miércoles, 29 de julio de 2009

The Wild Bunch

What could I say about this film that hasn’t been said before? One of the most violent films of all time, but also one of the greatest. Sam Peckinpah’s most commercial and well-known film, it deals with a group of old outlaws in the Wild West looking to pull off one last score, one for a General Mapache and his small army who are raping and pillaging the small Mexican villages. So they go after a train full of ammunition. From there, the action and the drama escalates, as the outlaws are forced to deal with their own code of honor, and the contradictions they present.

The casting in this film is superb. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Ben Johnson all own their characters, giving them a humanity and sympathy that you normally wouldn’t feel for what are basically murderers for profit. And that’s something that should be noted as well: This film is VIOLENT! There are gunshots all over the place, with the squibs being big and full of the red stuff. Supposedly, the last shootout against the army has the record for most gunshots in the history of film, at least until Troma’s War came along. This was said by Lloyd Kaufman himself, so take it with a grain of salt.

This movie introduced the mainstream world to Sam Peckinpah, and the style that would come to define his movies is present as well. Gritty close-ups, and slow-motion gunshots abound. This is one helluva good film, and you shouldn’t miss it.

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