$1,000 on the Black

$1,000 on the Black ★★★½

Blood at Sundown is kind of a family melodrama. A mother and her two sons and how their problems tear apart the towns surrounding them. It is a spaghetti western, but it’s that type of story at its core and much like the Sartana movies spun off from it, it lacks any real depth but is a superior example of the form anyway.
Ostensibly a companion piece to the widely dismissed nowadays $7 on Red (this one was released in Italy as $10,000 on Black), this became kind of a breakout hit because it is well made, handsomely budgeted and has a great performance from Gianni Garko as a villain called Sartana (it was even released as “Sartana” in Germany).
This Sartana is really a totally different character played by the same actor, but if we decide for fun to make this the same Sartana, it would mean the Sartana series is a prequel before he turned into a despotic asshole. It’s funny, I suspect his name originally or in Italian is not Sartana since he writes his own initial as W, but I know he was named Sartana before the subsequent Sartana series and is not renamed to cash in on those, so I don’t know what to think.
Anyway, Gianni is great in the role, all joyful sadism, casting a formidable shadow over the wooden Anthony Steffan (one bad actor both Alex Cox and I agree on)(in his book, he doesn’t even like Clint!).
Worth a watch for Sartana fans and spag western fans in general. Nothing earth shattering but fun none the less.