I seem to remember, back in the summer of 1983, I liked this film a whole lot more than I did last Saturday night. In hindsight, the reason seems pretty clear and it’s just two words: nude yoga. The film’s famous peeping tom scene was more than enough to recommend the film to a gang of recent high school grads and aspiring frat rats.
However, twenty-three years hence I tend to demand a lot more from movies, even brainless action flicks. Things like plot logic and characters with more dimension than tissue paper actually matter to me.
It’s interesting to think that 1969 saw two landmark westerns that covered much the same territory in vastly different ways. They were both set against the twilight of the old west and both dealt with train robbers for whom time had fatally passed them by. While Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a breezy, nostalgic comedy, The Wild Bunch is a mostly somber contemplation of violence and mortality.
Sam Peckinpah‘s signature film may have been shockingly violent for its day, but its actually fairly tame in that department compared to modern action movies like Die Hard. However, if the graphicness of the violence is not up to modern standards, the sheer body count of this picture, as well as the callous randomness of the death, is still capable of shocking.