Julián Torralba is a former movie stuntman in Almeria, Spain. He and several of his colleagues, who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain, now are reduced to doing stunt ...
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Álex de la Iglesia
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Álex de la Iglesia
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Álex de la Iglesia
José Antonio Álvarez
Julián Torralba is a former movie stuntman in Almeria, Spain. He and several of his colleagues, who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain, now are reduced to doing stunt shows for minuscule audiences on the decaying set built for those old Westerns. Julián wrestles with dark memories of the death of his son, also a stuntman, and with estrangement from his daughter-in-law Laura and her son Carlos. Carlos, a young boy, becomes intrigued with his late father's life and runs away to join Julián and his band of has-beens. There Carlos is initiated into the rambunctious life of these hard-drinking faux cowboys. But when Laura, a powerful executive looking for a new site for a tourist resort, learns that Carlos has joined the hated Julián, she moves to destroy even this remnant of Julián's once-proud career. Julián and the cowboys decide to fight back the only way they know how.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Director Álex de la Iglesia wanted Clint Eastwood to play himself in the film. He even offered to move to Los Angeles to shoot Eastwood's part. Eastwood, who was then working on the production of Mystic River (2003), was forced to turn down the offer. See more »
The placement of bullets in Sandra's ammo belt changes from shot to shot near the end of the movie. See more »
OK, let's get this clear first: seasoned veterans of the genre might be disappointed by the tribute aspect of 800 Balas. The only spag references are to Leone's films, Clint Eastwood and his poncho. Add to that a score that resembles Morricone, great opening credits in the colourful spag tradition, and excellent cinematography (wide shots and close-ups included) and that's as far as it goes.
However it's tons of fun. Although not as outrageous as other De La Iglesias efforts like Accion Mutante, El Dia de La Bestia or Perdita Durango, it still has all the trademarks that made him famous. Black humour, quirky dialogues, energetic pace, fluid camera shots, excellent performances, it's creative and above all entertaining. Sancho Gracia steals scenes and was an original spaghetti western actor himself.
Watch it for a great opening scene that (suprisingly enough) is a tribute to John Wayne's Stagecoach, a saloon orgy, a hooker seducing a minor, a spectacular shootout between a SWAT team and spaghetti western stuntmen, the Hanged Man (first screenshot), the Dragged Man (who is constantly being dragged by a rope behind a horse...it is his only trick) and a cameo by a faux-Clint Eastwood.
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