From one perspective, TAKE A HARD RIDE is not good. The story is dumb, the acting and script are uneven, the direction...wait, was there direction? Barely. Lee Van Cleef wasn't at his best, Jim Brown and Fred Williamson seemed out of place, and Jim Kelly...was a mute Karate Indian. You get the idea. I honestly should have hated it.
But I didn't! I love those guys! I really could have cared less what they were doing, or what they were saying, I just wanted to watch some of my personal favourite dudes shooting up stuff, punching people, saying crazy things, doing Karate, throwing knives, and blowing things up! It was a total blast from beginning to end, in spite of being terrible. It was something that could only have this kind of magic in Spaghetti land; the awful and absurd somehow become mythic and invigorating, without being looked at in a kitschy or ironic way. When it was over I had a fun movie experience, enjoying myself more than I have during many a better-made movie.
Part of the fun of it was the cameo-appearance quality of the whole thing; as if the actors were appearing in someone's else's movie, but the someone else never showed up! It sounds awful, right? But it's that casual, phone-it-in quality that seems to free the guys to let loose and have some fun. Where more serious actors may have let us down, our guys decided to throw a wild cowboy action party, and we are their guests!
If you like Lee Van Cleef, Jim Brown, Fred Williamson & Jim Kelly (not to mention Dana Andrews, Barry Sullivan & Harry Carey jr.), and want to see them running around acting badass and having fun, then I can't recommend TAKE A HARD RIDE enough.
If you don't, I think you should put down the dvd and walk away...for your own good.