Gunslinger's Revenge (September 20/05)
With its lack of overt violence and curse words, Gunslinger's Revenge almost feels like the sort of Western that was omnipresent in the '50s. That it follows a storyline that would've been at home in a John Wayne flick only cements this idea, and though it's well made and nicely acted, the film remains curiously inert throughout its relatively brief running time (it's less than 90 minutes).
Starring Harvey Keitel and David Bowie, Gunslinger's Revenge casts Keitel as Johnny Lowen - an aging gunfighter who returns home with the intention of hanging up his six-shooter for good. And though it initially seems as though Johnny will be able to enjoy his retirement with his son (Leonardo Pieraccioni) and grandson (Yudii Mercredi), it's not long before the sinister Jack Sikora (Bowie) arrives on the scene looking to settle an old score.
Gunslinger's Revenge was actually completed back in 1998, and while the film remains semi-watchable from start to finish, it's not terribly difficult to see why the movie hasn't been released in North America until now. The exceedingly laid-back pace eventually becomes oppressive, although there's no denying that screenwriters Giovanni Veronesi and Leonardo Pieraccioni do a nice job of capturing the feel of life within this small town. In fact, Gunslinger's Revenge is far more intriguing as a family drama than as a revenge-fueled Western; the tentative reconciliation between Keitel and Pieraccioni's estranged characters is surprisingly involving, despite the latter's ineffective performance (that all of his dialogue has clearly been dubbed surely doesn't help matters).
It's hard to know what to make out of Gunslinger's Revenge, a bizarre little oddity that will undoubtedly find itself a cult following among Bowie fans (where else are you going to see Ziggy Stardust himself purposefully sing out of tune?)