Imagine the love child of Sergio Leone and Mel Brooks midwived by Almodóvar and you get 800 Bullets, a wickedly wacked-out western fantasy by the baddest bad boy of Spanish cinema, Álex de la Iglesia. Ten-year-old Carlos has run away from home to find his grandfather in the deserts of central Spain, the setting for all those glorious spaghetti westerns of the 1960’s. Grandpa Julian (Sancho Gracia) had been Eastwood’s stunt double and now stars in a run-down western tourist park populated by washed-up stock-character misfits who can’t give up the long-gone limelight. When Carlos’ uptight real-estate mogul mom (Carmen Maura) buys the land and sends in the riot police to clear them out, Julian and his gang stage one last all-out over-the-top shoot-out between good and evil. –TLA Releasing
Álex de la Iglesia was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1965. He is a philosophy graduate from the University of Deusto who ended up working in the comic book field at a young age. He had a brief stint in television before finding work as production designer on Pablo Berger’s Mamá. This little seen short film focuses on a family forced to live in a basement after a nuclear war and features a little boy who wears a Batman costume.
Enrique Urbizu came calling for his production designer services in 1991 for Todo por la pasta (Anything For Bread) a Basque crime thriller which was nominated for 4 Goya Awards, and won 1 (best supporting actress). A good film to get De La Iglesia noticed.
He then met José Guerricaechevarria and together they made the short film, Mirindas Asesinas (1991), in which a boring man, whose mind is gradually degenerating, is on the verge of becoming a psychotic killer. The two men became fast friends and have worked together ever… read more
800 Bullets is genuinely funny and touching. It could have been twenty minutes shorter to its benefit but I enjoyed it and was shedding a tear by the end. It is often too immersed in slapstick for its own good though! Great performance by Sancho Gracia as Julian the ex stuntman who just wants to keep the dream alive. 7/10