Sunday, July 9, 2023

7 Targets.

As Bent Myggen's "Whirly Bird" plays, 8 colorful & mischievous diesel-punks on motorcycles speed away in the wide open Texas road with relatively nowhere in particular to go. The gang of punks is lead by “Vikingo”, a man of medium stature, but with a rather large & intimidating demeanor. The punks rest up in a small town in Texas (the film shot entirely on location in Brownsville, TX) and it is there where they have to fight off a gang of annoying cholos trying to mess with them and they annoy the rest of the locals solely by their presence there. The locals aren’t too fond of having these punks in town and local Sheriff  “Al Ventura” (Mario Almada) personally tells Vikingo & his gang to stay out of trouble while in town or there will be big trouble for them. From then on the weary traveling punks are innocently having a few drinks at a bar in town & resting up a bit more. One of the punks ends up raping& accidentally killing a local girl in her home and it just happens that a deputy (a very questionable one) witnessed the rape & murder and he then proceeds to kill the punk with a gun belonging to the local pump jockey. 

Vikingo & his gang are pissed that one of their own was killed very unfairly and they are refused to getting their revenge on the pump jockey—whom was framed for the murder & in police custody. The small town is then taken under a siege by the 7 punks remaining. Vikingo wants justice served on his own right for the murder of his own, whereas Sheriff Ventura wants to settle things the legal way, thus pissing off some of the locals because they actually want to fight off the punks out of town. The situation is then worsened when Sheriff Ventura’s nephew Pedrito is carelessly killed by the punks. Sheriff Ventura & his brother Marcos then team up with some of the locals and vow to fight the punks out of town—even if it means to kill them all. 

Siete En La Mira (translated on Condor Video as "Seven Targets") is a definitive & epic Mexican Neo-Western of the 1980's. During this particular era of Mexican action films, the films were focusing more on drug trafficking in border towns while having some of the old west themes & settings. Siete En La Mira is all contemporary with all the ol' west themes. It twists up that formula of bandits taking over a small town & the lone lawman fighting them off. Rather than a bunch of crazies in cowboy hats riding horses, we are given some diesel-punks in colorful & crazy outfits riding in motorcycles. It was only appropriate to have diesel-punks in the film since that's what some folks were so intrigued by after watching the Mad Max films and its many copycats. The costume designers definitely did some of their homework correctly here by making them exactly like those diesel-punks from those kinds of movies. And like every good western, Siete En La Mira has plenty of gun-firing action, hand to hand combat & even some torture to excite & shock the audience. 

Siete En La Mira features an all-star cast consisting of older actors & young ones. The youngest in the cast consist of Eleazar Garcia Jr, Fernando Saenz, Diana Ferreti, Javier Garcia, Nina Kovars, Julio Lerma & Luis López. Then of course Jorge Reynoso stars as the punk leader “Vikingo”, and this just happens to be Jorge's first leading role ever & one of his most memorable roles. Then of course the most well-known actor of the film is Mario Almada. Mario by this time in his career was popular for his action film roles and anything coming out with him was a for sure hit in the box office. Mario here plays the usual lawman who tries to be fair with the antagonists, but his patience runs out & decides to fight back hard. Mario uses a variety of firearms here, but he also uses a whip. The use of the whip is a rather obvious nod to Mario's western films, in particular Todo Por Nada (1969)Mario's character in Todo Por Nada mostly used a whip as a weapon. And I must mention that this was the very same western film that popularized Mario and that won him a Diosa De Plata for best new actor. 

Mario’s brother Fernando Almada also stars in Siete En La Mira and he too was just as popular & well-known for his action film roles. Anything with Fernando (and/or with Mario) was going to be a for sure hit. Fernando not only offers action here, but he also offers a lot of the drama & emotions in Siete En La Mira. Fernando plays Marcos—a widow’d & retired policemen who wants to live a peaceful ranch life with his young son Perdrito. When Pedrito is murdered, we truly see & feel the sadness and anger from Marcos. Fernando pulls off the role of Marcos so perfectly.

Siete En La Mira is amazing in all aspects of acting & storytelling, but even some of the best movies ever made have their fair share of goofs & errors. Siete En La Mira has a visible boom mic moment and it's during one of the most dramatic scenes of the entire movie—the murder of Pedrito/the stand-off with Sheriff Ventura & Marcos and Vikingo. How this made the final cut is beyond me, but it's a funny little moment to see. All this emotion, anger & machisho... Then a boom mic appears. Surely that can be ignored, but it's there to see regardless.

When Siete En La Mira graced the big screens in the mid-1980’s (production year was 1984, released in 1985 in Mexico, 1986 in the USA), it was a smash hit with audiences on both sides of the border and various parts of Latin America. The Galindo family (the producers of the film) expected a success with this film (after turning out other great films through out the years), but not to the extend that it had actually gotten. It did much better than expected. The film also unexpectedly became a favorite for many people since the very day of its release, and while it’s obvious that many other Mexican action films similar to this one are long forgotten, misunderstood & ignored—Siete En La Mira remains remembered & favored. It also continues to be discovered by the younger generation and they too admire the film. Siete En La Mira is entertaining in all aspects and truly will excite you & keep you in suspense. the direction, the writing and general production (except that fucking boom mic) was all done superbly. This film will always be in people's memories and will become admirable for those whom barely discover it.