Álex de la Iglesia is largely known for his comedy thrillers and among them, “800 Balas” [Eng. Title: 800 Bullets] remains my favourite. The film is Iglesia’s ode to spaghetti westerns as much as to some unsung talents in the film industry – the stunt men who take that spectacular fall on behalf of the star, but rarely get any recognition.
Young Carlos learns from his grandma that about a grandfather called Julián living in Almeria, who along with Carlos’ father (dead after an accident) performed stunts for spaghetti westerns during its heyday. These days, Julián performs mock-stunts in the decrepit old sets in order to keep things going. Carlos wants to visit him, but his mother still hates the old man, blaming him for her husband’s death. During a school trip to a ski camp, he sneaks out of the bus and heads to Almeria, ski gear et al. Julián, surprised to see Carlos in his ranch, allows him to stay after telling him off for visiting without his mother’s knowledge. Carlos has a great time there, but when the angry mother discovers his whereabouts, she tries to shut the ranch down to build a theme park in its place. Julián finds he has a fight in his hands, this time for real, if he is to keep his job and way of life.
Right from the opening credits and music, to the cinematography, the film aptly pays tribute to spaghetti westerns. Aided by some playful editing and an interesting soundtrack, the it is also entertaining, and the witty dialogues and bevy of pretty actresses make the film truly enjoyable. Needless to say, Recommended Viewing..!
The Nudity: Yoima Valdés and others
A couple of scenes – Julián is rewarded free time with the girls ‘on the house’ with a newly arrived Cuban beauty Sandra, but he’s also tired after a long day, and begs a naked Sandra not to tell anyone that he went to sleep without having sex with her. Sandra, wearing nothing more than the sweetest of smiles is played by the pretty Yoima Valdés. In another scene, she gives some hands-on instructions about groping to a bemused and very lucky Carlos.