Friday, September 25, 2009

The Weird, Haunted, Eldrich, Occult Old West of Tex Arcana!

If you read Heavy Metal in the 1980's, than you probably remember a funny/scary little Weird West strip called Tex Arcana by John Findley. I used to read Heavy Metal in high school, but I only came across Tex once, in a tenth anniversary issue. The story was called The Ballad of the Witch's Daughter and it was a conventional Horror Western with a few of the regular Tex Arcana characters....and it sure left an impression.

Hosted by the Old Claim Jumper, a Crypt Keeper type of character who, though dead, lives in his grave with the epitaph Here lies the Old Claim Jumper, ? - 1850, His dyin' were hard an' he deserved it . Tex Arcana hearkens back to the old EC horror books, but then takes the idea and does something new with it. Its black and white illustrations have a creepy Underground comix feel to them and yet it can't seem to escape its Heavy Metal, drug era roots, mostly with two of its characters. The inter-dimensional demons Herp and Sweaz are right out of the animated Heavy Metal movie or the underground comix scene. I don't hate them as characters, or even dislike them....but I do wish they were only temporary...(Ive got mushroom demon in my Weird Western comic)....however since their introduction, they've become two of the major characters.

I had no idea that the strip was a long running, Weird Western graphic novel in the works when I first read it. A few years ago, however, I found that it had been collected into book form, so of course I bought it. I haven't read the whole thing yet so I can't really make any judgment on its content as a whole, but the story I DID read (Book 1: The Stranger) was a really good Vampire story about a mysterious stranger who comes to the town of Hangman's Corners and infects it, turning its citizens into Vampires. The story also introduced the characters we would be following into the rest of the stories. I enjoyed the it very much and was surprised by a few things, like Tex Arcana was an actual character, a magical Cowboy, who's whole face is never seen. He tends to show up to trouble too late (if at all) and is always accompanied by the mysterious Lady in White who is WAY more powerful than he is, and speaks in a foreign tongue that no one understands. Personally I wish there had been more Tex, he seems pretty interesting, but doesn't show up a lot throughout the stories, which I guess adds to his mystery.

Honestly, though, you don't need me to review this book, there is this website, you see, for the comic...the official website of John Findley, that not only reprints the entire contents of the Tex Arcana book, but also a brand new story that has yet to be's about Tex's Mysterious Woman in White. So if you have nothing to do this weekend, and don't mind spending a few hours in the town of Hangman's Corners...head on over and rest a spell...Tex, The Woman in White, Doc Mason, and the others are waiting to show you a few cracking good stories from the "Weird, Haunted, Eldrich, Occult Old West of Tex Arcana"!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Der Fluch des Dr. Ogoun!

I was actually going to write about an Austrian independent film I found on Youtube called Grinderman (Which Ill get around to posting about soon) when I came across a film called "The Curse of Dr Ogoun" which was made by the same people...and by that I specifically mean Syndic8Productions, who seem to be based out of Vienna according to their Youtube Channel page. The style of the film looks pretty cool and if this ever makes it's way stateside it might be worth a look..

...And speaking of look, here's the Trailer, Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The new Lone Ranger movie a Weird Western?

With this script review of the new Lone Ranger movie from Latino Review, there seems to be talk of Tonto, played by Johnny Depp, hunting a Wendigo....hmmm, interesting.

Of course this wouldn't be the first time the Masked Rider of the Plains has dipped his foot into the Weird West waters.....but more on that later.

You can see it all at the Latino Review website!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"I'll be your Huckle - BOO - Berry!"

I've been trying to get to Tombstone, AZ for a while now and, quite by mistake, I found one more reason to go! They've opened an attraction called Tombstone Ghosts and Legends. Its a corpse ridden tour of Tombstone's history focusing on its famous killings and death stuff. Its hosted by the ghost of Doc Holiday and I have to say, it may be cheesy but it most definitely looks fun. I happen to be a big fan of tourist-y attractions, and if you add ghosts...I'm there!

(And if its Old West themed, with Weird West elements...I'm DOUBLY there!)

Here's how the city of Tombstone describes it:

Experience Tombstone’s past like never before!
Our CGI Ghost or Doc Holliday tells the actual history of
Tombstone using Hollywood special effects & surprises.

The Ghost Tour was created by Halloween Productions, which seem to specialize in doing a lot for very little, and it certainly shows. For such a small town, with probably not a lot of money to spend on such things, this is most definitely looks to be worth a visit.

If you can stand it, someone on Youtube brought their camera phone into the attraction and filmed it. The video isn't all that good, and the commentary is annoying....but it's a full walk-thru of the attraction and gives you a good idea of what to expect inside. That can be found here.

Or you can keep the surprises a surprise and stick with the overview of the attraction, its your choice, Pard!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Lonesome Stranger - All-Monkey Western!!

I'm not sure what to think about this, but if you like Monkeys dressed up as Cowboys, with animated mouths, have I got a short film for you! I came across it on Youtube, and although I didn't feel like watching it, I did....and found it thoroughly entertaining! Its called the Lonesome Stranger, and DrowningKittens on Youtube has this to say about it:

Howdy, Pardner! Are you ready for some rootin'-tootin' good ol'-fashioned cowboy fun? What about if'n them cowboys is a bunch of monkeys - all dressed up for a high noon shootout? How about if'n them monkeys ride dogs instead of horses? Yessir, that would be somethin'. Well, that day's done come, my friend - The Lonesome Stranger (1946 - part of the Speaking of Animals series) shows us what life would be like if talking monkeys tamed the Wild West.

I seem to remember, when I was younger, seeing an all animal version of Swinging on a Star, where the Monkey who was "singing" the song has a mouth very much like these Monkeys have.

Regardless, here it is, in all its Weird West Simian goodness!

EDIT: The link to the program seems to have died (due to copyright claims which seems weird for something that came out in the 30's) so until I can find another version of the film here is a Taco John's commercial that feels like it was directly inspired by the "The Lonesome Stranger: All Monkey Western":

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gris Grimely! Ghoultown! Elvira!

This post was actually meant to show off Mr Gris Grimley's spectacular cover art work for an upcoming Ghoultown DVD release, but I decided that I should show you what the art work is for in the first place. Its a music video for Ghoultown's song Elvira......Directed by Mr Grimley and starring the Mistress of the Dark herself.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Along the Weird Trails!!

Weird Trails, What a great title....if I had thought of it, I would have named this blog Weird Trails.....although the title is a bit ambiguous for a blog. Regardless, I came across this book about a year ago and it looks like a real treasure. The concept is simple, its a "facsimile" of a supposed pulp magazine from the 1930's...a less successful fiction magazine in the style of the similarly named (and very real) Weird Tales, a fiction pulp magazine that's still around. It might also be a "Mocumentary" about how the book finally went out of business....the more I read about this the more it appears to be deeper than it seems.

I haven't read this yet, but its my next purchase. Just looking at Amazon's sample pages, this looks to be a really fun unique publication (and I love the cover). With two column stories, vintage ads, some great pulp era artwork (Actually the artwork reminded me of Tex Arcana a little bit, but that's not a bad thing), and stories with names like Riders of the Purple Ooze and Trouble in Cthulhu Canyon this sounds like the demon hybrid of H.P. Lovecraft, 1930's Pulps, Dime Novels, and the Old West (which I'm very sure it is!)

Why I haven't purchased this yet is beyond me!

Just go to the page and click on the cover art, you can see what I'm talking about.

I just hope the stories are good.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I have to admit that not only did I not watch Birdman when I was younger, I didn't even know who he was. However, his next incarnation, as Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law on Adult Swim was a personal favorite. So imagine my surprise when I found out that original Birdman did an episode with a Weird West twist.....I should state right now, however, that this is a modern day story, with a group of Urban Cowboys using, what still amounts to technologically advanced gadgets.

It might be a bit of a cheat, but I thought that this silliness was too silly not to be seen! Enjoy...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Strangeways: The Thirsty

Being part 2 of the Strangeways series, The Thirsty deals with Vampires in the Old West, where Part 1 dealt with Werewolves. I have yet to read this series, but this is how it was described by Comic Book Resources:

Strangeways is the story of ex-Union officer turned expressman Seth Collins, as he finds himself adrift in the closing frontier of the post-Civil War era. Only this frontier is haunted by more than the ghosts of war. Things that are neither man nor beast, but the worst of both, hunt in the shadows and moonlight. Bandits and bad men are the least of your problems out here. Those can usually be solved by way of a little help from misters Smith and Wesson. But sometimes even those forceful persuaders aren't enough.

The Thirsty seems to be publishing online before they collect it onto the series is currently HERE for you to enjoy. If you have nothing else to do this weekend, here is a little Old West vampire-ness to while away the time with!

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I should say right off the bat that The Burrowers is really good. So few Weird Westerns, have high production values, a good story, or anything worth caring about past bad ass cowboys kicking Zombie, slime Monster, Vengeful Ghost, or Vampire ass. And while The Burrowers is about kicking monster ass, there is also feeling behind the story. The sort-of main character is Fergus Coffey, an Irish man who has set out, with a group of men, to find his lost love who has disappeared into the night under mysterious circumstances.

Here is how one Youtube video described the film:

The Dakota Territories. 1879. A handful of brave pioneers maintain isolated settlements in the badlands beyond civilization. When a family is brutally abducted in a nighttime attack, a posse forms to rescue the missing from the Native Americans suspected of the crime. An Irish immigrant searching for his lost beloved, a naive teenager hoping to prove himself, an ex-slave looking for his place, and a pair of aging Indian-fighters set themselves against all the perils of the Old West, battling nature and hostile tribes. But as men vanish in the night, and horrific evidence accumulates with the dead and dying, the group discovers that their prey is far more terrifying than anything human, and their prospects are far more terrible than death.

And Fear dot Net describes it as this:

From its opening images of the Dakota territories in 1879, The Burrowers appears to be every inch a Western. But in the hands of writer/director J.T. Petty, The Burrowers probes horrors that no Western could ever fathom. What begins as a tale worthy of John Ford, a band of hardened ranchers set off into the wilderness to rescue a family kidnapped by a Native American tribe, turns into a terrifying encounter with a gruesome species that's far from human.

Very true, not only is this great WEIRD Western, its just a darn good Western...period.

The creatures are scary, but not in a malicious evil creature sort of way. Imagine if you got caught in a spider's web, and were systematically paralyzed, wrapped in webbing, and hung for a later can't really say that the spider is EVIL, more that it is just doing what it was programmed to do...that's what the Burrowers are. There is no evil intent to eat Humans, they are just doing what they do...storing food for the long 75 year slumber they take between appearances. The REAL evil in this story are the humans, and especially the captain of a Calvary troop...who shows his true colors by story's end....though he does show some of his cards quite a bit before that.

The Burrowers is bleak, it is fun as a horror movie, but not a happy feel good kind of film...things don't end well for anyone...including the Burrowers, and I have to say that as grotesque as the creatures are, you do start to feel a little bit sorry for them when they are inevitably slaughtered in the final act.

I have only a few Weird Westerns in my collection so far, WAY less than straight Westerns, but this film will be joining them....I really enjoyed it. However, before you purchase it for yourself (should you be building your own collection) renting is always a good never know where you tastes will run, and solely taking my word on some films might get you some unwanted films in your collection......but this is a definite rent......and it stars Clancy Brown as the tough leader of the posse John Clay, how can you beat that?

I am sad that the short prequel film Blood Red Earth isn't on this DVD...however you can see it at or at one of my older postings. It doesn't really further the film, it just tells a small story about the Burrowers appearance 75 years prior.

Until you get a chance to see it, though, here is a gruesome little taste of what you can expect:

While not perfect, Ill give this film 5 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

i Viva Las Chinchillas !

Hahaha, I just saw this and thought it was hilarious! A little bit of historical (or is it Hysterical?) Weird West-ness, and possibly a new Weird West holiday? Hmmmmm...

Yes, Its a Las Vegas commercial, but its particularly well done, Enjoy!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Justice League Unlimited - The Once and Future Thing: Weird Western Tales

Its Labor Day, So instead of going out and sweltering in the hot weather you should stay inside and watch some Weird Westerns; or at least one. Its a fun episode of Justice League Unlimited called The Once and Future Thing. It follows Batman, Wonder Woman, and John Stewart (Green Lantern) as they follow the villain Chronos first into the past then into the future as he collects (or rather steals) historical treasures for his own collection.

This is only part 1 of the story (the part that deals with the Old West), Part 2 can be found here.

This marks what is probably the 2nd of the 4 known Jonah Hex appearances in WB animation, and while he isn't the star, Jonah makes his presence known, like always. If I can dig it up, Ill post the Batman episode where he IS the star, its a good one (And written by one of my favorite Weird Western authors Joe R Lansdale, Who Ill be writing about at some point.)

Other great DC Western heroes that appear are El Diablo, Bat Lash, and Pow Wow Smith.

I hope you enjoy it! And have a good and safe Labor Day!

EDIT: The videos I had here were taken down from Youtube and I haven't been able to find anything to replace them. So until I do HERE is a comprehensive synopsis of the episode and some other things.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Wasted West

I found this on Youtube, its called The Wasted West and the filmmakers describe it as no budget zombie western, but the story is tight (if not sparse) and they use their resources very well. That is one of the things Ive always loved about Westerns, grab some period clothes, strap on a six gun, some odds and ends, and you can tell a fairly good western story on a very limited budget. This one does it very well.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr. making 'Cowboys & Aliens'

If you've read my previous post about Cowboys and Aliens, you know that I wasn't a fan of the comic, and with a movie in the works I was skeptical that it would be any good.....but The Hollywood Reporter has just released info that may very well change my mind. According to the industry paper, Jon Favreau has just signed on to direct the film with Robert Downey, Jr starring.

You can read the full story here

Very exciting news, I like both of them very much; and who knows, with this team and a good script writer, maybe a movie will improved the story!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Spaghetti Western....with Ghosts!

Directed by Albert Pyun, Left for Dead is the story of Revenge as a dish served cold.

This is what IMDB has to say about it:

MEAN GUNS director Albert Pyun teams with producer Michael Najjar for the second installment of the explosive mayhem trilogy, this time concerning a desperate man and a merciless posse who become trapped in a remote Mexican ghost town in 1895 by a vengeful demon. The beleaguered man must fend off a trio of bounty hunters, his estranged wife, and his nine-months pregnant lover (not to mention the vicious madame "Lord Mary" who is his lover's mother, leading a pack of a dozen former whores). As if all this was not enough to worry about, the man risks cancer by sharing cigarettes with a former preacher's spirit who has made a pact with the devil to stay around as a corporeal ghost within the limits of the slaughtered Amnesty gold mining town cemetery. In the 15 years since the "Massacre by the Whores," the preacher has rubbed out enough fortune-seeking passers-by to plant corpses all over town, leaving him free to hunt his prey anywhere except inside his former church. Throw in a whore intent on extracting any gram of gold--including dental fillings--from the dead, even as they are breathing their last, and the stage is set for a classic western ghost story drenched in buckets of blood.

If you go onto IMDB, you won't find very many good reviews for this film, and while not perfect, it wasn't as bad as I fact I actually enjoyed myself quite a bit and even.....GASP....didn't want it to end! Yes I enjoyed it, I was even rooting for the main characters to survive! Was it made on a budget? Yes...Did it look like it was shot on Digital Video? Definitely yes....But the difference between this and Uninvited or Legend of the Phantom Rider (Two of the worst Weird Westerns I've ever seen) is that Left for Dead may have felt like it was made on a budget, but it felt felt like there was definite skill behind the camera.

It isn't perfect, some of it is down right fact one of the "stylish" devices that I found somewhat annoying was, every once in a while, a shot would freeze frame, and then the scene would continue. I thought it would only last until the opening credits were over....but it continued throughout the entire film....To be fair though, it DID became part of the films language, and stopped being annoying fairly quickly.

Left for Dead was shot entirely in Argentina, with an entire Argentinian cast. One of the stand outs, Victoria Maurette...who has the lead role of Clementine Templeton does a Southern Accent so well, I thought she was an American actress.

I do want to make a comment about the town they shot in, I don't remember the name (It was mentioned in the commentary), but it was great looking. Its a real place....if memory serves me correctly, it was built by one man, and it was a life long passion project for it is used for movies and as a filming location...Basically the town looks like it was made up of a combination of spare doors, and wagon wheels, and plaster, and found objects....very art colony-esque....but also a perfect Spaghetti Western like location....which is what this movie is trying to channel.

This film isn't for everyone though, I should warn you....Like I said above, IMDB hasn't been kind to it. Some people will like it, others will LOATHE it. This is a definite renter.

4 out of 5 Bloody Spurs

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dead Birds

Directed by Alex Turner, Dead Birds is actually a very effective film. I will say this, the trailer makes it WAY scarier than it actually is. But that's not to say it doesn't have some fine moments.

After a botched bank Robbery where a teller is killed, a group of outlaws escape their pursuers by hiding out in an old abandoned Plantation house....where, systematically, they are picked off one by one by it's ghostly inhabitants.

The film is quite good, however it lacks in the scare department....there is lots of suspense, but the pay off isn't there. I found myself, about 2/3rds of the way through, getting a little bored and tuning out, and trying to figure out where it was going...however there is a great twist ending (Which I wont spoil) that, while not scary, was very interesting.

The film stars Henry Thomas (most famous for ET: The Extraterrestrial), Patrick Fugit (Which I knew mostly from Almost Famous and Wristcutters) and Michael Shannon, who is going to be in the new Jonah Hex movie next year.

If you are trying to expand or start your Weird Western film collection, I would say this is a definite renter, to check out first before you buy.

3 out of 5 Bloody Spurs