Sunday, August 20, 2017

6 Guns (2010)

One of the major inspirations for this blog was that I fell in love with bad movies during my university years from 2009-2012.  During the latter half of that time, when I was living with friends from the program I never finished, we would spend Friday nights watching bad movies.  They were usually double features that I had programmed.  One of the staples of these nights was The Asylum.  Thus, The Asylum is a major reason that Sunday “Bad” Movies are a thing.

With The Asylum came Shane Van Dyke, the grandson of the legendary Dick Van Dyke.  Those double feature nights had some of his movies included.  I remember showing my friends Titanic II and the Transmorphers movies (he was in the prequel, Transmorphers: Fall of Man).  I would later, on my own time, seek out some of his other work.  The guy was one of the best parts of The Asylum, and I appreciated what he did for the studio.  It seems as though he’s no longer working with them, but for the time he did, he made some of their more memorable movies.

The second movie that Shane Van Dyke directed for The Asylum was 6 Guns, a 2010 low budget remake of the western Hannie Caulder.  It starred Sage Mears as Selina Stevens, a woman who had seen her family murdered at the hands of Lee Horn (Geoff Meed) before being gang raped by his posse.  She enlisted the help of a bounty hunter named Frank Allison (Barry Van Dyke) to teach her how to use a gun so that she could take her revenge on the outlaws.

6 Guns began with a family dinner as Selina, her husband William (Brian Wimmer), and their two sons sat down to a nice, family dinner.  It was William’s birthday and they were going to celebrate.  The festivities were disrupted when Lee Horn and his group of criminals arrived at the scene.  Lee wanted revenge because Will, a sheriff, had killed his father.  He began tormenting the family, revelling in the pain he was inflicting, before killing the two sons.  The gang then bent Selina over a table and forcefully had their way with her while a helpless, dying Will watched on.  Lee left while Joe Beall (Carey Van Dyke) was about to abuse Selina, and Joe let her go when his boss left.

One of the strangest things about this opening scene was the rape itself.  Shane Van Dyke played Joe Beall’s brother Chris.  He was one of the members of Lee Horn’s gang.  This meant that he cast himself in a role that would involve filming himself raping a woman.  The same could be said for Geoff Mead, who as both the writer and the performer of Lee Horn, put himself into a role that involved raping a woman.  It wasn’t that they were simply performing the heinous act.  The two performers had put themselves into the roles and dictated how they would rape the woman.  It just seems a little odd, and a little too connected to what was happening on screen.

After the opening scene, the movie jumped to sometime later when Frank Allison arrived in town.  He was a bounty hunter looking for some people to capture.  His introduction let the audience know how tough of a cowboy he truly was.  The people of the town, including the shopkeepers and Sheriff Barr (Greg Evigan), talked about how their town was safer whenever Frank Allison showed up.  It wasn’t only the safety that played into it, though.  He was also a noble man who would help where help was needed.  Selina had become the town drunk since her family’s murder and the townspeople made fun of her as she stumbled around the street.  Frank, seeing this, intervened and told the people to help her out instead of making fun of her.  They listened.  The legend of Frank Allison had been put into the movie.

Seeing and hearing these things gave Selina an idea.  She approached Frank several times to help her on her road to revenge.  He denied her efforts until she bested an entire table of men playing poker.  One thing I failed to mention about the opening scene of the movie was that the children had been playing poker at home with their father.  Selina helped one of the kids win a hand, setting up her skills with the game.  6 Guns was good at setting up elements that would come into play later, even if only in a minor amount.  This poker skill that was hinted at early in the movie helped lend credibility to this later scene, and in turn, brought the main characters together.

Frank Allison agreed to help Selina learn how to shoot a gun.  He travelled to her house, a mile out from the town, and made her a makeshift shooting range.  The bottles that Selina had been drinking from were used as targets (the bottle targets being set up by the town drunk stuff), and she was to keep shooting until she hit them.  This took upwards of 100 shots before she was able to hit the mark, which seems like a long time, but Frank said it wasn’t.  Selina was making good progress.  She got a little full of herself, though, and thought that shooting a bottle or two meant that she was a great marksman and could take down the gang.

It was time for Selina to move onto the second stage of her training, which was better preparation for gunfights.  Frank told her that bottles don’t move or shoot back.  She needed to prepare for fights where people would be shooting at her.  He told her that she should always shoot from behind cover.  Whether it was a tree, a wall, or a bench, if there was some sort of cover, they would be less likely to hit her than if she were standing out in the open.  This lesson would be an important one when they went up against the gang.  Yes, they.

Lee Horn and his gang left town soon after killing the Williams family.  They headed towards Mexico in an attempt to escape the law.  Those plans were changed when the gang was ambushed by a group of Marshalls and deputies.  Lee learned that Joe had let Selina live and he turned his gang around to go back to town and finish the job.  He also told Joe that if he ever let another victim go, he would be killed.

Sheriff Barr knew that the gang had arrived in town almost as soon as they got there.  They knew he knew and visited him in the jail.  By the time Frank showed up back in town to talk to him, the Sheriff was already dead.  Thus began the showdown between Frank Allison and the gang.  Selina showed up partway through, bringing about the revenge that she wanted.

6 Guns wasn’t a terrible movie, so I don’t want to ruin it for anyone hoping to seek it out.  In terms of movies produced by The Asylum, it may be one of the better ones they’ve produced.  From this point forward, I’m not going to discuss too much of what happens in the movie.  There’s only one of the deaths of the gang members that deserves to be discussed because of how it plays into one of the things that I mentioned before.  Shane Van Dyke’s writing foreshadowed many of the things that ended up happening.

Chris Beall went after Selina by himself and they ended up in a gunfight.  Like most action movies, the bad guy in the scene seemed to have no aim.  He couldn’t hit Selina with any shots he was taking.  She had learned from Frank Allison, though, and was hiding behind anything she could find.  It was all an attempt to get close to Chris so that she could shoot him.  You see, Chris hadn’t learned from Frank that you only shoot from a covered location.  He stood out in the open attempting to shoot Selina until his gun was out of ammo.  While he was trying to figure out his empty gun, Selina shot and killed him.  Her lessons earlier in the movie had paid off.

If you like westerns and you’re not opposed to the look of a movie from The Asylum, check out 6 Guns.  It’s not the best in either category, but it’s a solid effort that’s worth checking out if you’re a fan of that kind of movie.  Shane Van Dyke has made some of the better efforts from The Asylum and this was no different.  I just wish he was still making movies for them.  I’d love to see more from the guy.

Shane Van Dyke was one of the staples of bad movies when I was in university.  Watching the movies that he made for The Asylum helped inspire me to make this blog, and I will always be grateful for that.  His work changed my life and led me to become a better writer.  6 Guns wasn’t one of the movies that I saw back then, but it helped to showcase why Shane Van Dyke was one of the better participants in the world of The Asylum.  He made bad movies, but he made them well.  He was good at making them.  Thank you, Shane Van Dyke.
Now for a few notes to finish everything off:

  • I’ve covered a couple Shane Van Dyke movies before.  They were Paranormal Entity (he directed and starred) and Transmorphers: Fall of Man (he wrote and starred).
  • Another western that was included in the Sunday “Bad” Movies was Dig Your Grave Friend… Sabata is Coming.
  • 6 Guns featured Erin Marie Hogan, who was in Paranormal Entity.
  • Jude Gerard Prest was in both 6 Guns and Area 407.
  • Finally, 6 Guns was the second Sunday “Bad” Movies appearance of Gregory Paul Smith, who was in Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.
  • Have you seen 6 Guns?  What did you think about it?  Was it good or bad?  Let me know in the comments.
  • What have you seen that you think would make a good fit for the Sunday “Bad” Movies?  I’m always looking for suggestions on what to watch.  Leave them for me in the comments or on Twitter.
  • I have a snapchat you can add if you want to see clips of bad movies or some other stuff sometimes.  Jurassicgriffin.
  • Now we’re moving onto next week, which is going to be all about Super Mario Bros.  Yes, yes, yes.  I’m finally getting around to seeing one of the most infamous video game movies.  It’s sure to be an interesting post.  I’ve seen the movie before and I remember how bonkers it is.  I’ll see you guys in a week for whatever I have to say about it.  Okay?  Okay.  See you then.

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