Friday, May 15, 2009

The Further Adventures of Nicodemus Legend.....sort of.....

There were two Steampunk TV shows, in the early 90s (and have fairly large followings) that I was never able to see. The first is The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne which takes the premise that Jules Verne wrote his famous stories later in life based on the adventures he had as a young boy....It seems like a pretty good idea.

The other one is this, Legend, which featured Richard Dean Anderson and John De Lancie. This is from IMDB:

Ernest Pratt, a dime-store novelist in the old west, lives with his scientist friend Professor Janos Bartok in the small town of Sheridan, Colorado. The people of Sheridan mistakenly believe that Pratt--a drinker, gambler, and womanizer--is the audacious and pure hero of his novels, Nicodemus Legend. Bartok and his associate, Ramos, convince Pratt to assume the Legend persona while supplying him with Legend-like futuristic gadgets that they invent. Together, Bartok and the reluctant Pratt (as Legend), adventure throughout the west solving mysteries, capturing wrong-doers, and even making scientific discoveries.

One thing I was a little surprised about...Who knew Richard Dean Anderson had such good comic timing! This show looks like it could have either been really good, or typical syndication television fare...alas we shall never know...but below is a three part "best of" from the pilot that will give you a taste of what the whole thing was about. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Wanna hear a boy?"

I hadn't realized how much influence Grim Prairie Tales had had on Weird Westerns of the time until I started researching them. Suddenly every review that talks about about one film would compare it to Grim Prairie Tales in some way. Apparently it is a pioneering film (no pun intended) of the genre.....Even though there are a lot of other Weird Westerns that have come before.

In the reviews about the film itself, they have pretty much all around agreed that the film isn't very scary....and that's true. The stories are fun, but not really scary (and in my opinion border on being supernatural at all) save for the second one that has a strong supernatural twist at the end. The other COULD have alternate explanations.

So what is it about this movie that I liked so much, you ask? This is a character piece, about two very different men sitting around a campfire telling each other scary stories....and its them and their interactions that make this film such a compelling watch....I was almost sorry that the film cuts away for the stories, but only almost because the stories, even though they are pretty tame, are all part of it...and not being scary doesn't equal unenjoyable.

Brad Dourif plays Farley a "city boy" on his way to meet his wife in Jacksonville and to see his dying mother. He isnt comfortable on the trail, dropping his cooking equipment once, and later jumping at night sounds when he makes camp for the night. Then one night, a man comes into his camp asking to share his fire, it's Morrison, played by James Earl Jones, a bounty hunter taking his latest kill back to collect the reward. The two men don't get along very well at first, mixing badly...but then Morrison starts telling Farley stories. There are really 5 stories in the movie, the first one isn't ever shown, you just watch James Earl Jones tell it....and its actually one of my favorite parts of the movie for that reason.

...but then, he starts telling more involved stories...the first one is about the consequences a man faces for invading a sacred Native American burial ground. It isn't very scary...and Farley doesn't think so fact he picks it apart and sees it more as a metaphor for White/Indian relations. So Morrison tells him another one about what happens when a good samaritan helps a pregnant lady in the middle of nowhere.

Farley is disgusted that the quality of story has suddenly dipped so low.

Then Farley tells a story, one that doesn't have a supernatural twist but is, in many ways, more horrifying then the other three....a daughter falls upon her fathers VERY dark secret when he rides off with a posse for some unknown night time business.

Morrison ends the session with a fun story about a quick draw contest and what happens to the winner.

I have to say, when I first saw this film back in the 90s I enjoyed it...even back then it wasn't very scary...but seeing it again, it was a quick watch and I enjoyed it just as a much.

Written and Directed by Wayne Coe, the acting does sometimes feel a bit the camera was placed back and he just let the actors do their thing.

Unfortunately, it isn't on DVD so I cant recommend that you rent it...but if you get a chance you should definitely watch it, at least once....hopefully you won't be sorry you did.

I give this film 3 out of 4 Bloody Spurs

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Death Keeps Coming"....but WHEN?

This is the film that does or doesn't exist. Its very strange, One thing I read said it was coming out in the Fall, but the IMDB listing says it hasn't even started film yet (AND isn't even due to start film until October) but then it also has a full cast list which they only normally do for finished films AND already has a review on the main page of the website....very strange...

Regardless, Death Keeps Coming is being produced by Quentin Tarantino and stars Martin Kove (The evil Dojo Sensei John Kreese of the Karate Kid movies) as Death.

The film is a "supernatural western about a mysterious lone gunfighter who rides out of the desert to save an innocent victim of a horrific and terrifying gypsy curse."

Hmm, could be interesting...

The website has a movie blog and some other stuff, most of which ends around October of 2008 so it hasn't been updated in a while...but as I hear more, Ill post it here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What the.......?

Mmmmmm, Now I'm hungry

These are so good BTW, you should definitely try at least one before they go away.

Friday, May 1, 2009

High Noon goes Weird West

Isnt it excellent when they can take a classic and have fun with it?

Recently things like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies have been invading the aethernet and I for one couldn't be happier.

...and here's something a found a few months ago, High Tech Noon, a short film by Darryl Gold. Gold takes scenes from the finale of High Noon and adds a decidedly 1950s sci-fi twist to them, the effect is flawless. Characters walk around in the Futuristic Western environment like they belong there. Six Guns shoot laser blasts and Android gunslingers are protected by force fields, the whole thing is hilarious, a LOT of fun, and surprisingly effective...See for yourself: