REVIEW: “Mean Guns”

Posted: August 8, 2011 by Zee in Review

There is very little introduction I can give to Mean Guns. Netflix recommended it to me due to my enjoyment of action movies, Christopher Lambert, and distilled llama shit.

Okay, maybe Netflix doesn’t have a “distilled llama shit” category, but once their transhuman cyborganic algorithmics figure out what I watch, they will. Oh, they will.

The movie starts off on a bang, and by “a bang”, I mean, “hold onto your hats, this is going to suck donkey balls.” The opening credit sequences do not tantalize us as much warn us.



Ah, Albert Pyun! For those who don’t know, Pyun is the director that has helmed such greats as Cyborg, Dollman, and Captain America. No, not the Captain America you’re thinking of. No, no, not even that other Captain America you’re thinking of.

Yes, that Captain America you’re thinking of.

We begin at a brand-new prison in downtown Los Angeles that will open in 12 hours…or 24. It’s somewhat vague. But we know that this prison is being taken very seriously!

You can't spell "quality" without "Pyun". Oh. Oh, wait, you totally can.


The plot, such as it is, can be described as such: the world’s most diverse crime syndicate gathers together what are supposedly 100 people who have in some way wronged them (although the actual number of actors hired is probably around 30, which will result in hilarity later on). They are given six hours to kill each other off. The last 3 remaining will win 10 million dollars to split amongst themselves (or as Ice T somewhat incorrectly states, “That’s 3.3 million between you”. I really want to see the sequel, in which the winners try to calculate cash into infinite decimals.)

It’s a bit The Most Dangerous Game, a bit Battle Royale, and 100% crap.

I have no idea what this is. I chose it to show that most of this movie seems to be located in the Antarctic. During a rave.

The 100*cough* traitors know what their crimes are, based on Monopoly cards they have been given by Ice T’s fanged guards (seriously).



It’s a good thing they know why they’re there, because due to the horrendous blocking, we never do. Not to say we never see their cards– but only when most of the card has been cut off the edge of the screen, or more often when the traitor has their thumb smack-dab in the middle of the card.

Of course an innocent is thrown into the mix in the form of Cam, an accountant for the Syndicate who is wanted dead because she…uh…well, there are some photos she has, but– um, they don’t actually seem to blackmail anybody and nobody notices they go missing for most of the movie and get run over multiple times in a parking lot.

Yes, that happens.

This movie’s a little vague.

Now I rarely comment on the appearances of various actors and actresses, but I’m just going to throw out that the lighting, camera, makeup, hair, wardrobe and sheer proximity to any part of the creative process of this movie resulted in making us root for one of the butt-ugliest heroines I have ever seen.

Left: A lovely woman. Right: DEAR GOD WHY.

As you can see, the actress that portrays Cam, Deborah Van Valkenburg, is a striking older woman, but watching her in this you’d swear the only thing she was struck with was the Ugly Stick. Repeatedly. Then, when the wardrobe departments’ arms got tired from relentless beating they hopped into their Ugly Zamboni and spun some doughnuts on her face before finally calling in the Ugly Predator Drone to drop a couple of Ugly AGM-144 Hellfire missiles to finish the job.

Okeh, back to…um, plot? This movie has one? Oh…okah. Um, let’s see…

A central plot point appears to be a rivalry between…uh, “guys that work for the Syndicate” (this movie is just a touch vague) the bewilderingly French Lou (Lambert) and the inexplicably British Marcus (Michael Halsey). For reasons that are left to the viewer’s imagination, these two hate each other and look for any excuse to finish each other off. (For clarity, my explanation dates to a blood fued between their families that began in 1397 during the Second Peace of the 100 Years War, when a failed uprising by Marcus’ Welsh kinsmen was met with a swift and brutal repression by the House of Valois, led by a distant relative of Lou’s.)

Marcus, aka, the Poor Man's Gabriel Byrne.

Lou, the poor man's...shit, IS there a poor man's Christopher Lambert?

I assure you, my explanation is much clearer than anything presented.

There is a colossally diverse (aka, ridiculous) cast of miscreants, from dreadlocked Rastas to Chicano gangbangers, to a Japanese hipster and a bunch of guys dressed in identical suits and fedoras. I halfway expected to see the Baseball Furies step out from behind a guard tower.



DOLEMITE. uncle, actually.

Now, when you have a cast of (supposedly) 100 people and a budget of roughly the same amount of dollars…mistakes…are bound to be made. And while Pyun generally does a good job of covering the inadequecies (mostly by covering everything in a blue filter so you can’t see shit), one glaring mistake comes in the form of Checkered Shirt Guy, a background player who manages to get shot at least 4 times. And I don’t mean in sequence– I mean he’s killed four separate times.


Just DIE! You AND your hat!

Ice T portrays Ice T, except he’s called “Vincent Moon” here. He is in control of the Game O’Death, but also wanted dead, and has opened this prison with his own money and power…despite the fact he’s wanted dead…and…um…

Did I mention this movie is a kinda vague?

As I said,  Ice T portrays himself, which is ridiculously hilarious. All Albert Pyun had to say was, “Okay, T, show up on set looking exactly how you normally look.” And he did for the most part aside from a lovely wardrobe faux-pas. The Obligitory  Annoying “Cute” Child (in this case Lou’s daughter Lucy– yeah, not a lot of imagination in that family) comments that Vincent has “a lot of silver” in his mouth. He proudly proclaims it’s…

"Yeah, so the aluminium is a little tingly at first, but you totally get used to it."

Um, anything but “a plastic grill I got from the 50cent vending machine outside Wal-Mart.”

Seriously. You’re casting fucking Ice T and you can’t get him a convincing gangsta grill? Ask him! Flava Flav coulda probably lent him at least some clock-drippings.

In the true spirit of a schlock movie reviewer, I will not reveal the ending (although you can probably guess it after the first 15 minutes). Now, would I recoomend this thing?

Surprisingly, yes. Totally.

Let me make it clear, this is not a good movie. In fact, it’s pretty terrible. But if what you’re looking for is an excuse to shut your brain off, give in to lunacy, and watch a shit-ton of people being shot to death…um, repeatedly, in some cases….you could do worse. Despite the fact the plot is special-ed simple, you can’t help but be entertained by a movie that can be summed up with “a bunch of people shoot each other, sometimes they crack wise.”

My friends, that is all I ask for.

Stay tuned for the second installment of the LamberThon, in which our confused Francophone hero battles monsters, heros, and low-budget interpretations of Steampunk in…Beowulf!

  1. Albert Pyun says:

    All I can say is…thanks for opening my artery!

    Albert Pyun
    Facebook / Albert Pyun Movies

    • V_L says:

      Good gracious, what an honor!
      We at Arterial Spray mock because we love (and also because we’re two bored chicks who watch too much television and fully realize how silly our favorite genre is…but mostly cos we love. Bow-chicka.) and I really did enjoy the Hell out of this movie.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Susana, AS Dictator for Life

  2. Dirk Nienaber says:

    Great blog guys,

    New short action film I shot on the Canon 5D & 60D, Check it out!

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