Loaded Guns Blu-ray Review: Firing Blanks

By any conventional measure, Loaded Guns is a terrible movie. The wisp of a plot goes nowhere, the acting is atrocious, the locations are bland, and the score is just one repetitive carnivalesque theme. And yet, there’s one big draw: Ursula Andress.

Buy Loaded Guns Blu-ray

Ever since she emerged in her famous white bikini as the first Bond girl in Dr. No, Andress forged a cinematic career based on her sex appeal, which she utilizes to great effect in this otherwise charmless vehicle. Most of the film’s budget appears to have been spent on her outfit changes, with her wiggling in and out of fresh togs about every five minutes. 

Andress plays a stewardess who gets swept up in a criminal enterprise while on a layover in Naples. In between finding time to hit the sheets with any available suitor, she’s on the run from a gang war that boils over between two long-time factions. It’s never really clear what any character’s motivations are, but fans of breezy and slightly risque ‘70s Euro jaunts will enjoy the heavy focus on Andress.

Italian director Fernando Di Leo was known for his gritty explorations of mafia and political corruption in films such as Caliber 9 and Shoot First, Die Later, marking this film as an outlier in his oeuvre. One gets the distinct impression that he was checked out for much of this production, with so little attention to narrative structure that he just threw in the towel entirely with a final 15-minute pointless fight scene played for laughs across the rides at a carnival. That sequence is the only time the upbeat soundtrack makes thematic sense, with the scores of rival goons clowning around in their blowout brawl. Unfortunately, it’s also the only time the focus drifts from Andress.

The Blu-ray is presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 2.0 stereo sound. The video and soundtrack are mostly free of defects, but are no technical revelations due to the original low-budget source material. A film historian provides a commentary track, and an alternate English audio track is available for the subtitle-averse viewers. There’s also a brief bonus feature about Di Leo’s foray into this parody of his typical hard-boiled crime flicks.

If you’re looking for a gritty and insightful Di Leo film, steer clear of this trainwreck. The film is best suited for Andress completionists, or fans of ‘70s Euro trash.

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Steve Geise

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