Real Bullets

  • 1990
  • Movie
  • R
  • Action

This dreary, abysmally acted, and poorly photographed action flick is little more than a vanity production. A troupe of professional stunt people (with higher aspirations) banded together to create this amateurish exercise in escapism, and it can only be hoped that they all kept their steady jobs. After several dull introductory scenes, we are finally...read more

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This dreary, abysmally acted, and poorly photographed action flick is little more than a vanity production. A troupe of professional stunt people (with higher aspirations) banded together to create this amateurish exercise in escapism, and it can only be hoped that they all kept their

steady jobs.

After several dull introductory scenes, we are finally able to sort out the many members of a stunt class taught by John Gazarian. An inseparable bunch, they even take their vacations together, and when they embark on one such holiday the plot complications begin. While the All-American stunt

folks ride the road to recreation, drug lord Martin Landau is masterminding a major drug deal near their vacation site at Vasquez Rocks. As Gazarian and Merritt Yohnka reminisce about tooling around in the local hills, they encounter a grizzled old-timer, Roy Hill, whom they used to know. He's

been laying low in some abandoned park property that's become the headquarters for Landau's drug operation. As the stuntmen and stuntwomen look for campsites, Landau's men are busy weeding out disloyal employees. At a local dive, the stuntpeople get into an altercation with some of the drug thugs,

and an interminable brawl breaks out. Back at the off-limits area where the stunt folks have chosen to camp, two of the more bimbolike stuntwomen are kidnaped by the nefarious pushers while visiting the ladies' room. When Landau is informed of the interlopers' presence, he pronounces a death

sentence by phone. However, the stunt crew takes the offensive. While one of the stunt people infiltrates the drug plant in pursuit of the missing women, Claudia Stenke leaves on horseback for help (though she is forced to dismount when the bad guys shoot at her). In the meantime, the other

stuntpeople set off diversionary explosions and put various guards out of commission as they sneak into the plant. Although Dianne Wolston dies, the stunt folks rescue the heavily drugged Damita Jo Fox and set off more explosions as they make their getaway. Hiding out in a dead-end canyon, they

await help that may be a long time in coming, since Stenke hasn't been able to elude her pursuers. The ingenious stuntpeople are able to survive the seige by Landau's lackeys until the drug lord calls in professional killers. Gazarian's friends begin dropping like flies, but Gazarian continues to

shoot deadly arrows at the villains, although the chief henchman (Jim Poslof) eludes his marksmanship. Reunited with her horse, Stenke finally manages to make it to the sheriff's office. But by the time the sheriff arrives at the canyon, it's too late for most of the stuntpeople. When sadistic

Poslof tries to knife Gazarian's girl friend, Darlene Landau, Gazarian finally manages to dispatch the creep with William Tell-like finesse. At the fade-out, only Gazarian, Darlene Landau, Stenke, and Yohnka are left alive.

The many featured performers of REAL BULLETS may be very capable stuntpeople but they exhibit only rudimentary acting skills here. Moreover, director Lance Lindsay allows the plot to unfold as if it were an unwelcome interruption of the stunts--and thus not worthy of his or our full attention.

Still, there's something endearingly inept about this attempt to make a movie; it's as if Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland had brought their "Let's put on a show!" approach to staging stunts. But while this collection of catchy stunts might make a terrific audition reel, it hardly adds up to

exciting entertainment. Padded-out footage, tedious cutaways to Martin Landau (whose part was too obviously filmed at another place and time, then clumsily inserted into the movie), cheesy photography, and awful editing add up to a miserable adventure flick.

Only Poslof, as the sadistic heavy, shows any flair for acting; the other performers more or less play themselves, and their personalities don't exactly leap off the screen. Had the filmmakers introduced fewer characters--instead of overcrowding the screen with half of the stuntpeople in

Hollywood--it might be easier to identify with the vacationing group's plight. On every level, this macho mayhem fizzles. REAL BULLETS shoots blanks, but it will make a fine video for the cast to play years from now when they're in the Stuntmen's Wing of the Motion Picture Retirement Home.

(Violence, profanity, drugs, sexual situations.)

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  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: R
  • Review: This dreary, abysmally acted, and poorly photographed action flick is little more than a vanity production. A troupe of professional stunt people (with higher aspirations) banded together to create this amateurish exercise in escapism, and it can only be h… (more)

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