Actors: Tony Anthony, Gene Quintano, Victoria Abril, Ricardo Palacios, Lewis Gordon
Format: NTSC, 3D
Number of discs: 1
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Mvd Visual
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Run Time: 91 minutes
Nearly every blockbuster spectacle is now theatrically distributed with the option of 3D, to the point that it has just become another tool in storytelling. When 3D films first arrived in theaters, they served a less fluid function within the narrative, mostly because it was more gimmick than artistic tool in the 1950s. They were a novelty, utilized as a unique experience to get audiences back into theaters in the aftermath of television’s arrival. Comin’ at Ya! embraced this philosophy and revived the 3D trend for a second wave in the 1980s, though it took a recent advance in home entertainment technology for this unique historical experience to become available for audiences today.
I suppose a 2D version of the film and a healthy imagination would have worked, but this is a movie that was meant to be seen in 3D. The plot and basic logic is often secondary to the many visual gags made to be highlighted by the medium. The title itself doesn’t even reference the narrative, but instead the number of things coming out of the screen at the audience. This list includes snakes, rats, bats, spiders, guns, swords, spears, arrows, hands, a pinwheel, a yo-yo, gold coins, apple peels, a bowling ball, and a baby’s butt, among others. The irony is that these are the effects which look the worst in the Blu-ray 3D transfer. Somehow these illusions are blurry in a way that makes you feel cross-eyed, whereas the landscapes and inward 3D elements are fantastic.
The novelty of the format far outweighs the value of the story, though Comin’ at Ya! wisely borrows a generic spaghetti western narrative, complete with an emphasis on violent visual storytelling over dialogue. This begins with an opening sequence in which two ruthless brothers crash a wedding to snatch the bride. This sets up the stage for a typical rescue and revenge scenario for the wronged groom, H.H. Hart (Tony Anthony). And that is essentially all that Comin’ at Ya! entails, though I can’t say that the simplicity is exclusive to the 3D format, because this is about as much narrative as many westerns contain. The journey is much of the experience, providing long stretches of dialogue-free visuals. It is obvious that there is emphasis on the 3D to the point of visual vulgarity, but underneath these excesses (which include a number of unexplained explosions in the final climax) is a classic spaghetti western structure from a seasoned genre director (Ferdinando Baldi). If only the rest of the film weren’t so determined to shove objects into the frame, Comin’ at Ya! might even be decent in 2D.
Both a 2D and 3D version are available on this Blu-ray 3D disc. The special features only include a brief promotional featurette in 3D and the trailer in 2D.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 7.5/10