Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Light week this week, other obligations have kept me from spending too much time online, but I wanted to post at least 1 (maybe 2) more things before the week is through. The other will be on Friday, which will be a fun twist on High Noon.

But for now.....Gunfight, by The Mighty Underdogs, is the weird (truly) story of two bad men who used to be friends, now meeting in the town square to settle a grudge. You see one man went to prison for the other and is non too happy about it....only blood can settle this.

This flash animated music video by Ben Stokes was done in a watery, surreal tone. Characters flow and wiggle even when they aren't doing anything but standing around....limbs bend in the wrong direction, and the camera never stops moving; pictures from old photographs, and pulp novels give the characters their faces and bodies and the whole thing is set to a hip/hop beat to create a VERY weird, and yet very fun, ride.

See for yourself, pard:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cowboys vs. Aliens?!!............yawn.........

This is supposed to be a movie. Robert Downey Jr. has signed on to star and this is supposed to eventually be turned into a movie. So I thought, Cowboys and Aliens that sounds REALLY fun! They certainly thought it was good enough to make a movie out of it...So I bought it.....

I read this on a plane going over to Japan, in about 20 minutes (Its a fast read, and I'm a slow reader)

I hate to say it, but it sucked....

Imagine that really cool sounding movie from the 1980s that you watch thinking it is going to be fun, and turns out to to be boring and formulaic, (Strange Days comes to mind for me, "you mean the friend did it? Ooooo big surprise!") That's Cowboys and Aliens.

It reads like it was already made to be a movie, they already had figured out where the first and second plot points went, and what the final battle was going to be....but they forgot to tell an intriguing or even an original and interesting story. Everything just kind of happens the way you expect it too, and then its over. This is sort of the Valley of Gwangi with aliens, without the great Harrihausen stop motion and without an ounce of fun.

The story in a nutshell:

In the Old West, settlers and Native Americans wage a bloody battle for control of the land. But when the Earth is threatened by conquerors from the stars, these sworn enemies must work together to save all humanity.

I wont spoil it for you but, not surprisingly, the Cowboys win......(Sorry I just lied about not spoiling it)

The artwork was another point of annoyance. I don't know what it is about comic books artists, but when you see a professional draw a page it looks good, REALLY good. When you see someone who WANTS to be professional (but doesn't have the chops yet) everything looks sloppy and LOOKS like a wannabe comic artist drew it.....that's what this book looks like. Boring story, bad artwork, 2 strikes against it...the only thing saving it is the idea which would have potential in the right hands.

Hopefully the movie will take the idea and turn it into something fun, but until then I have to give this:

1 out of 5 Alien Laser Six Shooters

Friday, April 24, 2009

...Its Only a Trick of the Light...

The Haunted Mansion goes Weird West at Disneyland Paris.

Based on the uber-popular Haunted Mansion attraction at the Stateside (and Tokyo) Disney parks, Phantom Manor takes the the dark ride attraction and pluses it into a great Old West ghost story. While at the same time it tries to inject a plot that isn't there in the other parks......with limited results.

The Bride, while a staple of the attic scenes in the HMs, is in the forefront here, as the sympathetic heroine trying to escape, and save us, from the evil Phantom.

Originally, Vincent Price narrated as the Phantom, this attractions "Ghost Host", acting as our tour guide into the dank, dark halls of the crumbling long abandoned mansion. However, Price's English narration was replaced fairly soon after the attraction opened with actor GĂ©rard Chevalier's more region friendly French narration.

The music by John Debney is gorgeous. Debney took the Haunted Mansion music, and expanded it into full lush orchestral score that really turns this almost into a tragic operetta, including scenes of the Bride (and other characters) accompanying the music with juxtaposed singing.

The layout of the ride is the same as Disneyland's, with a tour around the most haunted parts of the manor...however the one place it deviates is the Graveyard...and instead takes guests into Phantom Canyon, a literal "Ghost Town" inhabited by the spirits of residents who died in a devastating earthquake that destroyed the whole town....of course, like always, singing and merriment are present.

Here is a really well edited ride thru I found, Enjoy!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Super Awesome Kung Fu Cowboy!

While not a Weird West band like Ghoultown, Muse did do a GREAT Weird West video called Knights of Cydonia that is equal parts Awesome and hilarious!

Taking place in a post-apocalyptic Old West, the video's main character...a kung fu Cowboy, goes around being awesome, until he is beat down by the awesome-r villain, and has to rebuild himself for the final confrontation...all in bad (meaning: great) Spaghetti Western style. If you haven't seen this, and you love cheese, it won't disappoint!

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

Friday, April 17, 2009

"A story that will stick to ya, like an eyeball to a cactus needle"...

I remember Grim Prairie Tales back in the early 90s. It wasn't very scary, but it was a lot of fun.....I've just re-bought it, and a review is forthcoming, but until then, here is the trailer for a sample of whats to come:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Sheriff Moses Stone has a good life in Bollas Raton: a good job, a loving wife, and a reputation that helps him keep the peace. Once a legendary bounty hunter, "Holy" Moses doesn't chase bad men across the wilderness anymore. At least, not until the outlaw El Diablo pays a harrowing visit to his town.

In the aftermath, the sheriff and his posse track down the shadowy fugitive through the high desert to Halo, New Mexico. But even a $10, 000 reward can't explain Moses Stone's zeal to bring down the particular lawbreaker. Something more has drawn him to the little town of Halo - a secret that wont die, no matter how much blood is spilled."
Written by Brian Azzarello and art by Danijel Zezelj, and loosely based on the DC Comics Western character El Diablo is REALLY good. I'm always up for a good comic book Western (Heck I'm always up for ANY kind of Western) and this one delivered. Sort of a Spaghetti Western/Weird Western hybrid, El Diablo is one of those series that starts off fairly light, and then gets dark really quickly and doesn't let up.

It has clever twists and turns that will keep you thinking until the final page, as Moses Stones' actions throughout the series catch up to him in the end.

Danijel Zezelj's thick lined artwork sometimes channels the decayed over xeroxed look of Spaghetti Western artwork, yet never becomes lost in a bog of muddiness. I'm a little biased though, being a fan of Zezelj's artwork...especially Congo Bill, Loveless, and various short stories. Its definitely edgier then your normal mainstream work.

If you get a chance you should ride out and pick up a copy.

4 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

You mean the Mild Mild West...

I was so excited for this movie before it came out. As I started seeing more and more of the concept art and Photos from it, I can't tell you how excited I was getting for it. An Old West James Bond with giant Steampunk machines was the perfect way to update Wild Wild West as a movie.......Until I saw it....

Now to be fair, I do own this film, its one of my guilty pleasures (plus I just collect fun Weird Westerns because there are so few worth collecting)....but I'm under no illusions that its actually a good movie. Its really more like a beautiful brass knob, shiny and pretty on the outside, but totally hollow on the inside. Most of the complaints I had for it since I first saw it I've decided were silly.....Like I was upset that they didn't use the theme, not even a part, in the main credits but Ive since grown to love the music they DID use. Here is the theme and credits music for the film:

Pretty cool, huh? It does a great job of channeling the 1800s AND the 1960s. Of course I was watching this thinking, "here comes the theme!" and it never maybe I started off on the wrong foot from the beginning. But what really floored me, and this I STILL feel strongly about, is the humor. Most of it falls REALLY flat. "That's a.......Man's.........Head..." was sort of funny until they pushed it to a 4th time....which was intentional (according to Barry Sonnenfeld's feature commentary) but really doesn't work.

That isn't to say that there is a LOT that is good about it however....The design! The machines! The Steampunk Gadgets! The Set Designs! The Costumes! and even the characters. Jim West and Artemus Gordon are great characters. Arliss Loveless is a really good villain....He'd be a GREAT villain if racism wasn't such a big part of his character.

This is the movie that you use to explain Steampunk to people who don't know what it is, but not much else.

I can only give it 2 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ghoultown! Heeeeeyah!

If anyone does something that could be called "Weird West Music", its the Gothic, Horror Rock, Country Western band Ghoultown. They are sort of the equivalent of the Ghastly Ones, or Satan's Pilgrims but with a decidedly Spaghetti Western flavor.

Their songs have a heavy horror, supernatural edge and tend to be about dead gunfighters, Werewolves (On Wheels), Zombies, and most other things that make us Weird Westerners squeal like little girls with delight.

I will say this, I don't think that they are a perfect band, I like MOST of their stuff, but sometimes a song will come on that I don't find very interesting, or a lyric will be sung that just clunks right to the ground....sounding ever awkward on the way down. Then they will Surprise me with a VERY Spaghetti Western sounding song like To The Gallows or the infinitely catchy Bury Them Deep and the disappoint I had for what might have been is lifted to their potential.

But don't take my word for it have a listen and decide for yourself:

Blood Red Earth, Prequel to The Burrowers

In my last post, I wrote about the Burrowers, which is coming out in a few weeks on DVD...what I didn't mention was that they have made an 18 minute prequel called Blood Red Earth, it takes place about 70 years before the The Burrowers (I guess the creatures return every 70 years.)

I have to say that really enjoyed it, It certainly wasn't what I was expecting. If you watch it, do expect any jump from your seat "RAWR-There's-the-Monster!" moments...there aren't any. This is slow almost psychological, but it isn't boring. You never see the monsters, but you feel them, and they effect the characters onscreen.

You can find here at

Buried Aliiiiiiive.........

The Burrowers is a new movie coming out at the end of the month on DVD. It looks like it could be fun, but Ive read that its pretty bleak. From what Ive read The Burrowers are creatures that take victims and bury them in the ground....alive, (maybe to feed on?), but if those people (or animals) are removed, or saved by thoughtful humans, The Burrowers come after them to replace what has been taken........As soon as I see this I'll give ya'all a review! 'Til then, here's a quick taste:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Werewolves (and a whole lot more!) in the Old West

If you haven't been reading the web comic High Moon you need too, and SOON! Its great! With writing by David Gallaher and art by Steve Ellis, the official press release explains the series like this:

A grumbly, bounty-hunter, Matthew Macgregor, investigates a series of strange happenings in the dusty Texas town of Blest - where drought has brought famine and hardship to most of the town and surrounding ranches. Unfortunately, that's the least of the town's worries! While the summer heat pushes the mercury toward further unbearable degrees during the day, the nights are haunted by strange, unnatural creatures roaming the darkness. While Macgregor, a former Pinkerton agent, seeks to uncover the towns dark secrets, he tries desperately to keep his own hidden - secrets of a past steeped in witchcraft and the supernatural. When the sun sets it'll be a showdown at High Moon.

As the series progresses, MacGregor and the man he's chasing, Eddie Conroy, prove to be more than they seem. And by the end of the series, more than one man will take the name MacGregor. The entire series is available to view on the Zuda Comics site...and is definitely worth a sit down. It infuses Steampunk, Horror, Mystery, Intrigue, and colorful eccentric characters into a wonderful, exciting, delightful Weird Western stew!

Volume 3 just started, a perfect time to Jump on!

5 out of 5 Silver Bullets!

Bad Luck Gun...

Dead Man's Gun was a Weird West anthology series that aired on Showtime between 1997 and 1999. Kind of a Tales from the Crypt in the Old West. The premise is an interesting one....A cursed pistol is lost by its owner (A man known only as Mr. Smith) and found by various people through out the series. Each episode tells the story of the person who finds the gun and how it winds up destroying their life in the end.

I never saw the show, and it hasn't been released on DVD yet, but there are websites dedicated to selling ripped copies of the entire series (some for as low as 20 bucks....and others as high as 90! Yowza!) In a few weeks I am planning on getting my hands on one of these (cheaper) sets....and when I do, Ill post a review. Until then, check out the only 2 clips Ive been able to find on Youtube:

1. In this first clip, a shady Hypnotist gets all unethical:

2. The Shady Hypnotist gets his comeuppance when he crosses the lady who carries...The Dead Man's Gun...(Warning, this one is a little creepy...)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A whole lotta dead guys for Wesley Snipes to kill....and RE-kill!

GallowWalker, Wesley Snipes' new Weird Western has been in production for a while now, and is supposed to be coming out later this year....When? No one knows for sure....but it looks both awesome and silly, but mostly awesome, and will hopeful be a lot of fun! Here is a taste!

Would you like a little Zombie with your Western?

Yes Please!

Graveslinger is fun, Not perfect, but a good read none the less, and definitely worth a look.

The story is this, Frank Timmons was the undertaker at Gila Flats prison. After a convict was hung, he would bury the body in the prison cemetery....and also help himself to the body's belongings watches, money, or whatever. One day, Frank cuts a medallion from the chest of El Brujo, The Witch Man, and it promptly sinks itself into his hand. A little while later, while doing the grave-side service for El Brujo, Frank is struck by lightning. Long story short, El Brujo and the bodies in the surrounding graves rise, they steal Franks wife, and the only way for Frank to get her back is to round up the corpses and send them back from wense they came, which is a little place you may have heard of called....HELL. You see, by stealing the medallion, Frank set off a chain reaction that only he can stop.

The action is fast and furious, and violent as all get out (heads will explode!)

One of the things that stood out to me was the language, as in the writing style. I find sometimes, in Westerns, that they will use phrases that I've never heard before....such as in Tombstone, they used the phrase "Go Heeled"...which I found out meant carry a gun or in True Grit "Pull a Cork" which means likes to drink (although that one is pretty obvious). I find it adds an bit of authenticity to the story they are trying to tell. The writing in Graveslinger uses phrases and a style of speaking that feels authentic and its one of the pleasures of reading this book. That and the fun premise.

The character of Frank is interesting, in a movie version he could be played by a sort of a crotchety Sam Elliot. Frank is kind of a drunk, kind of a ragamuffin, but has some true skill....we don't really know where he comes from yet or what his past life was like before Gila Flats Prison....but he fights a mean zombie, and well. The open ending to the story almost promises more stories with Frank and his world and when that happens, I will definitely join him again on his quest.

Really the only thing I didn't like was some of the art. While John Cboins' art style is generally good, I found myself mildly distracted by the feminine eyelashes he tends to give all the characters. He does, however, do a wickedly creepy "Character-stares-out-from-the-page-at-the-reader-and-creeps-him-out" type of drawing, and those are always a pleasure. Mid-story the artwork changes, and Nima Sorat's very cartoon-y style is vastly different. I'm not sure if it was welcome or a distraction. For me I enjoyed the style, but would have like some consistancy...maybe from an artist who drew in a similar way to Cboins?

As an added bonus the final 8th of the book is a collection of mostly gorgeous cover and pin up artwork from the series. And you should pick this one up if you get that chance.

I give it 4 out of 5 Bloody Spurs