Tuesday 11 March 2014

Guns, Girls and Gambling

Just released on Blu-ray and DVD is Guns, Girls and Gambling, it's not by Quentin Tarantino but it really wishes it was. No don’t cast your copy haphazardly out of your Cadillac Window quite yet, though I would suggest you stop reading this while you’re driving. It's not as good as anything Tarantino has ever done, but if Tarantino was a genre instead of a human this would be one of the ‘OK’ ones, where ‘The Boondock Saints’ would be a quality film and ‘Pulp Fiction’ would be genre defining. Obviously.

Christian Slater has got himself into a bit of bother with a massive amount of people.  After ending up in the middle of nowhere he forces himself to do an Elvis impersonating contest.  After failing miserably he plays poker wit the rest of the Elvis’s of which are there are many.  Black-midget Elvis, Asian-Elvis, Elvis-Elvis and Gay Elvis. It becomes apparent pretty quickly that one of them has stolen a Mask from the Indian tribe that own the casino they are in. Said Mask also happens to have a lot of emotional value to the Indians and a lot of monetary value to absolutely everyone else.

With a setup like that hijinks are pretty much guaranteed, with everyone and their mother looking for the mask; all the Elvii, the Native Americans, an Indian guy (from India), a rancher, a cowboy, some ditzy girl next door, Two Sheriffs, a Blonde girl with bum, hair and boobs and a love for, what is becoming painfully clichéd, Edgar Allen Poe quotes.  Also a random college kid.  With such a messy mish-mash there is obviously absolutely no character development for these people, and they are spliced into the story line like someone had was eating clichéd-characters-chow mien while editing the film and kept getting it all over the script. It’s basically just a United Nations vs. Christian Slater kinda film.

Ultimately not much goes on in this film, but there are a lot of subtle references to other films that the cast where in, and it has the exact tone of a film that your friends have made and that you like just a little bit more than you normally would because you like your friends.  Gary Oldman is amazing in everything, and, sometimes, unnecessary violence is lovely.  Sure you’ve no real idea why anyone is doing anything, and you don’t particularly care who dies, but it’s not a ‘thinky’ kinda film anyway, it’s more of a get a few beers and a few friends and don’t actually watch it kinda film.  There’s also a twist or two that will make you give it a ‘I see what you did there’ look.

So though there are about a thousand reasons for me to dislike this film I actually quite enjoyed it. It would’ve done better back in the 90s when everyone was ripping off the great plagiarist himself.  If you’re being tied up in a basement á la Saw, and you are definitely going to be sitting there for two hours and you have a choice between watching this and not watching this, watch this. No one is going to laugh at you for having seen it.

Guns, Girls and Gambling gets a 3/5, []

David Roberts

Guns, Girls and Gambling at CeX

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