Please help me. Please can somebody out there help me because I don't know who I am or what I'm supposed to be doing here?
One minute I'm housed in a cage manned by a group of Southern rebels. The next minute I'm free and being nursed back to health by a kind peasant family. And now -- now -- I vaguely recollect a war between two opposing factions.
Wait a minute! Yes. That's it! A war! Finally I can f*cking remember who I am and what I'm supposed to be doing in this small Mexican province.
My name is Shango (Anthony Steffen) you see, and I'm a Texas Ranger who was recently captured by a gang of unscrupulous confederate rebel's. And now my task is to spread the word that the war has been over for six long weeks, despite having to kill a lot of people to do so.
Now I'm sure this won't be a very easy mission for me to carry out. Although I suspect that is why what next transpires begins when I'm forced to play a game of cat and mouse against my enemies. As a battle is set in motion - a run of killings doesn't denote devotion - the outlaws and the rebels seal a pact - and at the end of the day, a victory celebration turns bitter like lemon extract.
[ SORRY FOR THE BAD QUALITY TRAILER ]
To be completely honest with you, dear reader, I'm not a hundred percent certain if I liked watching 'Shango' or not. On the one hand this spaghetti western had a really great theme tune plus some spectacular looking visuals. Whilst on the other hand the story-line was a bit maudlin in places, where as its cast of characters were rather pedestrian to say the least.
Well, from my point of view it did begin with a very strained introductory sequence, where the main hero -- as played by Anthony (I want to be Clint Eastwood) Steffen -- was shoveled around from pillar to post, without him -- or us -- really knowing what the hell was going on. And then, when the main plot-line finally kicked in thirty minutes later, we're presented with a number of tonally bio-polar scenes, either depicting the good guys killing the bad guys, or visa-versa, thus giving the conceptual narrative a somewhat samey feel.
Furthermore, something else about this film I wasn't too keen on was how Anthony's gun never ran out of ammunition. Honestly, folks. If you ever get the chance to see it, you'll notice nigh on straight away he shoots a lot of bullets without the bloody thing running out once. Also, I would have liked it if there were few moments of light relief scattered throughout this sober story-line, just to break up its dowdy yet repetitive nature.
Now on the reverse side of my negativity, there were a couple of aspects about 'Shango' I thought were rather enjoyable all in all. Like the melodic and scene enhancing theme tune I mentioned previously for instance. Plus there were a few avant-garde looking scenes that did give it a very unique twist. Especially that part where the women living in the village were buried up to their necks by the rebels, as well as those action scenes where Anthony played a strange game of hide and seek with his enemies.
Overall I'd say 'Shango' was a rather bi-polar film to sit down and watch. The music and the visuals were the best parts of it. Whereas its story-line and straight laced acting just wasn't my own cup of tea.
Still. Never mind, eh? You can't win then all. Not everyone has a gun which never runs out of bullets. Ha! Nuff said.
THE RATING: B-