Don't get me wrong. I went into this movie expecting an absolute piece of shit on a level not seen since 'the Wrecking Crew' or 'Crazy Six.' Nearly 90% of the reviews have made this out to be easily one of the worst films of 2008, but I have to say I enjoyed 'Left For Dead.' Is it a great or even decent film? Hell no. Would I rent it @ Blockbuster or pay more than a dollar to see it? No. What do you expect from a filmmaker like Albert Pyun, who shot this in 11 days from a script intended as a college student's thesis? But I thought I'd throw it on my qeue to see what was up.
'Left for Dead' is another stinker from the king of bad B movies, Albert Pyun. Pyun has done some off-the-chain movies, 'Nemesis,' 'Cyborg,' 'Omega Doom,' and 'Radioactive Dreams among them. He's also given moviephiles the most notorious clunkers in history: Snoop Dogg's 'Urban Menace,' 'The Wrecking Crew,' 'Captain America,' 'Bad Bizniz' and 'Max Havoc.'
Ostensibly, this movie is a "gothic spaghetti western' shot in 11 days on location in Argentina with an entirely local cast and crew. The plot goes something like this: set in the 1890s, gunslinger Clementine Templeton (played by the impossibly gorgeous Victoria Maurette) is hot on the trail of her bounty/estranged-husband. She stumbles into a town run by women led by the sadistic "Lord Mary," who just happens to be the mother of a chick who Clementine's husband knocked up. She offers to help find him, and bring him to justice. Clementine's ex tries to find refuge in a little Mexican town called 'Amnesty.' Little does he know that the ghost of a dead preacher named Mobius inhabits the town, and lures the women to the town so he can exact revenge. Why? You ask? Well, it turns out "Lord Mary" went on a rampage with her prostitute friends 15 years previous, killing the preacher and his "whore" girlfriend. The preacher pledges allegiance to Lucifer in exchange for revenge and now he's got his chance.
This movie was, for the most part, dull and pretentious. Pyun added a lot of trendy, 5 second slow mo camera tricks to his usual vapid arsenal of bad movie tricks, and it really detracted from the movie. Listening to the his commentary on the film, it's just flabbergasting to me how far this guy has his head up his own ass. You would've thought he made 'Dog Day Afternoon' here from the way he talks this crap pile up. The premise was interesting, but I think the budget limitations didn't present us a clear picture of what this could've been. When we remove all the fancy camera tricks- and Pyun's shameless self promotion in the commentary- the viewer is left with a clunky, badly lit attempt at a spaghetti western which has lots of unnecessary and gratuitous scenes of brutality against women. The undead preacher dispenses of his victims in very disturbing ways: in one scene, he extracts several teeth from one of the prostitutes. In another, he bashes a woman's face in several times with his fist. In the climatic scene, he uses a hook to do his dirty work. I guess Pyun was going for the 'Saw' factor here, but I didn't care for those movies to begin with. The special effects were cheap as hell, but if you took Pyun's word for it, they were on par with Steven Spielberg.
The actors were all from Argentina, so they slip between Spanish and English a lot, with only Victoria Maurette keeping a consistent western accent throughout. Speaking of Victoria Maurette, she was amazing in this. Her performance wasn't really all that special, but she has an IT quality I liked- plus she walked around in her hat, patched up wedding dress, and had dirt on her face the entire time, like she hadn't bathed in weeks. Me likes. Apparently, she's only been in teeny bop Argentinian soap operas before this (and in Pyun's Bulletface), so let's hope we see her in something else soon.
I liked this more than I expected to. I didn't get as bored as I thought I would, and didn't think this was nearly as bad as some of Pyun's other bullshit. 'Left for Dead' has it's problems, believe me, but Victoria Maurette was distractingly beautiful enough to keep it's bad points from being too unbearable. This is the type of movie Fangoria readers would give five stars to, but anyone looking for a decent movie night out would probably want to save their money on.