Nobody knows his true name, but everybody knows he is the Major, and that when he wants something, he gets it. Under his beaten officer cap, the retired officer has an ingenious brain, so ...
See full summary »
Nobody knows his true name, but everybody knows he is the Major, and that when he wants something, he gets it. Under his beaten officer cap, the retired officer has an ingenious brain, so he plans everything with strategy and long range vision. Two handicaps not even the Major could foresee. The first was the insidious plans of revenge by his arch-enemy Hawk-Eye, now known as the One-Eyed - after the major blinded him in their first encounter. The second was the capacity of doing mischief of the half-caste Mexican Lucky, whose life the Major saved when he was going to be hanged for his crimes - out of piety, and because Lucky is holding to half of the treasure map hidden into an abandoned gold mine somewhere. Together, and sometimes tactically separate, both men strive to attain their goals, while Hawk-Eye tries to get his hands on both halves of the map. The pair can trust no one, men or women alike, not even each other. Written by
You'll hear that line at least 50 times in this movie, typically from the character Lucky Gomez (Keith G. van der Wat).
Not that I'm knocking "Three Bullets for a Long Gun" because it's a pretty impressive quasi-Spaghetti Western. I say "quasi" because it's actually a South African Western, which is where it was shot. Speaking of which, some of the locations and cinematography are spectacular. In any case, the movie has the tone of a Spaghetti Western and is obviously a knock-off of 1966's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," albeit only half as long (which is a good thing). Lucky Gomez is essentially the Tuco character; Beau Brummell plays the Blondie role, simply named "Major;" and Patrick Mynhardt plays the "bad" character, Hawkeye or One-Eye. Like in Sergio Leone's Western, these three are vying for a treasure the entire movie, in this case hidden in a mine somewhere.
Despite the fact that "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" was used as a blueprint, this is an effective and unique enough film to make it worthwhile; that is, if you like Spaghetti Westerns (I generally don't). Beau Brummell is great in the Eastwood role, laconic and ultra cool, whereas Keith G. is competent in the Tuco role as a sorta likable lout. Some say Keith's stereotypical performance gives Mexicans a bad name. Yeah, like Tuco didn't? Besides, Keith is playing ONE character, not representing an entire nation of people and, furthermore, his performance rings true, not of all Mexicans but of A Mexican in THIS story, if you know what I mean. Beau and Keith incidentally wrote the screenplay.
The problem with "Three Bullets for a Long gun" is the flaw with most Spaghetti Westerns -- the protagonists are one-dimensional and amoral and therefore uninteresting. As such, the story is boring, which it partially makes up for with a creative early-70s score, albeit no where near as good as Ennio Morricone's; they even throw in a wannabe radio-hit in the middle of the film à la "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" with "Rain Drops Keep Falling on My Head;" furthermore, the film has loads of style and a few beautiful women in minor roles.
So "Three Bullets for a Long Gun" is a quality South African Western in the "Man with No Name" mode, creative and hip, but also derivative. It's too bad that they didn't include characters or a story that would interest the viewer.
The film's currently only available on VHS
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?