Combustible Celluloid
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With: Christopher Walken, Margot Kidder, Geoffrey Lewis, Bo Brundin, Jorge Cervera Jr., A Martinez, Ivan Naranjo, Bert Santos
Written by: David Leeds, Richard Rothstein
Directed by: David Leeds
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 99
Date: 11/12/2013

Shoot the Sun Down (1978)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Gold Slush

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Shoot the Sun Down looks appealing for several reasons. It's a weird Western tale, demanding to be rescued from obscurity, and now presented on a high-def Blu-ray in a restored director's cut. It also stars two great actors, Christopher Walken and Margot Kidder, at the height of their powers. That same year, Walken would go on to win an Oscar for The Deer Hunter, and Kidder was seen throughout the world as Lois Lane in Superman. It also features some recognizable character actors, like Geoffrey Lewis (High Plains Drifter).

Aside from being a curiosity, though, Shoot the Sun Down isn't much. It lurches back and forth between odd and boring, with images out of Jodorowsky, but never seems to know where it's going or what it's up to. Walken plays a mysterious killer called Mr. Rainbow. Kidder is an unnamed "woman from England" (she does a comparable English accent). She's the official property of a "captain" (Bo Brundin). There's another guy called the "scalphunter" (Lewis) and some Indians (A Martinez plays one).

Apparently they're all after a huge stash of gold hidden by Montezuma in Mexico, and for some reason, they all seem to hang around together for most of the movie. Mr. Rainbow is clearly in love with the woman, and he tries his best to free her. Characters fight and shoot at each other. Characters are left for dead. It suddenly snows. I love Westerns and this one had me scratching my head. It was the first and last movie for director David Leeds.

Kino Lorber has released it on new DVD and Blu-ray editions for 2013. Quality is fine. The only extra is a ridiculous alternate title sequence and a trailer.

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