Sunday, April 17, 2016

COMIN' AT YA (1981)

With the recent Blu-Ray release of this very late in the cycle Euro-Western a small part of my younger movie watching days has come full circle. I saw COMIN' AT YA (1981) when I was 13 years old in the company of the man who would become my mother's second husband. He was trying to get on my good side by taking me to the movies but I suspect that it was his choice to see a western. I don't remember complaining, especially with the extra thrill of seeing a 3D film. For years afterwards I only retained a few memories of the flick and most of them were related to the many scenes concocted to shove, sling, drop or dangle something at the camera. The movie has so many shots set up to create a 3D effect that after a while the viewer begins to anticipate them. There are even a few notable 3D jokes including a gratuitous yo-yo scene right out of the classic HOUSE OF WAX (1953)! Fun stuff, even if it is incredibly silly. But that is the joy of these kinds of movies. They are trying to entertain and thrill to the exclusion of any other concern and often they succeed.

I'm not going to claim that rewatching COMIN' AT YA for the first time in 25 years was an incredible film fan experience but it was a lot of fun. I have developed a strong dislike for 3D in the past few years so I watched it in 2D and soaked up the go-for-broke vibe of it all. The paper thin plot is so clichéd and obvious - man's wife is stolen by slavers, vengeance ensues - that it is almost beside the point. This is a movie made to throw things at the screen, show bloody gunfights and reference spaghetti western images one after another. It's not the worst Euro-western I've ever seen and its not particularly good either, but it's entertaining. I would say this Spanish-American co-production accomplishes its goals pretty well and it managed to keep my attention throughout. There are certainly some impressive stunts on and off horseback with the regular use of slow-motion capturing the action in cool detail.

This is my second Tony Anthony movie from the period and I'm turning into a fan of his ugly mug. For this film and TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS (1983) he was involved in producing and writing his own lower budget 3D films and apparently COMIN' AT YA made a lot of money at the time. Indeed, it seems to have been the movie that started the brief 1980's 3D resurgence, so it must have been profitable. But once the craze for the gimmick died out he couldn't get financing for a planned third movie and his producing options dried up. That's a shame. I would have enjoyed seeing what wacky-ass thing he would devise for his next cinematic epic. He didn't make good movies but he did make fun ones.


Nick Rentz said...

Do you prefer his earlier films or the two 3D films?

Rod Barnett said...

Hard to say. I've seen the Stranger films but it was twenty years ago.

Nick Rentz said...

The only one I own is Blindman. I saw the stranger films on Tcm probably about 7 years ago. Blue Underground just released Get Mean. I wanting to check out his movies, so I guess I should bite the bullet and purchase them.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Tony Anthony who we called TONY TONY after loving the crapfest that was Treasure of the Four Crowns. I actually saw that movie twice on subsequent cheap movie Tuesdays.