Six String Samurai (1998)

The Soviet Union invaded the U.S. back in the 1950s.

Only a small portion of the country remained free of Soviet rule. Under the leadership of the King – Elvis Presley – the survivors set up a new government in “Lost Vegas”.
Now, some forty years later, Elvis has died. Lost Vegas needs a new King – and every swordsman and guitar player out in the wastelands is on his way to claim the throne.

Six String Samurai (1998) has to be one of the most absurd films ever made – it offers us lethal bowlers, armed Mariachi players, mutants, a garbage monster, a Dirty Harry lookalike, the world’s slowest car chase, a creepy Ward Cleaver-ish family of cannibals, the Russian Army, and (of course) Death himself.

Jeffrey Falcon plays “Buddy”, a mysterious swordsman who looks and dresses like Buddy Holly. He is equally good with his 1957 six-string Hollowbody guitar or his Samurai sword – and he needs them both if he is going fight his way through this strange wasteland to become King. However, he can’t seem to get rid of the boy he rescued from the mutants, no matter how hard he tries – and Death plans to seize Elvis’ throne, unless Buddy can defeat him in the ultimate battle of the bands.

As crazy as it all sounds, writer/director Lance Mungia manages to hold it all together (mostly with duct tape, it looks) thanks in part to the harsh Death Valley scenery and the Russian-tinged Rockabilly Surf music of The Red Elvises. Don’t even try it unless you’re willing to sit back and accept anything that he throws at you.

 

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