September 24th, 2010

RETURN OF SABATA (1972) **

The famed gunfighter Sabata (Lee Van Cleef) is now making a living as a trick shot artist in a traveling sideshow playing in a jerkwater town.  Actually, Sabata and his band of acrobatic sidekicks are just using it as a cover to plan their latest robbery.  You see, the town manager has been robbing the citizens blind by charging them outrageous taxes and Sabata is looking to rob him in retaliation.  Sabata steals the loot only to discover it’s counterfeit and that sort of thing doesn’t sit too well with a guy like Sabata.

 

Sabata is kinda like a Wild West version of James Bond as he’s got lots of trick guns and cool gadgets (like a blow dart hidden inside of his cigar).  He even gets a cool pre-title action sequence, just like Bond does.  Van Cleef is quite the badass as Sabata and he really commands the screen. 

 

Although Van Cleef is fun to watch; Return of Sabata isn’t exactly a fitting vehicle for him and his talents.  The story is muddled, the pacing is slow, and the supporting characters are more than a little annoying.  The flick is not without it’s moments (the ending is particularly memorable) but ultimately, it just doesn’t add up to much.  The music on the other hand is pretty great (especially the theme song).

 

AKA:  Texas, 1870.