Martial Arts Scifi
Six String Samurai
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Dir: Lance Mungia
Star: Jeffrey Falcon, Justin McGuire
Cert / Year: PG13 / 1998
Format: DVD R1
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1957 The Bomb Dropped. In Lost Vega$ Elvis was the king, however the king is dead. Now Lost Vega$ needs a new king. So the message goes out across the wastelands to any would be rock and roller with a guitar and a sword, make it to Lost Vega$ first and become the new king. Enter Buddy (Jeffrey Falcon) he has the guitar and he can play, he has the moves and he's on his way. The only thing that can stop him are knife wielding bowlers, followers of the windmill god, the cannibalistic Cleaver family and the whole of the Red army. Oh yes and his archenemy Death who wants to change the world with his brand of heavy metal rock. With a young orphan (Justin McGuire) who tags along, Buddy is on his way to claim his throne. The kind is dead long live the king.

Strange, Weird, Bizarre yes this film is all of these and more. I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best rock and roll martial arts movie you will ever watch. This is probably because it is the only rock and roll martial arts movie that you will ever watch. However underneath the weirdness is a cleverly original take on the post apocalypse movie, packed full of cool one liners and loads of action.

Taking rock and roll history as its basis and merging it with a Mad Max post apocalyptic story is a brave idea. The rock and roll history is there, Elvis dying, Buddy's (Holly) short life and the threat of heavy metal killing traditional Rock and Roll. Just add the traditional Mad Max fair of decaying society, mutants and bizarre gangs. The blend of both is strange but interesting, and certainly new. Well done to Lance Mungia (director) and Jeffrey Falcon (Buddy) coming up with it, and adding the cool humorous, yet bizarre dialogue.

Apart from the unusual script this film has a number of strengths. Firstly the combined acting and martial arts talents of Jeffrey Falcon which turns Buddy into one of the coolest action heroes since Evil Dead's Ash. His strong performance is aided by good support from the young kid Justin McGuire who manages to be a good sidekick without ever becoming annoying. The remaining actors are mostly first timers and can only be described as an eclectic bunch.

Lance Mungia's direction is another strong point. Clever use of slow motion during the fights really makes things look spectacular. This is best demonstrated when Buddy confronts the mutants on the road, as the music gains pace so does the action on the screen. Overall the direction is very high quality and really adds a touch of class to the proceedings.

The last strong point is the wonderfully bizarre soundtrack by the Red Elvises (a Russian folk \ rock and roll combo, no it's true, they are). These guys are majorly weird and their music is definitely a one off but here (and maybe only here) it works. The music is cleverly woven into the film and the overall result is very effective.

Lets face it many people are just going to find this film too weird, and therefore probably won't like it. If you can get past this there is a pretty good movie waiting to get out. It's original script; stylish direction, great main character, and mixture of martial arts and music are major plus points. It's a bizarrely funny film that views itself with a wicked sense of fun as it positively revels in it's own weirdness. If you fancy something unusual and are interested in expending your movie borders, this is definitely a classic step into the strange. I for one love it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

DVD
Picture 16:9 Very good picture
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Good quality soundtrack
Features 2 Music videos from the Red Elvises
Trailer
Verdict It is impressive to see this film get a DVD release, let alone one upon wich a certain degree of effort has been made.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home