Tag Archives: Weird westerns


Alien Outlaw bigALIEN OUTLAW (1985) – Starring Kari Anderson. Written and directed by Smoot … PHIL Smoot (Da dut da DAAA/ Da da-da). Phil was one Smoot operator and showed the imagination that low-budget filmmakers so often demonstrate but whose lack of financial resources prevents them from fully bringing that imagination to life.

Smoot got his start with the Dixie DeMille himself, Earl Owensby, often called “Roger Corman south of the Mason-Dixon Line.” And that wasn’t said as an insult. Like Corman, Owensby specialized in unpretentious B-movies that always made a profit due to budget-consciousness.

Before setting out on independent projects of his own, Phil Smoot worked in various capacities on Owensby’s North Carolina flicks like Challenge, The Brass Ring, Tales of the Third Dimension and many others.

Alien OutlawWith Alien Outlaw, Smoot showed the Owensby influence: North Carolina locations, meandering scenes that begged to be edited down and lots of annoying Southern-Fried humor that wouldn’t have made the cut on Hee Haw. On the plus side he also demonstrated a flair for fun B-movie premises that mixed genres.

Smoot’s other best-known work as writer-director was The Dark Power, a Toltec zombie horror film with Western elements (a work previously reviewed here at Balladeer’s Blog). Like The Dark Power, Alien Outlaw starred old, old, OLD Western actor Lash Larue, who was the middle man in the Whip-Wielding Action Star Trimurti, coming after Don Q: Son of Zorro and before Indiana Jones.

Alien Outlaw JesseAlien Outlaw mixed Western elements with science fiction in a way that made you root for the film, despite the way Phil Smoot defeated himself at every turn. The potential was here to craft a fun, slick, modest money-maker which played like a Western version of a Tom Baker-era episode of Doctor Who. And with a butt-kicking female lead.     

THE PREMISE: An alien spaceship lands in 1985 North Carolina and conceals itself by submerging in a body of water. That body of water is a stream the water level of which couldn’t even conceal a small car let alone a large space-craft.

THE POTENTIAL FIX: A lake or a make-believe cloaking device would have worked better.

THE STORY: A few aliens, wearing back-packs and masks to breathe our air, attack random people, take their guns and begin terrorizing the countryside. We are never told if their ship landed on Earth deliberately or made the best out of a crash landing. Nor are we told why aliens capable of interstellar flight have to confiscate primitive firearms. Continue reading



Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO


Welcome to Blood CityFrontierado is coming up on Friday, August 7th!

WELCOME TO BLOOD CITY (1977) Even for a Weird Western, this baby 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 of 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. Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO


Wynonna EarpBalladeer’s Blog’s Frontierado holiday is rapidly approaching! For newbies I’ll point out that that holiday is the 1st Friday of every August. I’m kicking off this year’s countdown to Frontierado with a look at a comic book heroine who should not be overlooked in this mad barrage of superhero films of the 21st Century. The fact that she falls into Weird Western territory is what makes her perfect for the Frontierado season. 

WYNONNA EARP – December of 1996 saw the comic book debut of Wynonna Earp, a descendant of Frontier Marshal Wyatt Earp. Wynonna worked in present-day law enforcement in the American southwest. What separates her from her more well known ancestor is the fact that Wynonna was a United States Marshal, Black Badge Division.

The Black Badge Division was a top-secret branch of Federal Marshals established by President Theodore Roosevelt to deal with paranormal menaces. That’s right, Wynonna Earp was as sexy as Barb Wire or Xena and fought werewolves, mummies, zombies, gremlins and all other manner of supernatural foes just like Kolchak or the X-Files crew. In her earlier adventures Marshal Earp was drawn as a drop-dead sex-bomb who often gouged out the eyes of her opponents with her impossibly high heels while in her final few escapades she was drawn as a more sensibly-dressed heroine.

Wynonna Earp was the Continue reading


Filed under FRONTIERADO, Pulp Heroes, Superheroes


As more foreplay for the upcoming Frontierado holiday (August 3rd) here’s a look at 3 weird westerns. For more bad movie reviews see my Bad Movie page.

BAD KIDS OF THE WEST (1967) – Even for a Spaghetti Western this movie is weird, weird, weird. A pair of outlaws on the run hide out in a town populated only by children who act like adult western townspeople. The little boys all try to act like the steely-eyed killers played by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Franco Nero, John Garko, etc. The little girls all act like slutty saloon whores, making you wonder if child molesters were this film’s target audience. The charming vibe of Continue reading


Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO


 Time for another look at a Weird Western in anticipation of the Frontierado holiday coming up on Friday, August 3rd. Once again, think of me as The Bronson Canyon Kid as I look at another weirdass western to get us all in the Frontierado mood. This flick restages the JFK assassination in the Wild West.  

THE PRICE OF POWER (1969) – When it comes to Spaghetti Westerns most people are only familiar with the mainstream examples like the Clint Eastwood vehicles or the monumental classic Once Upon A Time In The West. There were literally more than Continue reading


Filed under FRONTIERADO, Spaghetti Westerns


 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 Continue reading




With the Frontierado holiday coming up the first Friday in August I’ll be devoting more and more coverage to it. To learn more about this holiday click here: https://glitternight.com/2010/07/28/just-9-more-shopping-days-until-frontierado/

Some e-mailers have been asking why my Bad, The Weird And The Freaky posts haven’t covered bizarre westerns like Billy The Kid vs Dracula or Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter or The Terror of Tinytown. The only reason is because of how well-known those flicks are, since I prefer focusing on below-the- radar items. Once again, think of me as The Bronson Canyon Kid as I look at another weirdass western to get us all in the Frontierado mood.  

THE PRICE OF POWER (1969) – When it comes to Spaghetti Westerns most people are only familiar with the mainstream examples like the Clint Eastwood vehicles or the monumental classic Once Upon A Time In The West. There were literally more than 550 other Spaghetti Westerns made in the 60’s and 70’s since when the Italians do something they do it in a big, big way. Those hundreds of films vary in quality from pretty good to hilariously awful and the creative talents behind them often tried to outdo each other in terms of colorful heroes and oddball plots. My favorites include those movies where the Italians took more liberties with Western history than American filmmakers ever dreamed of. 

That brings us to The Price Of Power which was also released under the title Texas. The point of this film is … well, it’s hard to say really. Even after repeated viewings. It’s difficult to determine if the filmmakers were trying to make a statement about the alleged conspiracy behind the assassination of President John F Kennedy or about the civil rights movement, or about capitalism’s impact on the political process in a free society or what. Whatever they were trying to do the end result is like a history lesson taught by Ed Wood himself. Let’s compare the Continue reading