Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mutant Future Inspirado: Sabata

A lot of my post-apocalyptic inspirational material is pretty straightforward. The Road Warrior is obviously at the center of it all, surrounded by its like-minded brethren like the Fallout games, Interstate '76, Six-String Samurai and Fist of the North Star alike. But there's a fair amount of idiosyncratic influence that also inform my idea of a post-apocalyptic game. Over the next couple of days, I'm going to talk a little about what's informing my latest post-apocalyptic shenanigans.

Sabata (and other ridiculous Westerns)

I've said before that the post-apocalyptic genre feels right for me when it's close to being a western. The Road Warrior, the keystone film of the post-apocalyptic genre, fits the redemptive anti-hero western model almost note for note, only with cars replacing horses. Me, I've been watching westerns since my parents showed me Silverado when I was 5 years old and the genre is still very dear to my heart, not to mention my gaming. The Deadlands campaign I ran for my college friends was probably the most successful piece of gaming I've ever done.

The poster for Lee Van Cleef's Sabata has been my background design ever since I started this blog and for good reason. I mean, just LOOK at it! Explosions, dynamite, doing it, a BANJO that's also a GUN! People seem to have this idea that Spaghetti westerns were all gritty, violent and intense affairs, primarily because every Spaghetti western they've seen has starred Clint Eastwood and was directed by Sergio Leone. There's a whole world of Italian westerns out there and most of them are wacky as hell. Sabata and its sequels are fantastic primarily because of this over-the-topness. The banjo gun is just the tip of the iceberg: the series has everything from ball-bearing throwing shoes to suspender slingshots, Yul Brynner's faaabulous fringed black leather ensemble and director Gianfranco Parolini's obsession with finding ways to get actor Aldo Canti to jump off of rooftops onto trampolines. Seriously, the guy's in every Sabata movie as a different character who jumps off stuff.

You can watch Sabata for free on Hulu and Adios Sabata on Netflix Instant. Unfortunately, Return of Sabata isn't available in any easy streaming format, but it's constantly on Encore Westerns and other cable channels that show Spaghetti westerns off and on, so that you too can hear the totally awesome Return of Sabata theme.

EDIT: I can't believe that I didn't actually finish that sentence.


  1. Nice! I watched those trailers and am now very interested in checking out the films. :)

  2. Awesome! I've never heard of these movies before. Now I gotta watch 'em. Thanks.

    Ed Green

  3. Glad I could turn you guys onto them! I caught Return of Sabata on cable maybe two years ago and it was so bizarre that I had to track down the rest of them.

    @Christian, the trailers are fantastic! They basically sum up the entire movie in 3 minutes. There used to be a great repository of Spaghetti western trailers on YouTube called ItaloWestern, which unfortunately got shut down. But between the LindbergSWDB, SWDBTrailer and ShobaryWesterns channels, there are plenty of videos out there.

  4. Have you read Stephen King's Dark Tower series? Post-Apoc Western Sci-Fantasy goodness there. I'm guessing you probably have, but I'm too lazy to search your blog to see if you've posted about it. :D

  5. I love spaghetti westerns and use them for inspiration for D&D games all the time. Have you checked out The New West campaign for Gamma World over at Mutant Bastards? Check it out at:

  6. I've only really read the first Dark Tower novel and two of the graphic novels that Marvel put out. It's always been a series I've wanted to check out.

    And Mutant Bastards is one of the reasons that I want to do this with Mutant Future or some other Gamma World derivative. That site is so great.