DIRECTED BY: Lance Mungia
FEATURING: Jeffrey Falcon
PLOT: In an alternate post-apocalyptic past, Elvis has died, and samurai musician Buddy races to Lost Vegas to make his claim the King’s throne—along with every other rock-and-roll outlaw prowling the wasteland.
WHY IT’S ON THE BORDERLINE: From the plot synopsis alone it should be clear that Six-String Samurai‘s weirdness isn’t in doubt. Although it has an excellent chance to make the List down the line, something in me resists putting it on after the first ballot. The mix of action and absurdity in Six-String Samurai is tempting, like a dish at a fancy restaurant that sounds mouth-watering on the menu; but when you order it you discover that, although the individual ingredients are of the highest quality, the flavors don’t quite blend properly. It’s satisfying and too good to send back, but you had hoped for much more.
COMMENTS: This is my second review of Six-String Samurai; a younger me reviewed the film when it first came out, in 1998. With time, wisdom, and more weird movies under my belt, has my assessment of changed since then? I reprint that review below, with my contemporary observations to follow.
“The mainstream Las Vegas Review-Journal gives it one star. The alternative free weekly City Life gives it four stars (out of five). My interest is piqued; the kid in me wants City Life to win out, but my internal cynic is betting heavily on the Review-Journal. Reading the plot synopsis—after nuclear war in 1957, Elvis, King of the City of Lost Vegas, has just died, and every guitar-picking, sword-wielding outlaw of the Wastelands, including Buddy Holly and Death himself, is heading to Vegas to claim the throne—it’s easy to guess that this will be a polarizing film. But, once you get past the “I’m just hip enough to get this/I’m so hip that I’m way past this” dichotomy, it turns out that Six-String Samurai is a fairly engaging, sporadically irritating piece of entertainment. Although it plays like an assignment from a class in postmodern film making—write a script which will serve to distance the author from charges of Continue reading BORDERLINE WEIRD: SIX-STRING SAMURAI (1998)