1997 / Director. Albert Pyun. Movie #35
Continuing my Albert Pyun theme, the next feature is Mean Guns. Made on a measly budget of $2.5M, the film takes place inside a new prison facility the day before it's grand opening. An underworld figurehead played by Ice-T calls upon a group of associates to gather at the same time. These are all people who have crossed the syndicate he represents and with the prison in lockdown they are given weapons, ammunition and 6 hours to kill each other off until the best 3 are left standing. Conceptually its a familiar formula, but Albert Pyun has done a commendable task with his limited budget (of which most went towards the talent). Filmed on location in a real prison prior to it opening, the movie has a sleek, bleached type of aesthetic. Christopher Lambert's performance is somewhat comical and mysterious, which adds an intrigue, whereas Ice-T's performance is average... but his screen time is limited and so with some creative action sequences and snappy editing, Mean Guns is a worthy little shoot-em-up. It's biggest letdown, however, is the lack of blood. Being a brand new facility, it was impossible for them to contaminate the sanitised location, not to mention expensive and time consuming to pull off. Pyun has always had a flare for staging action and with even his lesser films, there is always a solid choreography of violence and action.... And so with all of it's restraints and adversities, it quite decent.