HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Don't Breathe 2
Closing Time
Cryptozoo
Weathering with You
Rim of the World
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
   
 
Newest Articles
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Barbarosa Big Willie Style
Year: 1982
Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Willie Nelson, Gary Busey, Isela Vega, Gilbert Roland, Danny De La Paz, Alma Martínez, George Voskovec, Sharon Compton, Howland Chamberlain, Hary Caesar, Wolf Muser, Kai Wulff, Roberto Contreras, Luis Contreras, Itasco Wilson, Jake Busey
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Karl (Gary Busey) is on the run, making his way on horseback through the Texan wilderness after accidentally killing his brother-in-law in a fight. This has led his father-in-law (George Voskovec) to send his remaining sons to hunt Karl down, despite the farm boy's protestations, and now he is bathing his scratches after forcing a path through thorns. Suddenly he realises he is not alone, and looking around he sees a figure on horseback behind him: this is Barbarosa (Willie Nelson), also a man on the run, but he has been an outlaw since he was young and now he is middle-aged. Neither of them know it, but they will soon be firm friends...

The list of country and western stars who have tried to break into movies may not be enormously substantial, but when such artists do give acting a go, the results can be fairly interesting. Johnny Cash offered us the western A Gunfight, marking out the best way this kind of performer can find material to suit them, though Dolly Parton could easily have filled the role of a cowgirl and it's a shame she never did. Willie Nelson, however, only enjoyed one starring role of note, despite possibly being in more films than any country singer since Roy Rogers or Gene Autry, and that was Barbarosa.

It was far from a success in its day, which can be attributed to the fact that westerns were going way out of style in this period, but those who did see it were impressed. Another reason this did not catch on with the public could also have been that as a plot it comes across as exceedingly self-contained, so if you were not an aficionado of the genre then you might well find this hard to get into, and uninvolving in a way that more expansive works were not. However, if you were familiar with the touchstones - I hesitate to call them clichés - that William D. Wittliff drew upon for his script, then there was something satisfying about this.

Indeed, the film looks a lot like director Fred Schepisi had not so much been watching a lot of Sam Peckinpah movies for this tale of vendettas needlessly taking over people's lives, but a lot of spaghetti westerns instead, as that dusty, sweaty appearance could have come straight out of a European film in this style. Its look is one of its best aspects, with the sprawling Texan deserts and many Mexican faces among the cast lending an authenticity to what could have been an indulgent, Silverado type of mythmaking, and myth exploiting for that matter. That's not to say this does not have the feel of a legend, as after all the title character has become the talk of the folks who live in the area thanks to his apparent invincibility.

It grows close to a running joke that Barbarosa escapes death as many times as he does, with one memorable scene having him shot dead by a bandit keen to add a more famous notch on his belt than the usual nobodies he guns down for sport and spite. Karl is in the process of burying him when Barbarosa's eyes open and he announces that it's just a flesh wound, promptly climbs out of his premature grave and hides until night falls, then the bandit wakes up to find himself buried in the sand up to his neck - another tale to be told around the campfire by awed storytellers. But for all the amusement the filmmakers have with building up a legend, the seriousness of both Karl and Barbarosa's vendettas is not glossed over, and the ultimate tragedy of wasting your life getting your own back when you should have been enjoying your time is deeply felt. Not quite as good as it could have been, then, but Busey and Nelson make a fine double act. Music by Bruce Smeaton.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3523 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: