Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Charles Bronson hunts....The White Buffalo!
I guess the 1970's was a renaissance for Giant Animal and Predatory Animal movies. You had Jaws, Orca, King Kong, and this movie The White Buffalo starring Charles Bronson, Jack Warden, and Will Sampson as Crazy Horse.
The story is pretty good, Bronson plays Wild Bill Hickok. Hickok has been having dreams about a giant white buffalo that attacks him in a snow field. Every night, as it charges him, he tries to shoot it dead and every night he wakes up to find himself firing his guns into the ceiling. The dreams could be the result of his Opium addiction (which the film doesn't actually address) but more likely its a premonition, and so Bill takes it upon himself to hunt down and kill the REAL White Buffalo he believes is out there. On his journey he is joined by Crazy Horse and a mountain man named Charlie Zane, played by Jack Warden.
The films drawbacks are its low budget 1970s ness....and because of that, the effects are a little cheesy. The white buffalo itself, while not At The Earth's Core bad did look a bit puppet-y, some of the sets looked sound stagy, especially the final snowfield battle, and as much as I love Charles Bronson, he has never looked good in a mustache...sorry. Give me Harmonica anytime.....and the film just isn't very well directed. I COULD see this as a fun Saturday afternoon at the movies kind of film (the sort that you saw when you were a kid) if it wasn't kind of.....boring. Of course on repeated viewings boring films have been known to turn around to better films (great example Dick Tracy), so I would be interested enough to give it another chance.
After seeing the trailer I was hoping the film would surprise me, and in one way it really did, the score by John Berry is gorgeous and dark, the opening of the film with its almost Spielberg-ian/John Williams-ian/Raiders-ian feel made me promises it just couldn't keep later on.
Good Weird Western movies are truly hard to come by. In other media, there are weird western masterpieces, but for some reason movie always have a hard time of it. While certainly not the worst example of the genre Ive ever seen (That honor goes to Legend of the Phantom Rider) It isn't one of the best either...simply midway. Unfortunately this films earns:
3 out of 5 Giant Buffalo Tracks