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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Spaghetti Western > Guns & Guts (VCI)

Guns & Guts (VCI)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: C+



The Spaghetti Western was on the decline by the mid-1970s, but everyone was trying to cash in.   The biggest problem is that most of the films decided to be broad comedies and all that did was lead to the overall demise of The Western genre in general.  Though it is not up to the Leone films, Rene Cardona, Jr.’s Guns & Guts (1974, aka Las Viboras cambian de piel) was one of the few in the cycle that was ambitious and tried to create a serious take on it.


The skilled gunslinger El Pistolero (Jorge Rivero) has decided that the best way to have a future free of risk and poverty is to finish one last big job while investing slowly in a group of hookers.  However, the “pimp daddy” route will not be that simple, with old enemies and so many people with greed and murder on their mind.  The job is to eliminate a sheriff (Quintin Bulnes) while hiding in a monastery, but the arrangement soon turns very unholy as backstabbing becomes epidemic.  Rogelio Guerra and Pedro Armendariz, Jr. also star.  The film is serious, but derivative, including the typical Professional Western ending Wild Bunch style… almost.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image was shot in real Panavision by cinematographer Jose Ortiz Ramos, shot with EastmanColor stocks and is very mixed.  Though a tad richer than Techniscope of Super 35mm, this transfer and the print have issues.  The print is in above average condition at best, while the film-to-tape results have detail and Video Red issues, along with some Video Black issues.  There are times you can see how good this must have looked in its original release, but this DVD is very mixed at best.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono fares just better by not being compressed, but you can tell it is an English dub all the way.  Extras include text bios of the cast and crew, plus trailers for this and a few other VCI DVDs of films directed by Cardoza.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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