While this review is to discuss the merits of the blu-ray and not the actual film itself, I will say that Sabata is LVC in his Spaghetti Western prime, possibly for the last time, as the genre quickly began to decay around the time of the original film's release.
The set itself comes in a very sturdy case which includes a 24-page illustrated booklet. 3 discs are included; the first being the blu-ray (region free!), and the second and third are DVD (PAL).
Disc contents are as follows-
Disc 1 - Blu-ray - Feature FilmDisc 2 - DVD - Feature Film
Disc 3 - DVD - Extras
- Lee Van Cleef Westerns - a large collection of original trailers from LVC's spaghetti western career.
- Original English-language trailer for Sabata
- Trailers for other Explosive Media releases.
- Documentary His Name is Sabata
- Italian film historian Fabio Melelli and Director Gianfranco Parolini discuss the making of the film.
- Promotional Materials
- Various lobby cards, posters, etc... set to the soundtrack of the film
The transfer for Sabata appears to be an older HD transfer supplied to Explosive Media by MGM. I suspect this is the same transfer that has been used for sporadic HD broadcasts in the past 10 years, possibly even the same print used for the current US DVDs.
I would rate the print as very good looking. Obviously the best we have ever seen the film presented (and likely ever will). Colors are good. No major print damage. Film grain is still evident, so this doesn't look like the waxy The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly disc from 2009. Overall I was very happy with how the film looks on blu-ray.
The film sounds good for it's age. Music by Marcello Giombini is catchy as always. Dialog is very clear. No major issues. Audio is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0, and German Dolby Digital 2.0
Explosive Media has put together a nice set of extras for this set, on the third disc (PAL DVD). First and foremost is a 43 minute documentary, His Name is Sabata, featuring newly filmed (in Italian) interviews with Italian film historian Fabio Melelli and Director Gianfranco Parolini (aka Frank Kramer). They discuss the origin of the film series and the involvement of Alberto Grimaldi. Parolini is a very entertaining man, and during the interview also offers up a few tidbits about his LVC film God's Gun. English subtitles are available throughout.
Next we have a vast array of trailers, starting with 47 minutes worth of LVC Spaghetti Western trailers. Sabata is represented by a lone English trailer.
Lastly there are various lobby cards, posters, etc... set to the soundtrack of the film.
Until there is a US region 1 release (hopefully the trilogy!), this is the disc to go with as the definitive presentation of Sabata. The blu-ray disc is region free and can play in all blu-ray players. The other 2 discs require a region free DVD player.
In my opinion if you are a fan of the film, it is well worth the investment.
Sabata blu-ray by Explosive Media can be ordered here-