6 GUNS is a new, straight-to-DVD Western from The Asylum, a production company that doesn’t have the best reputation. (I’m just going by what I’ve read; this is the first film from them that I’ve seen.) So my expectations were fairly low, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this is a pretty good little film.
It has a simple revenge plot: a gang of outlaws goes after a former lawman who killed the gang leader’s father. They kill the man and his two sons, then rape his wife and leave her for dead. But she survives and enlists the help of a famous bounty hunter to help her get revenge on the outlaws. She doesn’t just want the bounty hunter to go after them, though. She wants him to teach her how to be a gunfighter so she can help kill them. There’s some definite HANNIE CAULDER influence there, I think.
Things play out about like you’d expect, although there are a few twists that sort of stretch credibility almost to the breaking point. The action scenes are well-staged and not too gory, and the production values are pretty good. Barry Van Dyke is not somebody I would have picked to play a rugged, tight-lipped Western hero in the Clint Eastwood mode, but he does a fine job as the bounty hunter.
You’d think that Westerns would be more attractive to movie producers than they are. There aren’t many types of movie that can be made more cheaply these days: few, if any, special effects, typically a small cast, and not many sets (there are only a handful in 6 GUNS). I guess that’s why most Westerns that get made are low-budget efforts like this one. Fortunately, you can make a good Western on a low budget, and 6 GUNS falls into that category. It’s not a great film, but it’s worth worthing.