Alex de la Iglesia has become a cult director in his native Spain for his stylish genre parodies; with 800 Bullets (2002) it’s the western. Although set in contemporary times Iglesia allows us to look back to a time in Spanish filmmaking when spaghetti westerns where made in the Province of Almeria in an area known as Texas Hollywood.
The story centres on a young boy, Carlos, brought up by Laura his mother (Carmen Maura an actress best known for her roles in some of Pedro Almodovar’s best movies) and his grandmother. He discovers that his grandfather, Julián Torralba a former film stuntman, is still alive and entertaining an ever-dwindling tourist crowd on the old western film set located at Tabernas near Almeria in Southern Spain. Carlos, along with mother’s credit card and much against her wishes, finds his way to the old film set to meet his grandfather and hopefully find out what happened to his dead father. When Laura finds out she sets out to close down Texas Hollywood and destroy Julián along with his eccentric bunch of colleagues.
|Carmen Maura as Laura, Carlos mother|
I really appreciated this movie, mainly I suppose because I had visited the very place where it was made (see link above) and it was great fun picking out the locations. But saying that it was immensely entertaining, very amusing and portrays its straightforward narrative in a way you can’t help but enjoy and at times it looks and feels like a real western. If you can’t get to Almeria then this movie is the next best thing, I wonder if they need any extra’s next summer?
|You don't want to mess with this young lady?|