Sartana's curiosity is piqued. Why didn't they loot the wagon? He wants to take a look for himself, but that means preventing the explosion. That should be a simple matter, for a gunhawk like him, of shooting away the fuse before the fire reaches the dynamite. But Sartana doesn't do things the easy way. Instead, he tosses his water canteen far into the air and shoots a hole through it. The water puts out the fiery fuse. It takes our hero a full credit crawl before he reaches the wagon. I don't know what he expected, but he finds sacks of sand in a safe.
Sartana is like The Shadow of the spaghetti west. His gimmick is that he sees all and knows all. The gag is that he's always at least one step ahead of the opposition. His gunplay tends toward the cartoonish, the gunfights ending up like sight gags. There's an almost classical slapstick quality to his showdowns this time out, since he almost always cheats. He always seems to have a gun hidden somewhere, whether in his boot, in a deceptively empty holster, or in that nasty loaf of bread. The bread becomes the main running gag of the film, provoking the funniest line in the English dub when a bandit, on to his tricks, orders Sartana: "On your feet, and keep your hands away from that loaf of bread!" When Sartana makes a big reveal of three loaves of bread on a table during his final showdown with the bandit leader, you can't doubt that Carnimeo and writer Tito Carpi have tongues in cheeks more than ever this time out. There's no realism to the gunfights, since Sartana's enemies uniformly violate the Tuco Rule and talk, talk, talk (one even tells his men to count to three!) when they should shoot, shoot, shoot. The gags wouldn't work otherwise. It still works, somehow; I was amused by the brazenness of it all.
The filmmakers throw a couple of wild cards into a mix: a ruthless saloon girl played by Erika Blanc, and a rival gunfighter named Sabbath. This man (some online reviewers point out that, in some countries, he'd be called Sabata) is in some ways Sartana's antithesis. He wears white while Sartana wears black, for instance. He's also an effete, poetry-reading, parasol-carrying Englishman -- or at least he sounds that way in the dub. He reveres his mother's memory and insists on etiquette toward ladies; he kneecaps a thug who was threatening to rough up the saloon girl in order to make him "curtsy" properly. In this showcase role, the American actor Charles Southwood nearly steals the picture from a charismatic George Hilton. I got the impression that this film may have been a tryout for a separate Sabbath series that never happened, though Carnimeo and Carpi later pitted Hilton and Southwood against each other again in a film in the Alleluja series.
Erika Blanc (top) and Charles Southwood (below) complicate things for Sartana and keep us guessing which side each will end up on.
While the version included in VideoAsia's Spaghetti Western Bible Vol. 2 collection is full-frame, here's a widescreen Italian language trailer, uploaded to YouTube by MrSpaghettiWestern.