If you’re old enough to remember VHS tapes then you probably remember that they were, at least early on, prohibitively expensive to own. That’s why I rented Transformers: The Movie every week after church at Albertsons instead of just buying it. I could watch that one over and over again unlike anything that Michael Bay has, or will soon, put into theaters.

I don’t like those at all.

In fact I’d rather shit in my own face than have to see any of them ever again because 1) it would stink less and 2) seeing any of them is the emotional equivalent of shitting in one’s face so I’ll just save you the trouble and me the money Mr. Bay by doing it myself!!!

So, Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming is available now because VHS tapes have died off, DVD’s rose in their place (and will soon die off) and now Blu-rays rule the world. We lucked out because Echo Bridge Home Entertainment seems to have bought the rights to every spaghetti Western that no one cared about until they were available in 8 or 20 pack DVD-is-now-a-dead-format-and-therefore-super-cheap movie collections for mere pesos. Amazon, K-Mart, Wal-Mart…they all got ’em and from what I’ve seen so far they are well worth it. It’s like 63 cents per movie so “worth” is relative I suppose but wasn’t not too upset that I was digging my own grave due to the imminent arrival of aforesaid Sabata. Though it was a bit much to call me “friend” right out of the gate. Slow down there movie title jeez!

This particular movie spun off of the success of Lee Van Cleef’s/Yul Brynner’s official Sabata trilogy. Just like Django had hundreds of imitators so too did Sabata including Wanted Sabata, Arriva Sabata and Don’t look now…Sabata Will Shit in Your Face! Alright, I made that second one up but it is true that Sabata was a big Transformers fan. I haven’t seen the originals so I suppose I can’t compare them to this one but I’ll be they were better films all around.

“Better” doesn’t always mean “more enjoyable” though. My six gun rating system takes this into account. 1 or 2 and I just was not entertained. 3 and 4, though middle of the road, say at least there were moments of laughter and/or awesomeness. 5 and 6 means buy these movies and carry them with you at all times because they are that good and you never know when you might stumble across an electronics department with an easily accessible media player with which to introduce everyone in ear shot to High Plains Drifter.  

I don’t think I’d ever serenade Best Buy with Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming but who knows. Vodka is a right powerful spirit! And I think that’s what this one, and so many Spaghetti and B-Westerns, had that gets you past the rough edges. Spirit, get up and go put on some gun leather and sleep outside by a fire inducing spirit. Dig Your Grave’s ever changing film stock did nothing to diminish the lush Tex-mex-italian scenery. Plus the fact that the dubbing came and went (twice!) was interesting to say the least but I figured out what was goin’ on each time until the English returned and had a good chuckle while I was waiting. And sure ,there were completely cliche characters like our hero Steve played by expatriate Richard Harrison but I didn’t mind one bit.

That’s not what he looked like in the movie by the by but Sharpie a five-o-clock shadow and cowboy hat on your monitor and you’ll get the idea. And his buddy in the film is your standard bumblingly effective bandito as portrayed by Fernando Sancho. I don’t have a picture of him but just google “some Mexican guy”. I haven’t actually done this myself but I can tell you he’s not a cat or boobs so filter those inevitable results and that’s him I’ll bet.

If that’s already too much trouble then I know you’re not going to search for “sweaty cowboy hitman relaxing” so take heart because I did find you this image of Raf Basldassarre as the titular Sabata. He is always moist. Usually from sitting in a tub or bed presumably because he’s so damn sexy and sleeps with every lady around or maybe just rubs one out into his holster while he pretends it’s the rough hewn vagina of a well traveled woman. Look at him and tell me I’m wrong! 

Or you know what? You find the review pictures next time! It’s not as easy as you’d think with a nearly unheard of flick from 1971. Oh I tried, I tried. Vague or specific searching didn’t matter. In fact I ran “Sabata dolphin” to prove my point and what comes up?

This! 

Grizzly goddamn Adams! But where’s the dolphin? We may never know. But do know this: Dig Your Grave Friend, Sabata’s Coming delivers. You’ve got a revenge story. Then that ends about twelve minutes into the film but then another one starts right away! You’ve got a love story and a few almost sex scenes. A guy shooting backwards off of a balcony, two stagecoach drivers you’ll feel so sorry for and many, many glorious chickens! Yes, the bad guys don’t come off bad enough, the good guys aren’t really acting as much as posing and most if not all of the facial hair is fake but that was all good enough for me. Put in a blender it all came out delicioso. 3 rounds in the cylinder this week for Sabata and all his friends, they didn’t have much to work with but damned if they didn’t put on a good show.

Let that be a lesson to ya’ till next week when I watch and write and then you read and laugh.

Adios folks.