Sometimes a movie comes along that passes under everyone’s radar and it’s the masses that really suffer for not having known it even existed. Six String Samurai is one of those, “What?” films. When you mention it to your friends, be prepared to have them stare blankly at you for a moment, as if you grew horns and started spouting gibberish. Much in the way you’ll look at this film within the first 10 minutes of watching it. Trust me though, stick with it.
Six String Samurai was released in late 1998, to little or no fanfare. It bombed at the box offices. Despite only having a budget of $2.00 million, the movie only made $134,000 thousand by 1999. Not a lot of money. The size of the budget doesn’t matter since most this movie was filmed on location around Death Valley and other parts of California and Nevada. Small cast of characters with a musical score mostly composed and performed by The Red Elvises, who also make various appearances throughout the movie. The music really plays a part in the movie, as it sets the tone of the fights as well as the atmosphere. Not to mention is the main crux of the movie. Six String Samurai starts of with a fight between Buddy, played by Jeffry Falcone, our reluctant hero for the next hour and a half and some no named bad guys. He steps in to save an orphan boy, for no real reason then other then being nice. We then see the boy tags along, much to Buddy’s displeasure. Being a fan of rock myself, and the “Fallout” type apocalyptic genre, I think I give this movie more of a chance then others may at first. Throughout the movie Buddy peppers his one liners in swinging 50s rock fashion. Actually, he says very little throughout the movie. What he does say though, is pretty dry and humorous. As they make their way through the desert, Buddy and his new little sidekick are presented with challenges and we learn that he’s running from Death, who is chasing him because he’s the last, uh. Old Rocker? Or something. Death, a ‘Slash’ looking heavy metal guitarist wants to keep Buddy from reaching Lost Vegas, where Buddy will likely become the new King. Yeh the plot is pretty thin at times and its very predictable, but really, is that so bad? I guess it could be and does slow the movie down in places. For me though, it’s still a good romp through the desert with a Buddy Holiday, Six String Samurai sword wielding tough guy. And really, that’s pretty much what it should be thought of. Don’t expect to much, and you too will have a good time following along. In fact, when the end of the movie does come along, you’ll be left scratching your head. But that ok, put on some “Johnny B. Good” and you’ll make it out.
Sure the movie isn’t very mentally engaging, sure the editing can be a bit cheap looking, sure the dialog is cheesy. And yes, this is probably why the movie didn’t fare to well. However it should be given a chance. The music is solid and really captures the essence of old time rock’n’roll. The action sequences are well done and pretty awesome. The humor is well placed and timed. Six String Samurai really does belong in a movie lovers catalog and should be thought of as a cult classic. Find yourself a copy and give it a watch. If you love movies, you’ll like this movie. If you’re a movie snob and only watch high brow movies, then you may want to watch something else.