Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who's the "Sucker" Here?

I mentioned in earlier posts that I have been very interested in seeing the spaghetti western movie Duck You Sucker. I had seen A Fistful Of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good The Bad and The Ugly and really liked all of them. So when I found myself home alone for a few days I got a chance to see the lesser known Duck You Sucker I was really excited! I mean, it was the same director (Sergio Leone) as those other movies so it had to be good... right? Armed with Dr Pepper and Moon Pies (1:23) I settled in for the show.

It's about a Mexican Highwayman and his family of stagecoach robbers and how they join up with an ex-Irish Republican Army explosives expert to rob a big bank in a town taken over by the Mexican Army. Juan (Rod Steiger) is the patriarch of the band of robbers and wastes no time becoming unappealing to the audience. Sure, the movie tries to inject a reason for sympathy for Juan in a flashback scene but it pretty much falls flat. And it was kind of gross in a mastication close-up sort of way.

Before too long John (James Coburn) shows up on a motorcycle. Now as disappointing as a motorcycle is in a Western movie, it wasn't nearly as "meh" inspiring as the cool-guy act John puts on during his introduction to Juan and his "merry men". There is a point, albeit brief, that it seems the movie will start to take itself less seriously and become sort of a tongue-in-cheek Western/Comedy but that was just a tease. After it dipped it's toes in the humor pool it veered as far away from The Apple Dumpling Gang as a movie can go. Wait, that's not fair. The humor it flirted with was less The Apple Dumpling Gang than Rustler's Rhapsody but it did use a little of 1960's Disney animation overlay on live action. Confused? I was too.

John wasn't safe from the cheesecloth-intensive flashbacks either. This poor guy must have had people staring at him in confusion all the time as he often stared off into the distance, lost in an Irish memory of his Ireland days in the Irish IRA involving an unidentified Irish woman and an unidentified Irish man who don't say very much but are Irish. As if that wasn't irritating enough, those flashbacks are accompanied by a mysterious soundtrack with a female voice singing "shom-shom", or something. These flashbacks, by the way do nothing to distract from the fact that John's Irish accent comes and goes without warning.

The two heroes (anti-heroes?) finally get together and set up a plan to rob the bank of Juan's dreams but plot complications make short work of that idea. They become heroes of the Mexican Revolution! The problem is, the movie never really decides what it wants it's identity to be. Is it a buddy movie, an action movie, a comedy? If the decision was made, they didn't bother telling the audience. As I mentioned before Juan and John are aggressively unappealing as heroes and equally lousy as anti-heroes.

I could be wrong but it looks as though the end of the movie tries it's hand at a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid conclusion but it seemed strained at best. *SIGH* I really wanted to like this movie.


If it comes on the TV on a Sunday afternoon you don't have to change the channel but don't stop vacuuming the floor or whatever else you're doing because of it.

Trailer for Duck You Sucker

Trailer for A Fistful of Dollars

Trailer for For A Few Dollars More

Trailer for The Good The Bad and The Ugly

Trailer for The Apple Dumpling Gang

Clip from Rustler's Rhapsody

Trailer for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid