Howdy all you Supercultists out there on the interwebz! I’m Bad Movie Professor Cameron Coker (BS in “Movie Body Counts” with a minor in “Guitar Battles”) and I’ll be posting my hype-tacular speeches every week along with some long lost speeches from past Supercult Shows!
This week Supercult drives his Chevy to the levee and drinks some whisky and rye in honor of the Six-String Samurai!
In 1957, the Societ Union attacked the United States with nuclear weapons, rendering most of the nation uninhabitable. All that is left is the haven known as “Lost Vegas”, but when King Elvis dies a call is sent out for all musicians to come to Lost Vegas and fight to become the new King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Meanwhile miles away, a lone guitarist and swordsman named buddy heads towards his destiny. Can Buddy overcome gangs, bandits, and his rival for the throne, the heavy metal-playing Death to save Lost Vegas? All Superheroes Wear Glasses…he is the Six-String Samurai!
Written and starring Jeffrey Falcon as Buddy, Six-String Samurai is a 1998 post-apocalyptic action/comedy whose plot sounds like a mash up of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Mad Max”, and “Highlander” complete with post-apocalyptic munchkins, yellow-bricked roads, and deadly guitar duels and sword fights until there is only one!
The film itself is homage to the history of rock ‘n’ roll in the United States and there are clever musical cameos and in-jokes peppered throughout the film. The hero Buddy is a symbol of the birth of rock n’ roll and heavily resembles Buddy Holly, especially with his horn-rimmed glasses. The villain “Death” resembles Slash from Guns N’ Roses who kills a character representing Jerry Lee Lewis and dispatches evil musical forces such as a mariachi band to hunt down Buddy. The band The Red Elvises who are featured throughout the film’s soundtrack appear as themselves, as the band with the “nice shoes” and the large, triangular string instrument that one of the band members is playing is an electric balalaika. The squashed “de-anamorphic” effect on the opening title sequence is also an homage to years of VHS fullscreen movies that had their widescreen titles similarly squashed, but the stylistic move caused many theatre projectionists overseeing the screening of the film to mistakenly swap out their lenses in the middle of this sequence.
With a scant budget of just $2 million, Six-String Samurai was actually meant to be the first installment of a trilogy, which had been discussed, but was never realized. It was also predicted to launch the career of the film’s star Jimmy Falcon, who, on top of rocking the geeky-hero archetype, is a skilled martial artist and guitar player who did all of his own stunts throughout the film without the help of wires or special effects.
Film Threat gave the film a perfect 5/5 stars and Leonard Klady of Variety says, “A rock ‘n’ roll Mad Max served up Cantonese style, this is one wildly original and highly entertaining American indie with genuine commercial appeal.” Peter Stack of the San Francisco said that, “If the film didn’t have an underlying intelligence, it would soon be irritating — it’s too cartoonish and one-dimensional. But Falcon, an ace martial-arts practitioner, is dazzling as the nerdy main attraction, equally adept at sword fighting and guitar picking.” The film even received special mention at the Slamdance film festival and garnered a single-issue comic released from Rob Liefeld’s Awesome Entertainment!
So why didn’t Six-String Samurai take off? Perhaps it was the inexperience of principle crew. For director Lance Mangia Six String Samurai was a feature length debut and he has hardly worked in the film industry since, while Jeffrey Falcon had only played bit parts in bad Chinese martial arts films thus far. Perhaps it was that the competition was too stiff in 1998 with blockbusters like Saving Private Ryan, The Truman Show, and Supercult classic Armageddon crowding more indie projects like Six-String Samurai out of the limelight. Or perhaps this wonderfully weird, surpisingly awesome film was, like Buddy Holly before it, simply ahead of its time. This is the kind frustratingly obscure film that inspires cult following so strong that there is more fan art for the film online than actual stills from the film!
With an IMDB score of 6.8, a solid 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a confirmed kill count of 118, Six-String Samurai proves that true cult classics will never truly die, especially if they have Guitar Hero style finger-picking duels!
Do you believe in Rock and Roll?
The Supercult show is proud to present Six-String Samurai!