Gone are the days of the simple, weather-beaten solitary son-of-a-whore riding on a brown-dappled mangy horse towards a fiery red sunset. Or the tense showdown between two dirty and unkempt gunslingers, with the brutal sun beating on itchy fingers, gleaming Colts and extreme close-ups. The prosperous brothels full of ugly men and beautiful women, cuspidors, rivers of whiskey and ‘the room upstairs’, are a thing of the past. As are the furious battles between the pale-faced and the natives.
Or are they? Just like any other genre, the Western has been used, abused and re-used over and over again and at the moment it’s a mad mad world out there in the wild wild west. For instance, there’s zombies (they’re a dime a dozen nowadays). Below is the trailer for John Gibson’s Revelation Trail which looks very promising
This bit of news regarding AJ Lieberman’s and Riley Rossmo’s awesome titled comic Cowboy Ninja Viking is less joyful. Disney have apparently acquired the pitch for this project. Not that we have anything against the Mighty Mouse, as we like The Aristocats, The Little Mermaid and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But seriously, who needs a crooning Cowboy Ninja Viking? That’s stretching it a bit too much.
It’s time for a nice picture, and it rarely gets any nicer than Winona Nielsen’s Lady of the Lake.
The Western genre is very adaptable and can be used to tackle a wide array of subjects. Abortion comes to mind. Michael Fredianelli’s The Scarlet Worm tells the story of one seriously sick brothel owner who mandates abortions on all his girls and seems to derive some sort of pleasure out of it. So a rancher with dubious motives hires a Borat lookalike assassin to kick his ass. Trailer is below.
It is not just the long arm of the moralist that makes its way through the thankless desert of the wild west but also that of the scientologist. Good old L (which stands for Lafayette – am not kidding) Ron Hubbard wrote a story called Reign of the Gila Monster and heigh-ho, it’s free to download over HERE. Yee-hah!
More free stuff, this time an entire movie. More specifically, a post-apocalyptic snow western with motor bikes called Snow Blind. I’ve just seen the first ten minutes (so far) but it looks terrific.
More snow and more cowboys in The Warrior’s Way. This is about a samurai warrior (played by a man with an unlucky middle name and, by inference, menacing surname (thank you Mr Freud), Jang Dong Gun) who abandons his clan to try and find some peace in a god-forsaken land in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, right. The plot is as predictable as the visuals are stunning so it’s surely well worth a look. Besides there’s Geoffrey Rush in it.
Time for another picture. This time by Argentinian artist Mariano Villalba. Click HERE to peep at it.
Over at Bleeding Cool is a preview of a comic anthology called Outlaw Territory Vol 2. Author Rich Johnson put up a story called “Rustlin’ Up Business” which he co-wrote with Tom Fowler.
Stephen King fans are in for a treat. Universal has in fact the rights to his fantasy/western epic The Dark Tower series and plans on adapting it simultaneously for the big and small screen. It’s a very ambitious project that, Manitou help us, will be handled well as the potential for disaster is humongous. Ron Howard is the man they entrusted with the project. Oh Manitou (once more). (Read about it HERE.)
Finally, some quick bullets:
- Gene Hackman, now a retired thesp, wrote a western novel called Jubal’s Bounty.
- Mike Resnick too writes a western but one with added weird and steampunk flavour. Good. ‘Tis called The Buntline Special
- Over at tor.com there is the first chapter of favourite genre author Felix Gilman’s novel The Half-Made World. It is steampunk western with added magical realism.
Picture time. This is a gratuitous shot of Prince Charles.
And that’s it for today. Off to the back room in the saloon for some healthy country n’ western moves.