Six String Samurai (1998)

Rating: **
Release Date: 9/18/98
Cast: Jeffrey Falcon

This fun and quirky low budget indie film starring Hong Kong kung fu veteren Jeffrey Falcon has a lot going for it, but is unfortunately marred by slow pacing and too much non-essential footage. It would have worked a lot better if about thirty minutes were trimmed out of the film. In 1957, a nuclear war scorches the Earth. The remnants of society build their new capital in Lost Vegas and crown Elvis as their king. Forty years later, the king is dead, and rockers from all over the country are coming to claim his throne. This is the tale of one such rocker named Buddy (Jeffrey Falcon) who's armed with a prized 1957 hollow body Gibson guitar and a samurai sword. He picks up an annoying kid who follows him all the way to Lost Vegas, and Buddy slowly develops a bond with him. Everyone wants Buddy out of the picture, and the majority of the film is about all of the strange adversaries that he faces and kills, leading up to a guitar and sword duel with Death himself. The film is cleverly written and is full of witty dialog, tongue in cheek humor, and pop culture references. The martial arts sequences are wonderful, but unfortunately spoiled by poor editing and jerky claustrophobic camerawork. The final fight with Death finally pulls the camera back a bit to see both of the fighters, and as a result looks dazzling. Another frustration with the fight scenes is that they're completely bloodless. Buddy slices and dices literally dozens of foes with his sword, and nary a drop of blood is seen. (a few "Lone Wolf And Cub" blood geysers would have been perfect for this film) Jeffrey Falcon is absolutely perfect in the role of Buddy. His look, attitude, presence, delivery, and martial arts prowess are spectacular, and his charisma alone drives the film forward. A good late night film to watch with friends.