This mess is the remainder from a cobbled miniseries of which most, thankfully, has been left in the can, as is apparent by the billing: Jurgen Prochnow (1st) has a half-dozen or so short lines and nearly no screen time, Martin Sheen (2nd) disappears completely early on, Corbin Bernsen (3rd) does not appear at all. The screenplay is based upon the novel "The Ysabel Kid" by a popular English novelist writing as J. T. Edson (whose historically inaccurate depictions of Western Americana were researched for the most part in his favourite pub), and is replete with incongruity of dialogue, often lapsing into late 20th century American urban slang, only one element that is in the molding of this grotesque item. After studying its first half, a viewer will feel completely befogged after the plentiful activity involving frantic gunplay, fist fighting, rape, illy-advised nudity, and gore galore, since there are few, if any, clues given as to what may be transpiring, eased but mildly by an action halting soliloquy delivered by the female lead that tugs from the proceedings some vague concept of the story's direction. The plot engages a group of Confederate soldiers, shortly after the end of the War Between The States, that is attempting to smuggle new Winchester rifles, bestowed by the United States government upon Mexican rebels warring against Emperor Maximilian's French troops, and additionally involves another set of ex-Confederates that is bent upon delivering documents of amnesty from Washington to the other Southerners so that all may return to the reunited Union and prepare to wage war with French invaders into Texas (a fantasy of novelist Edson). This is one of those films wherein every scene provides something to laugh at, groan over, or pity since even a script doctor might do little for a work that demands hospitalization, suffering from such maladies as erratic sound mixing, ragged stunt work, commercial fadeouts arranged for its television release, fragmented storylines, an energetic rescue from drowning in a turgid waist deep river, frequent silly twirling of pistols and inefficiently fanning of their hammers during gun battles, shifts in relationships without ostensible cause, an intense young Indian (Todd Jensen) swearing totemic reprisal for the murder of his father (quaint casting here with Jensen having the same degree of believability as a vengeful Indian as would Tab Hunter), foolish historic implausibilities, and a slew of other factors that insult the Western film genre.
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