Frontierado is coming up very quickly! Bigger than Life Day, trendier than Festivus, Frontierado falls on Friday, August 3rd this year. Veteran readers of Balladeer’s Blog know all about the joys of the Frontierado season, but newbies will be treated to their first-ever countdown to one of the grandest holidays of them all!
Per tradition I’m starting the countdown with a look at some Weird Westerns and as the happy day draws nearer I’ll examine more serious elements of Frontierado lore. For readers who want to find out what they’ve been missing click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/07/28/just-9-more-shopping-days-until-frontierado/
BLACK NOON – (1971) – Roy Thinnes stars as an Old West preacher who runs afoul of a practicing coven of witches. These witches operate out of a western town called Melas (three guesses) and provide Thinnes and his wife sanctuary after their wagon breaks down on their way west. Everything seems okay at first, but gradually it becomes clear that the townspeople are involved in something sinister. Ray Milland, Henry Silva and Gloria Grahame offer their usual Menacing Creep performances, Yvette Mimieux, Lynn Loring and Leif Garrett are also in the cast of this telefilm as other townspeople/ witches.
The most intriguing aspect of the film is the way the witches get Thinnes to stay by appealing to his characters’ ego. They pretend they are all impressed with his ways of slinging the word of God and even let him think he’s performing “healings”. The Black Noon of the title refers to a noon eclipse, when the blackest of the witches’ black masses is performed. The film is just 74 minutes but that’s still far too long for a movie with so little story and with such an obvious punch line (the town’s name).