Reviews: Six Bullets To Hell

We recently had a chance to check out the new Western, Six Bullets To Hell.

Filmed in the famous desert countryside of Almería Spain, Six Bullets To Hell is a dusty grindhouse flick that pays tribute to the glorious era of gunslingers and outlaws. The film wastes no time appealing to the audience, opening with a retro animated silhouette title sequence that bleeds right into the plot. 

Set in the late 1880’s, the film makes the most of its Spanish territory, which has been the setting for hundreds of films. Nearly every Western shot in the ‘60s was also filmed in the countryside of Almería, and directors/ co-writers Tanner Beard and Russell Quinn Cummings immediately chose the territory for the setting of their movie. What gives this new era Western a noticeable difference are the beautiful aerial shots. The new drone perspective is a visual enhancement that doesn't compromise the film’s authentic presentation. While a homage to the quirky nuances of grindhouse filmmaking, these shots are clean, and really gives viewers a look at the beauty of Almería. 

What did you just say to me? You don't like Westerns?

Crispian Belfrage shines as Billy Rogers, a man hell bent on revenge after a group of outlaws rape and murder his wife. It's a classic genre plot, full of grit, blood, and six shooter mayhem. You know exactly what you're getting with this film, it doesn't try to overdo it with complicated plot twists. It's straight up storytelling that reassures the “less is more” formula still works. It’s a fun watch that is enhanced with deliberate choppy editing, overdubbed dialogue, and over processed sound. Directors Beard and Cummings star in the film as well. It was a passion project they conceived in nearly every cinematic stage of film making. With a run time of 80 minutes, the film makes for an easy watch. There is little down time between action sequences and the film moves so well that even the wide panning eye candy shots of Almería’s countryside become a necessary scenic intermission that helps establish the timeline of the film. 

Yeah, that's what they said. 

The soundtrack mirrors the great Westerns of the past. Fast strumming Spanish guitars with whistle and chorus harmonies give those fast galloping outlaw scenes that fun menacing quality, while slow plucked chords add a suspenseful edge as gunslingers square off and stare each other down.

Six Bullets to Hell is an enjoyable watch. It manages to honor the heyday of spaghetti Westerns, yet still manages to establish it’s own identity. It’s a nice balance of old and new filmmaking techniques that each display their own level of sophistication, or lack thereof. Overall the film shines with the simplicity of good storytelling, and manages to present a “heard before” story with its own fresh perspective. 

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-Lee L. Lind