25 June 2004 | ma-cortes
Amusing and joyful Spanish comedy/Western , being well shot in Almeria
Alex De la Iglesia is an excellent Spanish director . He had much success such as "Accion Mutante" , " El Dia de la Bestia", "Perlita Durango" and ¨La Comunidad¨ , among others . Here deals with a homage to Spaghetti/Paella Western and other American Westerns shot in Spain . Julian Torralba/Sancho Gracia is an ex-movie stuntman living in Almeria . Julian and his colleagues once made a busy living in Spaghetti Westerns shot in Spain ; nowadays , they are reduced to do stunt-shows for small audiences on the decaying set built for those old Westerns . Here Sancho Gracia , who made several Westerns during the 60s and 70s , plays an old man who brings a village back to life , which the bad guys want to sell to speculators . Sancho Gracia , his friends and grandson must fight against the polices and baddies to obtain their purports . The final showdown between Sancho Gracia and Angel De Andrés López is overwhelming and exciting.
In the film there is comedy , tongue-in-cheek , humour , drama , noisy action , nudism , and results to be very entertaining . Filmmaker Alex De La Iglesia tries to pay tribute to Spaghetti Western , that's why he wished its main star , Clint Eastwood , to play himself as a cameo or special appearance , Alex even offered to move to Los Angeles to shot his part ; Clint , who was then working on the direction of ¨Blood work¨ (2002), was forced to turn down this sympathetic offer . Main cast is pretty good , such as Sancho Gracia , Carmen Maura and Angel Andrés López . Support cast is frankly enjoyable , including Alex De Iglesia's ordinary secondaries , such as : Manuel Tallafé , Eusebio Poncela , Enrique Martínez , Eduardo Gómez and the great Terele Pávez . Evocative production design shot on location in Desert of Tabernas , Almería , Andalucía , where during the sixties and early seventies lots of Spaghetti/Paella Westerns were filmed . Alex De La Iglesia's direction is rightly made , he called it as a ¨Western Marmitako¨ , it is a special food from Basque Country , where Alex was born . Besides , cinematography by Flavio Labiano is splendid and Roque Baños' musical score is breathtaking , though it imitates Ennio Morricone . Rating : 6.5/10 Good . Better than average . Well worth seeing .