In the western ‘6 Guns’ we are privy to meet former lawman Will Stevens (Brian Wimmer). Will is a simple man now just content to fix up his old house on the outskirts of town, have some fun with his young wife Selina (Sage Mears), and their two young sons. Why just the other day was Will’s birthday and they had a cake and everybody was happy. Clearly this kind of joy will not last.
Then one day the bad man rides into town. This bad man would be all around never do well scoundrel Lee Horn (Geoff Meed) who along with his crew of equally bad men have come gunning for Will. While abusing Will, Lee informs us that the former lawman shot his unarmed daddy in the back, a fact that Will never disputes. Lee also tells us that Lee was the fastest, toughest, can’t miss gunman the west had ever seen. Well apparently marriage done made my man go soft because the Will we got to see was kind of a punk. The Will we got to know is a man who sat by helplessly while his two young boys were shot to death and his wife was gang raped with her face mashed into a Bundt cake. That’s the Will I got to know and needless to say I’m not impressed with that guy. So with his business here done, with Will and his sons dead and the wife all raped up, Lee leaves the job of finishing off the wife to his lawless buddy Joe (Carey Van Dyke) who found the whole situation completely distasteful and decides to let the ravaged woman live. Now I understand that my man was feeling compassion for this lady and all but considering she just saw husband and two young sons shot to death and was gang raped for her trouble, true compassion probably would’ve been putting a bullet in the back of her head, but then she wouldn’t have the thirst for revenge!
Some months later Selina is a stumbling drunk trying to wash away her pain with whiskey when she meets fierce bounty hunter Frank Allison (Barry Van Dyke) who is in town looking for Lee Horn and his band of murdering thugs. Frank takes a liking
to this pathetic woman and gets her to cleave herself from the hooch and clean herself up. Against his better judgment he also teaches her how to shoot a gun. Just as well because Lee Horn has just learned that Selina is still alive and is heading back to this town to finish what they started.
The situation as it works out is that Lee Horn and his gang of raping, murderous, robbing thugs is back in town with only a bounty hunter, a scared sheriff (Greg Evigan) and a housewife who learned how to shoot a gun yesterday standing in their way. Did we say a scared Sheriff? Let’s go ahead and amend that and say a bounty hunter and a housewife vs. a half dozen bloodthirsty killers. I’m thinking those killer don’t stand a chance.
From our favorite film studio the Asylum we have a western which has some good things going on it and some things that are debatably not so good. Directed by Shane Van Dyke, who also plays one of Horn’s henchman, Van Dyke did a fine job with what he had to work with here. The movie looks great, the sets and costuming were top notch and the action… when there was action… was well shot and came off as believable. The performances were also good for the most part. The younger Van Dyke had the challenge of directing his old man Barry and his older brother Carey which had to pose some challenges but Barry Van Dyke made for a fine stoic Silent Man of Action, Geoff Mead was particularly snarky as the villain and like any decent villain we as an audience were pulling for him to die a painful, horrible death and not to mention a B.J. and the Bear sighting. Can’t ever go wrong putting Greg Evigan anywhere in your movie. I don’t know if actress Sage Mears fared as well as the other actors but to her defense she had the most ground to cover, by far. From loving mother, to victim, to drunk, to angel of death. As a loving mother and wife and then a sad victim she did very well but I had hard time buying the young lady as a drunk and even more so as the harbinger of death.
For an action western however I am of the opinion that this movie is paced way too slowly. There were long stretches where there just wasn’t enough going on to always keep ones interest going. It’s not like all this time was dedicated to character development because once we got past getting the family being slaughtered every other character in this movie was completely one dimensional. One dimensional does tend to work, especially in an action flick, but there just wasn’t enough action in this action flick.
Another thing that would’ve helped ‘6 Guns’ was better music. Probably more so than any other genre the Western is defined by a certain style of music. Outside of some canned honky tonk music whenever they entered the saloon the score in this movie was modern and nondescript. I’m thinking if you’re going to make a western you need to find a composer who can ape the scores from a John Ford or a Sergio Leone flick because when the horses are galloping to a certain theme, it just puts you in the mind that you are watching a western. When there’s a big shootout at the end and this shootout is mated to the right kind of score, you know you are watching a shootout in a dusty old western town as opposed to just some generic shootout that could be taking place anywhere. But then that’s a personal opinion on the subject.
I’ve seen a few low budget westerns recently and the truth of the matter is that ‘6 Guns’ is one of the better ones while still falling a little bit short of what I think I’d like to see from my good old Western Flicks.