FRONTIERADO: THE BAD, THE WEIRD AND THE FREAKY, PART 2

As we continue our countdown toward the festive Frontierado holiday (celebrated every year on the first Friday in August) I figured I would do another item about a very weird western. For the details on Frontierado click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/07/28/just-9-more-shopping-days-until-frontierado/  

This film is from 1977 and it’s called Welcome To Blood City and believe me, it is OUT THERE! The best way to describe it is like a cross between Westworld and the original Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner. The opening will likely remind people of the television series Lost with our heroes, led by Keir Dullea, finding themselves in a strange landscape dressed in prison garb with no recollection what circumstances led them to this plight. They eventually are rounded up and taken to Blood City, a town straight out of the Ollllllllld West. There’s a very strict caste system in our sanguine metropolis (just wanted to get pompous for a moment) and your only way of climbing the ladder is by killing, preferably with the six-guns and rifles that are always handy. Jack Palance is every bit as weird as always  playing  the less-than- ethical lawman of Blood City. The film starts out very nicely, sucking the viewer in and establishing a nice feeling of mystery. Unfortunately, the film spoils its own best quality by blowing the mystery VERY early on and letting the audience (but not the characters stuck in Blood City) in on the secret. The people stuck in Blood City are all experiencing a mass illusion induced by the corporate rulers of the near future. Their bodies are really strapped down while the images are projected into their minds to measure each one’s reactions to the madness and their adaptability to a violent environment. Our future corporate overlords run this game on a regular basis to find suitable warrior material for their real-world army which is engaged in a long-running war.    

That description makes this film sound much more interesting than it really is, since it’s actually kind of dull. Once the secret is blown the film stagnates as we watch Keir Dullea and company come to grips with the increasingly annoying laws and customs of Blood City. Even a “meta” bit with Corporate Techie Samantha Eggar inserting herself into the illusion goes nowhere and just leaves the film floundering. The mystery needed to be preserved for much longer to keep the audience guessing, or at least interested. Once we all know what’s really going on things are much less entertaining. The ending tries to provide a nice rebellious jolt by Keir Dullea but it’s really more of a hollow gesture accompanied by a hackneyed attempt to question the nature of reality. By all means watch this flick but keep something to drink handy.   

6 Comments

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6 responses to “FRONTIERADO: THE BAD, THE WEIRD AND THE FREAKY, PART 2

  1. Well, it does sound like it should be a riveting film. Sorry to hear you need liquor to get the full effect of the film but I like cheese. This sounds like super cheese or super cheese on acid.

    I don’t know why but it reminds me of “Life on Mars”, a tv series, the American version. I was really into the mystery but then they cancelled the series so they put together a lame-ass series ending finale to tie it all together and it just killed it for me. It was good until they revealed the mystery. It makes it more suspenseful when they keep you waiting but it better pay off or somebody might get hurt. Cheers!

    • I know what you mean about the mystery being most of the fun. I saw the original British version of Life On Mars a few years ago but I’ve never seen the U.S. version.

      But yeah, with booze and friends on hand you can have a lot of fun with this film.

  2. Woman

    LOL!!! YES!!!! That description you gave of the movie does indeed make it sound like it would be an amazing movie to gander!!!! Pity you need a drink to watch it. Thank-you!!!

  3. Thanks for stopping by! Good to hear from you! Enough alcohol with this movie can make Jack Palance seem like Yul Brynner! Keir Dullea is still Keir Dullea, though.

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