September 28, 1981 12:00 PM

The first three-dimensional feature film, 1952’s Bwana Devil, featured Robert Stack and promised “a lion in your lap.” The technology may have changed—practical 3-D systems for television are now being developed—but the end product hasn’t, if this new Spanish Western is any indication. While the illusion of depth is still strong, so is the eyestrain caused by wearing polarized glasses that reconcile the out-of-sync onscreen images. The 3-D effects are the same, too. Among the items that seem to come flying, spurting, poking, running, falling, rolling and spinning out at the audience are beans, corn, blood, knives, spears, rocks, arrows, fingers, coins, flames, horses, boots, clubs, bats, rats, men, women, a snake and a yo-yo. When a naked baby is lowered at you, bottom first, you fear the worst. In the superfluous plot, Tony Anthony, a laconic West Virginian who made spaghetti Westerns in the 1960s, stalks two villains who have abducted his wife; violence and sadism are rampant. Some 1950s 3-D epics work even without the effects—House of Wax, for instance, is a decent late-show B movie. This one ought to be unceremoniously flung off the screen. (R)

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