Jesse James. Billy the Kid. Calamity Jane – the Old West has a rich and iconic history that immediately conjures up the names of the cowboys and outlaws who roamed the plains of the American Frontier in the late nineteenth century. Join us as we look down the barrel of the gun at six of Hollywood’s best movies about the gunslingers of the Ol’ Wild West!
In Vincent D’Onofrio’s The Kid, a young boy, Rio, is forced to go on the run across the American Southwest in a desperate attempt to save himself and his sister from his villainous uncle. Along the way he encounters infamous outlaw Billy the Kid who’s on the run from Sheriff Pat Garrett. Finding himself increasingly entwined in the lives of these two legendary figures, Rio witnesses their cat-and-mouse game play out, during the final year of Billy the Kid’s life.
“An Outlaw. A Lawmen. A Boy Caught In The Crossfire.”
The word ‘Epic’ has recently been devalued and just used to mean something that is striking or enjoyable, but the correct meaning of the word indicated narratives in the ‘Epic’ mould – those which surpass the ordinary in scale and reach heroic proportions – this applies to films too. I’m taking a look at some of the truly Epic movies from the early 1980s that showed extraordinary ambition in their story and spectacle.
“Forged by a god. Foretold by a wizard. Found by a king.”
Slasher Pack XI: Tarantino Vol. 2 includes four Japanese inspired exploitation tees from Inglorious Basterds, The Hateful Eight, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2; available for pre-order now!
“This is what you get for fucking around with Yakuzas!”
Belgian filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani trade in the crushed velvet and creeping shadows of their giallo-worshiping first two films for blistering sun, creaking leather and raining bullets in this glorious homage to 1970s Italian crime films.
Based on a classic pulp novel written by Jean-Patrick Manchette and Jean-Pierre Bastid; and featuring music by Ennio Morricone, Let the Corpses Tan is a deliriously stylish, cinematic fever dream that will slamfire your senses like buckshot to the brain.
“Now, we have to kill ’em all!”
Indicator heads west to round up five exemplary films by master director Budd Boetticher; starring screen icon Randolph Scott. Dedicated to one of the most celebrated film pairings in American cinema, Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher & Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960 is a lovingly produced limited edition box set which brings together five seminal westerns on Blu-ray for the very first time.
“She was worth $5000 ALIVE…OR DEAD!”
It may be International Women’s Day, but there are numerous female filmmakers, writers, actresses and artists that are making history every single day.
“The light that’s leaving that star right now will take a billion years to get down here. You want to know why you’ve never met a girl like me before? Because I’ll still be here when the light from that star gets down here to Earth in a billion years.”
Sam Peckinpah achieved prominence as a director and writer by showing us the savagery and the effect violence had upon human beings. The Wild Bunch, a revisionist, neo-western epic. The movie shocked critics and audiences alike with an opera of bodies torn apart by various weapons and the wholesale killing of women and children. The Wild Bunch thus became the essence of a Peckinpah film, one against all his other movies were judged.
“Why is his head worth one million dollars and the lives of 21 people?”
The Western is the most American film genre of them all, encompassing a variety of themes and time periods. The 1970s were a fertile period for films that questioned traditional beliefs about our country’s march towards the Pacific, the interests of big business versus individual rights, its treatment of the indigenous peoples and notions of heroism.
Ulzana’s Raid can be viewed as a horror movie that takes place in the West or a Western with all the trappings of a horror film.
“One man alone understood the savagery of the early American west from both sides.”
It’s fair to say that Straight to Hell isn’t widely considered to be one of director Alex Cox’s best films. Some people may even consider it to be his worst.
However, whilst its creation, cast, setting and gonzo punk style, make it an undeniable curiosity, it is its adaptation and reclamation of popular genre style, that may make Straight to Hell Cox’s most notably cine-literate film. For the uninitiated: Cox was the punk filmmaker who made it big early on, blew it nearly as quickly, and has steadfastly done his own thing ever since.
“A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.”
“Larger than Life!”
Wow, if there ever was a less promising tagline for a zombie Twistern, I can’t recall it. Hopefully, whoever came up with it will work on expanding their creative writing skills. BTW, I know that’s a reference to a Backstreet Boys song, but still. How do I know? Well, I didn’t; I looked it up and I’m choosing to take the word of the Interwebz. It’s right 100% of the time, isn’t it?
“Everybody’s gotta die someday…”
Cinema’s fascination with fusing the horror and western genres has proven to be as resilient as it has bewildering. It’s not uncommon to see the wild west go weird on the big screen. 1959’s The Living Coffin hails from Mexico, and in addition to presenting the world of tumbleweeds and bucking broncs with a supernatural bent, it goes one step further by incorporating aspects of its own cultural horror heritage.
“Fear is killing you all.” PRESS PLAY ►