A curious blend of amateurish plotting and slick production values, Tom Laughlin’s The Master Gunfighter also presents an ambiguous moral attitude toward the old West. The oater, attractively lensed on northern California locations, alternates sermonizing with gunfights and sword fights.
The Laughlin character talks like a liberal but behaves like a reactionary, and therein lies the confusion. It’s a throwback to an earlier age of swashbuckling, but the blend with contemporary bleeding heart attitudes makes the film seem hypocritical.
Action fans will find a good quota of kicks if they can sit through the turgid passages.
Ron O’Neal is Laughlin’s chief antagonist, but doesn’t arouse much interest as a character. In the lead femme roles, GeoAnn Sosa is spunky and charming, but Barbara Carrera betrays her fashion model background with her blank beauty.
Laughlin’s wife Delores Taylor, gets exec producer credit, and their nine-year-old son Frank Laughlin is billed as director.