3-D! Itís Back! Itís Bigger!
And ItísÖ Cominí At Ya!


By the late 1970s, the spaghetti western genre (and westerns, in general) had seemed to run their course. Sure, there was MANNAJA in 1977, but it only seemed like a last gasp. So where were the oaters to go?

In 1980, Tony Anthony hit upon an idea that had yet to be done in the genre. 3-D! So, with the directorial effort of Ferdinado Baldi, they both fired the last bullet in their guns with the 1981 effort COMINí AT YA!

How does COMINí AT YA! stand with other oater greats like THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY and THE GREAT SILENCE (well, Iíll tell you up front that it has nothing on those)? So what does it have to offer?

The story, what there is of one, is your basic western plot. It meanders from Point A to Point B to Point C during its entire running time.

At the beginning, Hart (played by Tony Anthony) is shot down while at his wedding. The preacher is also killed, and Hartís wife is abducted by two Mexican bandits. These two fellers, named Polk and Pike, make it a routine vigil to kidnap young ladies and sell them into white slavery across the border.

Now, of course, Hart wasnít killed. Anthony does his best to resurrect the ghost of The Man With No Name, but falls pretty flat in that effort. Instead, he plods around on his horse, taking an old man as his friend, as he heads off to rescue his wife.

Said wife, now, is being kept prisoner with a bevy of other women. Theyíre stowed away in a bell-tower as they await their turn on the slavery bidding block. Itís here that we see how mean Pike is as he beats a woman down for calling him a ďfat pigĒ. Well, he isÖ but thatís another story.

The next day, Pike rides out to a rural farmhouse. It seems that he makes these journeys often so that he can rape the farmerís wife. Itís funny as he does so, because while heís waiting to have sex, he calls for his men to play music. Such a kinky afterthought is rather amusing.

But itís here where Hart comes into play. He kills Pikeís men and takes Pike hostage.

After this, the action veers to the slavery auction. As bidding is going on for his wife, Hart comes out with guns blazing. He tells Polk that he has his brother hostage, and that heís to let all the women go if he wants to see him alive, again. Polk does as heís ordered.

Hart tells his wife that heíll meet her in the morning, and that she, along with all the other women, are to go with the old man. Reluctantly, she agrees.

Now waiting for them to get far away, Hart, himself, is taken prisoner by Polk in a turn of events. He tells Polk that he will only tell him where his brother is in the morning. For this, he gets his hand burned with a hot poker. This really shouldnít surprise any fans of Tony Anthony. The man never made a movie where he didnít get beat up, at least, once.

Pike, covered in rats, is saved by his brother. And he hasnít forgotten the torture that Hart has put him through. So the two have a final fight in the outlawís hideout where Pike is killed by Hart.

Meanwhile, Polk discovers his dead brother. After this, the outlaws, led by Polk, ride out to overtake the wagon train full of escaping women. They take Hartís wife hostage, again, and ride off to a deserted town where they hole up.

Hart, riding to meet his wife, discovers the remains of the wagon train. In a rather eerie scene, we see that Polk has ordered all the women murdered. Theyíre all lain out in open graves as Hart helplessly looks on.

This all leads to the final showdown in the deserted town. Hart easily blows his way through Polkís remaining men before the two finally meet. Hart manages to win and crucifies Polk to a weather vane. Things then end in an explosive 3-D finale.

A funny thing here is that Hartís wife gets wounded. However, once the dust has settled, the wound is completely ignored. Of course, in a film like this, a minor goof of the sort can easily be overlooked.

Why?

Because weíre all here for the 3-D, thatís why!

And how do the 3-D effects stack up? Whoa! Itís some great stuff. We get everything from the opening credits to snakes to rats and bats and a bare babyís bottom (no, Iím not lying), that we get to see TWICE! in 3-D. Just about every scene in the entire film has at least one 3-D effect. Take the end when the gang is holed up in the ghost town. Here, we get everything from a scorpion to yo-yos to playing cards being thrown at us. Anthony and Baldi werenít holding back.

The best 3-D effect, however, has to be when an Indian is firing flaming arrows at Hart. I swear that I ducked once or twice. Yeah, itís that good.

We also have to remember that the success of this film helped usher in other 3-D films of the early 1980s. Without it, we might not have had AMITYVILLE 3-D, JAWS 3-D (both of which could be argued we didnít need, anyway) and FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3-D.

Sadly, the revival of the 3-D effort didnít last long, and by the mid-80s had completely vanished.

Have you noticed that Iíve taken up the tail-end of this review by focusing on the 3-D? Thatís because the film doesnít have anything else going for it. The plot is stale, Anthony and the rest of the cast come off as living 2x4s, and everything aside from the 3-D is forgettable.

Unfortunately, Iíve heard that some of the Rhino releases donít hold up too well in the 3-D department. I suppose its one heck of a crapshoot if you want to take the chance on picking it up. Thankfully, my print is very good.

COMINí AT YA! has got unintentional funny scenes, nude women, gunfights, and 3-D to boot!

Itís easily recommended to the drive-in connoisseur.

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