Sunday, August 20, 2006

Movie Review – Six String Samurai

In my quest to find the most bizarre films ever to be made, I recently came across this gem. It’s a post-apocalyptic saga, somewhat along the lines of The Road Warrior or A Boy and His Dog. However, instead of Mel Gibson, the hero of this little ditty runs around dressed up like Buddy Holly complete with black frame glasses, talks like Dirty Harry, and carries a six string 1958 hollow body Gibson guitar around with him that has a samurai sword taped to the back which he uses with great efficacy (both the guitar and sword). The struggle in this film is that everyone in the film that plays the guitar (which is pretty much everyone) wants to get to Las Vegas to become the next “King of Rock and Roll”. But Death (and his back-up band) keeps killing all the would-be “poseurs” to the crown.

If you love absurdity as a basis for comedy, I would highly recommend this one. It is REALLY absurd in places. An example is the Road Warrior-type chase scene across the desert, where the hero and his monosyllabic kid sidekick are being chased by a bunch of degenerates intent upon doing bodily harm. However, in this case, the chase is being held at what looks to be about ten miles per hour, as neither vehicle seems to be very well maintained. The degenerates look to be more cavemen than a lawless band of renegades, and one of their main weapons is a catapult that throws massive amounts of gumballs.

Music in this film is provided by the Red Elvises, who also have some supporting roles in this film. (“Nice shoes!”) If you haven’t ever heard of them but have a chance to catch them live somewhere, do so. They are a highly entertaining, high energy rock, punk, something band from Russia whose gimmick seems to be something along the lines of Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd’s “wild and crazy guys” of SNL fame. But they do rock.

I am well aware that this kind of description doesn’t do a film like this justice. You can’t really describe “absurdity” without it sounding not absurd but just stupid. Really, if oddball indy pictures such as Repo Man or Brazil are to your liking, you ought to go find this film somewhere from Palm Pictures. (I found it on my Video On Demand free movies selection on my cable TV). You don’t find “original” very often anymore, certainly not from mainstream Hollywood, but I think this one fits that bill.

From IMDB:

Buddy: Cross that line, kid, I'll cut your little teddy bear in half. Last kid that crossed that line, I had to summon up the Spinach Monster with my rock 'n' roll magic. The Spinach Monster grabbed him, pulled him underground and made him eat spinach all day. Rumor has it, kid... he's still there.

Ward Cleaver: You ever try a pink golf ball, Wally? Why, the wind shear alone on a pink golf ball can take the head off a 90-pound midget at over 300 yards.

Death: Only one man can kill this many Russians. Bring his guitar to me!

Buddy: Who are you?
Death: Death,
Buddy: Cool!

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