Blood and Sand (1989) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

You all probably know the general idea behind Blood and Sand. Ibáņez' book has been brought to the screen many times, most notably with Tyrone Power in the lead role as the bullfighter, and Rita Hayworth as his sexy aristocratic mistress.   

Here's the plot. A poor torero struggles to the top. Doņa Sol, a masochistic and free-living member of the idle rich, lures him away from his family, to a sybaritic life of booze, parties, fame and sex. His bullfighting suffers. He mistreats his associates and leaves his supportive wife. His career fades. Another poor young bullfighter comes along, and Doņa Sol turns her attentions to the newer, younger guy. The older guy's wife and former friends had deserted him when he became a faithless society boy, so he is left with nothing, able to reclaim his honor only with one last majestic fight. 


The bull wins. 


This 1989 version of the story has some minor positives: good-looking bullfighting action, good location shots in Spain, and Sharon Stone's breasts.  

On the negative side: they hired a bunch of Spanish-speaking guys, and forced them to act in English. (The director has never made another English language movie, before or since.) Then they added Chris Rydell as a bullfighter. You'll get the right idea about the performing in this film if I tell you that Sharon Stone is the deepest actor ...  by a great, great margin.  After assembling this all-star cast, they started filming. Then, sometime later, they decided that perhaps they should consider writing some dialogue as well. They ended up with a pure soap opera which offers no depth of characterization. Then they put the whole mess on a bare-bones DVD in a pan-&-scan full screen version in which the sides of heads and bodies are often off screen.

It's a mess. I guarantee you if you decided to make your own version of the Ibáņez story, writing your own script, directing your friends, and mastering your own DVD, you would do it better.

I gotta love the subject, however, because I'm also a bullfighter. Oh, wait a minute, my mistake. I'm actually a bullshitter.


Christopher Rydell shows his buns three times: once in a naked midnight bullfight, once in the shower, the other time in a sex scene.

Sharon Stone shows her breasts in a dark sex scene and once more in an outdoor sex scene. The first is basically silhouette, but the second time provides a clear look.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no features

Well, anyway, it's good to know that movie reviewing and matadoring have two major characteristics in common:

1) both involve vast amounts of bullshit

2) both require all participants to wear pink socks.  

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2/4

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 3.9, and even that is way too high. For some incomprehensible reason, 14% of the voters voted 10/10 (even through there are no 9s), a pretty clear case of ballot stuffing.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D or E, and could even be considered for the dreaded F except for some fairly competent bullfighting sequences. I think it is pretty evident that this film is full of bullshit, in more ways than one. Tuna says: There are great Spanish locations and bright costumes, but a very predictable plot, the exposure is either faceless, dark, or long shots, and the sex scenes are the sort that suggest rather than show passion. I can't go higher than C-.  I found myself thinking the best moments were when bulls were on the screen

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