio Corbucci’s Minnesota Clay. The director, Sergio Martino, claimed that Sam Peckinpah’s westerns were his inspiration, but I think that just sounds good for the camera. This is firmly a late Italian western entry, run of the mill and watchable.

And while I don’t care for the main theme, this snappy song that plays during Blade’s requisite recovery in a cave is a lot of fun, his “Eye of the Tiger” moment . . . if the montage were Rocky gradually getting his sight back while a snake crawled towards him.


Spagvember Fest 2023 Day 7

First time watch

Arizona Colt

**** out of *****

For some reason I thought many SW’s, with a few exceptions already, that ran longer than 105 minutes would get boring towards the end, but not films like Death Rides a Horse and Arizona Colt, you’re kept invested the whole time.

Giuliano Gemma once again plays a smart-ass character, but he’s surprisingly low key with the jokes and remarks. Instead we’re treated to a rogue with a little more depth and nuance, showing he does indeed have a certain sense of honor.

Fernando Sancho is his usual belly laughing baddie here, but this time his bandido doesn’t give the audience anything to like about him. Gordo Watch is just pure mean spirited villainy and Sancho plays him well.

I was surprised to see Corinne Marchand in this film as I mainly knew her from French Art Films like Agnes Varda’s Cleo From 5 to 7 and Jacques Demy’s Lola, but she does very well as lady Saloon owner Jane, who gives Gemma‘a smart ass something to think about.

Roberto Camardiel is a comic blast as Double Whisky.

Herr Bruckner’s Explosive Media does it again with a stellar release that includes a nice long interview with Ernesto Gastaldi.


Red Sun (1971)

Look, I know this is directed by the British Terence Young and has a cast that is multinational and it may not technically be an Italian Western, but this movie is so great I’m inclined to overlook such things.

It stars one of the Magnificent Seven, Charles Bronson, and one of the Seven Samurai, Toshiro Mifune. At the time, Bronson was a huge deal everywhere but the U.S. In fact, in Japan, he was known as the face of the Mandom cologne (and still is, I have friends who only know him as that) in commercials directed by the man who made Hausu, Nobuhiko Obayashi.

Link Stuart (Bronson) and Gauche (Alain Delon, can this movie have any more suave dudes in it?) have robbed a train of about $400,000. That should be enough to set them up for life, but then they discover that a Japanese ambassador is on his way to Washington to give the President a gold sword. Gauche kills one of the bodyguards and blows up the train car, injuring Link. He’s left for dead but nursed back to help by the Japanese. The surviving bodyguard, Kuroda Jubei (Mifune), takes a blood oath to get the sword back and kill Gauche. Otherwise, both Japanese will have to commit ritual seppuku and kill themselves for their loss of honor. Link is asked to lead Kuroda to Gauche but keeps trying to lose him.

Gauche has killed all of the men and buried the money. So if he dies, Link won’t learn where his rightful stolen money is. Over time, he comes to respect the honor that Kuroda has, a man who feels that he is the last of his time as such things as duty and having a moral code are dying. The plan to get the sword and the money isn’t honorable at all. They kidnap Gauche’s lover Cristina (Ursula Andress) and offer to switch her for what they want. An attack by Commanches delays things, but Cristian soon learns that Gauche isn’t the honorable criminal she thought he was.

By the end, only Gauche, Link, Kuroda and Cristina are left alive. Kuroda realizes that he needs to kill Gauche to get his honor, but Link also needs what is his. That hesitation costs him his life, a fact that places his friend’s need above money, as Link blasts Gauche and promises — and fulfills that promise, even if being caught will see him lynched — to return the sword.

I love this IMDB fact: Mifune entertained the cast and crew throughout the entire production with his refined culinary skills, bringing over a supply of Japanese meats, watercress, seaweed and other ingredients. He would also exchange recipes for French and Italian dishes, including spaghetti.

How amazing is it that this is written by Laird Koenig, the same person who wrote The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane?

This movie is pretty much everything I love. The swagger of Bronson, the detached cool of Mifune, the cockiness of Delon and Andress looking incredible even when fighting inside a burning field. Even Cappucine is in it!


But do they have better pacing (not just straight action all the time, but more character and style) and are they less silly than this one?

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24: Alfonso Balcázar’s ¡Viva Carrancho! (1965)


Rewatching this fairly early Spanish-Italian Western was a real pleasure, not least because I was able to find a very good-looking Spanish TV version with English subtitles. My assessment of the movie hasn’t changed since 2018, which is why I’m allowing myself a partial self-quotation here.

¡Viva Carrancho! anticipates the duo of opposing characters of many later so-called Zapata Westerns, a constellation central to the narratives of Damiano Damiani’s ¿Quién sabe? (1966), Sergio Corbucci’s Il mercenario (1968) and Vamos a matar, compañeros (1970), Giulio Petroni’s Tepepa (1969), Sergio Leone’s Giù la testa and Duccio Tessari’s Viva la muerte … tua! (both 1971).

Fernando Sancho, as the film’s eponymous protagonist, reprises his role from Pistoleros de Arizona (1964), this time in an uneasy partnership with Luis Dávila’s gringo character. Robert Woods plays the duo’s antagonist, an arrant villain, mine owner, capitalist, racist, misogynist, murderer. ¡Viva Carrancho! shows a not unpleasant populist left-wing bias, the oppressed Mexican workers triumph over their exploiter and his minions. Unfortunately, it also shows many signs of a rushed, meagerly budgeted, slapdash production.

Next up: John il bastardo (1967), directed by Armando Crispino.


Spagvemberfest Day 8: Death Rides a Horse (Petroni)
Rewatched it because I was invited to do an intro for it at a screening in town a week ago. Great to see it on a big screen with a crowd. It has a lot more to offer than what you see on the surface, and it still holds up well after all these years.


Wow, that sounds awesome! What were their reactions? Were they surprised when you-know-what was revealed?

don’t think it’s that big of a twist if you pay close attention, but in general, the audience liked the movie quite a bit I think.

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Film #8: California - First viewing :boom: :boom: :boom: :boom: out of 5

A very good late 70s spaghetti western! I liked everything in this film from the direction to the score. One of my new favorites with Giuliano Gemma. cool to see William Berger show up again too.


Day 8:

El hombre que mató a Billy el Niño (The Man Who Killed Billy the Kid) 1967

I have a real soft spot for this movie, and make no apologies for it - Pure escapism, beautifully made, with a pounding soundtrack by Gianni Ferrio that will have everyone galloping in their seats!

Forget all the ‘Historically inaccurate’ pish … This is just great fun vivid color widescreen Almeria magic!

Unfortunately the versions currently available aren’t great - a shortened grindhouse German DVD was released a few years … and I was happy to see it, but the print is in rough shape and is the shorter version. 80 minutes approx’ ?

I acquired a lovely looking Spanish TV rip (95 minute) in HD, and it looks and sounds pretty dam good.

A big hearty 8/10



Day 8

Corri, uomo, corri - The Spaghetti Western Database (

This is essentially a re-hash of what @makesthemovie had to say about the film as he has it pretty well covered.

Finally got to sit down and watch my Eureka! release of this classic in the genre which is light years ahead of the old Blue Underground DVD release that I have. And, having plenty of time to watch, I definitely went with the un-cut version.

This is really a very well done “sequel” to The Big Gundown as, even though it is a step below, it really gave Milian a chance to shine in the Cuchillo role. It does tend to drag a bit in places but it really is an excellent film on the whole and Donald O’Brien’s Cassidy made a good ally to replace LVC. While Linda Veras was meant to be the female lead here, I think that it is Chelo Alonso who shines in the role of Dolores as it is her humorous antics that tend to stick with you afterward.

It is a shame we didn’t get more adventures of Cuchillo to enjoy.


I think that all the ‘Sartana’ films are a bit ‘silly’ in their own way; but it is a memorable and entertaining silliness…very tongue in cheek, but supremely stylish.
Gianni Garko invested a lot of time and effort into bringing something fresh and new to each instalment.
Bottom line…are they fun to watch? Yes, most definitely.


I’m glad to read that you enjoyed Mannaja more than from a previous viewing. It’s one of my favorites, and at least makes my Top 20 spaghettis list. I’ve heard it as being referred to as a “gothic” or “fin de siecle western,” like Keoma. It’s fitting that both movies have soundtracks produced by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis. The scene when Mannaja is buried up to his neck and his eyes are forced open so they get burned by looking at the sun was in an earlier, Giuliano Gemma western. The name escapes me though :thinking:.


Day 8: A Place Called Glory


Enjoyable euro-western. Lex Barker and Pierre Brice team-up for non-Winnetou western, they’re fun as always to see together. Wished it had focused more on the Glory City gunfight competition more, rather than just using it as a bookend, as the main ranchers vs. farmers storyline feels a bit tired at points. Still, good fun.


Certainly, I have never liked this one too much, you should have watched Have a Good Funeral, My Friend … Sartana Will Pay first instead. I like the first installment made by Parolini a bit more, but Have a Good Funeral, My Friend … Sartana Will Pay is easily the most representative and classical of all Sartana flicks.

I know what you mean and I was hoping for that, but it just turned out plain boring for me. Black Killer is so much better in this regard.


El Rojo (1966) - Director: Leopoldo Savona - 5/10.

In a certain sense, it feels like there is a great movie trying to break out of this film’s rigid shell, but failing to do so in virtue of the utterly ossified direction by Savona. On one hand, there is nothing essentially wrong with the way in which the movie is executed in that most plot developments are introduced in a largely competent fashion. On the other hand, the motion picture is completely at a loss for some kind of pizzazz which manifests itself most conspicuously during action sequences: the shootouts and fistfights are rendered in a remarkably torpid fashion, the opening scene is particularly horrendous in this respect.

The slapdash editing and helpless framing neither highlight the dynamism nor help the viewer grasp what is going on with the camera impassively lingering over the brawls and gunplay in an almost heedless manner. With that being said, Harrison’s presence as well as Lulli’s and Ressel’s participation greatly reinforce the overall endeavor and most importantly, the flick sports some bizarre touches which firmly differentiate it from the rest of the flock e.g. the masked gunfighter as well as the outlandish finale. In spite of its multiple shortcomings, there is something inexplicably appealing about the movie, though I cannot put my finger on what it is exactly, I guess it might possess a certain je-ne-sais-quoi which leaves an indelible impression, though the film itself is far from being faultless and is certainly cumbered with some salient technical issues.


I wonder when the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ kicks in ? … as I’ve started to watch this at least twice and didn’t get too far.

Must knuckle down and watch some of the more ‘Challenging’ flicks, just to scratch them off the to do list.



Day 7: E Dio disse a Caino…

This is the first time I have seen this film and, oh boy, I loved it. Right from the start, I knew this spaghetti would be for me. Kinski is great, both sympathetic and creepy as hell (this is the most restrained I have seen him). The camera work and the atmosphere were fantastic. The story started simple, but managed to develop into something interesting. Overall a very soldi 8/10.


Grinders no. 8: I decided to stay with Fidani one more day, so now I`m done for 2023 :wink:


Suo nome era Pot… ma… lo chiamavano Allegria, Il - The Spaghetti Western Database (

Even the title is in typical Fidani stupidity this is a rather well made Western. Pot (Peter Martell) is a “light” character with some funny elements and there is a long bar room brawl in Spencer/Hill style. The rest is really serious and well made. Especially camera work is exciting. The end of the movie stands alone in whole genre and it seems Peter Martell had fun doing it :wink:
Also worth noticing is that we have Gordon Mitchell, Lincoln Tate and Peter Martell in this movie and one scene was shot and used for the “famous” cameo in ERA SAM WALLASH :wink:
Score was recycled from JOHN IL BASTARDO… I think in yesterdays E VENNERO IN QUATTRO PER UCCIDERE SARTANA! they recycled music from DINAMITA JIM.

I watched the new German DVD. It is also english friendly and with good picture quality. Also packaging is very nice.
Suo nome era Pot… ma… lo chiamavano Allegria, Il/DVD - The Spaghetti Western Database (

Definitely one of the better Fidanis.