I was supposed to see Ronin this weekend but SOMEONE forgot to mention
that to me when I left the office on Friday and so I missed the film.
I'd get rid of my useless editor, who seems to have absolutely no
secretarial skills, except I remember how miserable I was when he left
the first time.
And of course I just really love him.
Anyway, I didn't see Ronin. But I asked some people in the office about
it. Harold in marketing said it was really great, full of action and
fun and all kinds of great things. Burt in Human Resources said it was
the greatest movie he's seen all year. But you can't put a whole lot of
stock in what Burt says, he liked Godzilla. Our receptionist Sally said
the movie was alright, but not great. She said it got a little
confusing and the plot just kinda lost her. And no, she's not a ditzy
blonde, she's actually pretty smart.
So there ya go. I supposed I'll see it eventually, and I might even
review it once I do, but that's neither here nor there. I'm not going
to bring myself to review a film I haven't seen. Not again, anyway.
So here's a film I did see. Although you might have a hard time seeing
it yourself because I think it got released in all of 3 theaters or
something like that. But eventually, it will be on the shelf in your
local video store and you'll say “Hey! That's the flick The Self-Made
Critic reviewed!” And then, upon remembering this review, you'll
probably skip it and rent Spice World or something.
So here we go.
The film is Six-String Samurai. It is a low, low, low, low, low budget
post-apocalyptic tale of sword fighting guitar players. I'm not making
Here's the plot: In 1957, The Soviet Union dropped the atomic bomb on
the U.S. and won the war. The only bastion of freedom left in the world
is Las Vegas. They made Elvis king. Now, in 1997, Elvis has died.
Vegas needs a new king. And every guitar-playing sword fighter who
thinks he can be king is travelling through the wasteland of America on
their way to Vegas to prove their worth. Oh yeah, and Death is one of
the contestants, and he's killing everyone he comes across. Oh and the
hero looks like Buddy Holly. And there's a midget. And a band called
The Red Elvises. (They're actually a real band, I've seen them play
It's sorta all over the place.
And did I mention that it was ultra-low budget? I mean they made the
movie for less money than you'll spend at the theater seeing it, as long
as you buy a large popcorn.
Not a lot of special effects. Not a lot of fancy set pieces. Most of
the film has been shot on public land in Death Valley. Most of the
actors double as members of the crew. You get the idea.
But is it any good?
I honestly can't decide.
On one hand, it's really horrible. I mean it's embarrassingly
horrible. I mean, not as Bad as How Stella Cooked Her Groovy Goose, but
pretty darned bad. Lousy acting. Silly dialogue. Fake action
sequences (Although the movie is full of sword fighting, there is no
blood. One character makes a slash through the air, the camera changes
angles, and the other character falls to the ground dead.) And there's
a really annoying kid who screams a lot. I hate that.
On the other hand, there is something really charming about this film.
It grows on you. Buddy Holly is such the against-type hero that he
becomes fun. The movie makes so many nods to other films and
influences, that it's fun to try and spot them all. For starters,
there's Clint Eastwood, Akira Kurosawa, Road Warrior and The Wizard of
Oz. All rolled into one.
In the end, the question of whether or not you'd enjoy this film is
really something to be decided for yourself. I can only tell you what
it is. A very low budget romp. The kind of movie you can imagine a
couple of young film students making on their summer vacation.
It tries very hard to be cool. It really wants to be a cult hit. It
has no desires to be mainstream. Personally, I don't think the movie is
quite as cool as it thinks it is, but your opinion may vary.
I'm gonna give Six String Samurai 2 Babylons. But if you're really into
weird cult-like movies, you might want to add on an extra Babylon. At
the same time, if you have no patience for movies with no real substance
to them, you should take off a Babylon. I mean, this ain't no Gandhi.
For that matter, it ain't no Ronin, either. But we all know who to
blame for that, don't we?
The Self-Important Critic can blame himself.
I'm not his lackey. I'm his editor. It's not my fault that every
assistant he hires quits after a week due to his constant state of
And he makes it sound like he suffered by not seeing the movie. You
know where he was this weekend? On the Golf Course, working on his
You know, if wants a handicap, I can help him out...
Six String Samurai
Directed By: Lance Mungia
Starring: Jeffery Falcon, Justin McGuire, Shep Ripple, a Mexican
Gangster Midget and The Red Elvises -- A Russian surfing band with cool