Tag Archives: Weird westerns

THE TEXAS TWENTY-SEVEN FILM VAULT: BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA AND FRONTIER MARSHAL

Frontierado is coming up on Friday, August 2nd! Here’s a brief look at two films presented on The Texas 27 Film Vault that match the old west theme of this holiday season. Randy Clower and Richard Malmos were the hosts.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

A movie guaranteed to contain absolutely NO accurate information.

FRONTIER MARSHAL (1939)

Original Broadcast Date: Saturday October 25th, 1986 from 10:30pm to 1:00am.

Serial: An episode of Mysterious Doctor Satan was shown before the movie. This 1940 serial presented the title villain trying to take over the world with a big, goofy robot while being opposed by a masked superhero called Copperhead.  

Movie: Frontier Marshal is notorious as the LEAST historically accurate depiction of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Randolph Scott starred as Wyatt Earp with Cesar Romero as Doc Holliday. Nobody can pronounce Doc’s name right, plus he’s presented as a Medical Doctor instead of a dentist. Meanwhile Doc himself starts out the film drinking only milk. (?)

Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault

Randy (right) and Richard way down on Level 31 hosting The Texas 27 Film Vault

No Clantons or McClaurey’s are to be found anywhere, nor are Wyatt’s brothers. Doc is shown getting killed off BEFORE the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral even happens! To top it all off the famous gunfight takes place at night for no apparent reason and Wyatt’s only ally in the battle is a saloon girl who had a crush on Doc. Bad craziness all around in this little honey.   Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO, humor, Movie Hosts

GET MEAN (1975): MOVIE REVIEW

Just a few more days until the Frontierado Holiday this Friday, August 2nd.

Get MeanGET MEAN (1975)- One of the weirdest Spaghetti Westerns ever made and that’s saying something! Get Mean stars Tony Anthony and was also released under the title The Stranger Gets Mean, making it the final movie in Anthony’s series of Italo-Westerns as the enigmatic gunslinger known only as the Stranger.

Another alternate title the movie was released under was Beat A Dead Horse, reflecting the view of Anthony and his production company that Spaghetti Westerns really were beating that dead horse of a subgenre for everything they could squeeze out of it by this point. Emphasizing that point was the way Get Mean features its heroic gunfighter clashing with anachronistic Vikings, Moors and an evil hunchback who loves quoting Shakespeare (for obvious reasons).

The film starts out with Tony Anthony’s character being dragged into a ghost town in a box canyon by a horse he’s been tied to. We glimpse Tony through a small orb like the kind used by Gypsy fortune-tellers. Many viewers use that orb to support their argument that Anthony’s gunslinger will be magically traveling through time and that THAT’S why he battles out of date Vikings and Moors.

It still wouldn’t explain why they speak Spanish and/or English or any of the dozens of OTHER problems that would result from a time-travel explanation. My view is to just enjoy it as weirdness for weirdness’ sake. Think of it like Six-String Samurai but without the actual meaning behind that film’s metaphors. Continue reading

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO, Spaghetti Westerns

ALIEN OUTLAW (1985): MOVIE REVIEW

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

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO

WELCOME TO BLOOD CITY (1977)

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

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Filed under Bad and weird movies, FRONTIERADO

WYNONNA EARP: THE NEGLECTED HEROINE WHO DESERVES A MOVIE

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

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Filed under FRONTIERADO, Pulp Heroes, Superheroes

BAD MOVIE TRIPLE FEATURE

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

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BAD MOVIE: THE PRICE OF POWER (1969)

 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

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Filed under FRONTIERADO, Spaghetti Westerns