The Quick and the Dead

Director: Sam Raimi

USA - 1995

   Hoff! Hoff!  


When you think of a "classic" genre, a basic genre of film, you don’t have all that many choices. You’ve got your Crime Film, of which the Noir Film is usually a subset; you’ve got your Mystery, which can be a Crime Film, but doesn’t have to be; you’ve got your Romance, your War Film, your Action/Adventure (which includes Sci-Fi and Fantasy), your Horror, and your Comedy. Of course, one of the most endearing genres, and one most resistant to major restructuring, is the Western.

Westerns are uniquely set in relatively untamed, dangerous frontier. You can place it in different environments, but it’ll always be a Western in a different place. Witness Outland, which was a Western (specifically High Noon) in space. Or Steel Dawn, which was a post-apocalyptic Western (ripping off… I mean, based on Shane). Or Last Man Standing, which was a Depression-era Western, a Eastwood or Stone? You decide!remake of the Western Fist Full of Dollars, which, in turn, was a remake of the Kurasawa samurai movie, Yojimbo. Actually, the differences between a good samurai film and a western are largely those of costuming, setting, and dialogue; both tend to deal in concepts of honor, duty, and skill with weaponry. Just because a man can kill, does that make him a better man? What price do you set on friendship and honor, even if you’re an outlaw? Is Ernest Borgnine a particularly believable bank robber in The Wild Bunch? Eternal questions, all, and particularly relevant to today’s audience.

Westerns remain Westerns, and the standards of the genre are hard to change. From the Prostitute with a Heart of Gold, to the World-Weary Gunslinger, to the Noble Marshall, to the Heartless Villain with the Unbeatable Draw, there’s never a question of what types you’re going to find, it’s more a matter of how realistically they’ll be played (see Unforgiven), or how much they’re going to be spoofed (see Rustlers’ Rhapsody, if you dare). So even when you do something new, if it’s a Western, you have a great deal of expectation to fulfill. This is not always a good thing.

The big problem with the modern Western is that the vast majority of stories have already been tried at one time or another. Being resistant to change can be a drawback, as countless animal species have discovered. Oh, people keep trying; Lonesome Dove is maybe a Western soap opera, what with its length and the sheer amount of emotion, and there are always new, gritty, realistic re-tellings of the exploits of romantic psychopathic outlaws, usually with Tom Selleck in a starring role.

But like any major genre, there are stages of revitalization. You have the initial "straight" stage, and eventually you have to stretch the boundaries to make it interesting, once you’ve covered all the standard ground well enough. Then you get to do some comedy and some parodies, and then you kind of get into a self-aware kind of revitalization. An excellent example of this sort of progression would be the history of the slasher flick, a relatively new phenomenon that has grown, matured, grown decadent, and then reinvented itself with the Scream movies, which are pretty much as self-aware as you can get about your own genre. The Western has been around for so long, it’s hard to tell why they really haven’t done all that much reinventing. There are attempts, like Silverado, and the most excellent Unforgiven, but nothing that really rates up as slick as the Scream comparison.

It is educational to watch the older films, though. Westerns were such a favorite in the early days of film-making, a lot of techniques were used that are just plain cliché these days. It almost boggles the mind, when you watch High Noon, to seeThere's no way this Kid is of drinking age! that sudden zoom in to close up, accompanied by a "sting" of dramatic music, and then you realize that, at the time it was made, that move wasn’t a no-brainer. Somebody had to think of that, and put it in. And it was new. I mean, wow.

But I’m getting off-track, once again.

There is a movie that comes pretty close to the Scream standard, for a Western. Naturally, it’s brought to life by one of my favorite directors, Mr. Sam Raimi. I’d love to call him Samuel, in that reverential familiar/formal tone that cultists use, but I don’t have any actual idea if his name actually is Samuel or not. I think his brother, the inestimable Ted Raimi, is actually named Theodore, but again, no hard evidence exists in my possession. Which is not to say it doesn’t exist somewhere, but I don’t know about it.

Some would call Sam Raimi a wizard of shlock cinema. He seems to excel at over-the-top effects, almost cartoon-like in their unreality. Around our house, we commonly use the term "Raimi Physics" to describe freakish stunts in all sorts of situations. Just watch an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, and you’ll see an average of 8.7 actions that are impossible by the laws of physics as we currently understand them. That number was carefully researched by myself, by a thorough review of all the episodes I can remember off the top of my head and then dividing the number of Raimi Physics stunts by the number of episodes where I’m sure not as much happened. You know, all that character development and brooding and stuff.

Personally, I think calling his work "shlock" is under-representation. The man strikes me as a kid in a cinematic candy store. We have the collector’s laserdisc of Evil Dead 2, and there’s the secondary audio track with him and loveable mug Bruce Campbell and a few crew members commenting on the film as it unfolds. It sounded like they were having just a wonderful time, not only in the making of the film but also in just watching it again. The best film-makers make the kinds of films that they’d like to see, and if you’re warped and talented, and recognize the humor in self-animated severed body parts, then naturally you’re going to find a kind of demented joy in bringing freakishly unrealistic actions to the screen. I imagine planning meetings in the Raimi entertainment empire starting off with "Wouldn’t it be cool if we…" And once I write that, I realize the motivating force behind Raimi Physics must be the sheer glee of it all. There is a simple joy in the films he does, akin to the good old Warner Bros. ‘toons, or the kind of suspension of disbelief that allows you to think a man with a six-shooter can take out seven armed men before they can draw on him.

Which, of course, brings us right back around to Westerns, and that wonderful Raimi entry into the field, The Quick and the Dead.

I can recall when this movie came out. A feminist Western, they were saying, based on the fact that Sharon Stone plays the dramatic lead. Of course, Gene Hackman is playing the villain, but nobody says it’s an aging former Superman "That? That's a little something I call 'Kryptonite,' Superman..."villain Western, and Leo DiCaprio is a young hotshot gunslinger in it, but nobody calls it a Drowned Cute Guy Western. Well, granted, this was before Titanic, but it’s still…

When preparing for this review, I naturally had to watch the movie again. And again, and again, but the first time was the key, because that’s when you get a lot of the good comments. I lucked out; both the lovely wife, George, and our good friend Jennie were available for a viewing. I’ve known Jennie just about as long as I’ve been in Chicago; we met in our first class in the DePaul Master’s program, and of all the people I met in that program, she’s one of the few who stayed close. Luckily, she’s a fan of Stomp Tokyo, so she was perfect to watch the movie with. And George is, well, George. You can’t do better than that.

So after setting down with some chips and beer, we popped in the tape. Sam Raimi seems to go better with beer. "You got your beer on my Sam Raimi!" "You got your Sam Raimi in my beer!" "Don’t worry, ladies!… " I’d forgotten the rest of how the old Reece’s Cups commercial went, so I just trailed off. I have a tendency to do that. That and go off on tangents. I remember there was this one time… oh, wait.

Anyway, the plot is essentially dragged out of Once Upon A Time In The West, as well as any number of similar movies. Mysterious stranger with a painful past blows back into town to avenge the wrongs done so long ago. Of course, Ms. Stone looks much better than Charles Bronson, in my personal opinion. Anyway, these crimes were done so long ago that the perpetrator has forgotten who she is, but, Batman-like, the experience has driven her throughout her life. Of course, we don’t find this out for a while, but I’m skipping ahead to point out the Archetype. In a Raimi movie, the most interesting points are not the character subtleties, so it’s okay to point out the classical nature of the role. In fact, as the movie develops, the familiarity of the details just adds to the total effect.

The opening sequence is instructive. Wasteland, as far as the eye can see, and one crazy man digging holes all over, looking for his gold. He’s so crazy, when he hears someone coming, he snatches up his gun and takes a pot-shot at whoever it is, rather than suffer an intruder on his treasure hunt. Of course, he makes the fatal mistake, and gets too close. Remember, as they say over at the Dimension of Jabootu, guns work from a distance. In any case, after the shooter is down (turns out he’s just a bit player), we find the shot just went through the brim of Sharon Stone’s hat. Yes, we see this as her shadow falls across his unconscious body, a point of light in an otherwise solid place. And yes, this is not the last time we see that kind of effect, though the second time is much less likely, and much funnier, actually.

We get the whole riding into town sequence, complete with a close shot of her squinty eyes as she looks at the burned-out Sheriff’s office. How very Eastwood. And yes, if it seems as if they’re playing every cliché they can, they are. Hell, they haven’t really even started yet, they’re just on the Sergio Leone references. Their introduction of Lance Henriksen’s character (yes, Lance is in here, is there any movie he’s not in? The man’s like Michael Caine, but looking much more like Death personified) is just about textbook, from the long shadow cast on the floor as he pauses in the swinging doors of the saloon, to the slow pan to take him in, to the casual leather-clad machismo he exudes. It’s not as good as his role in Dead Man, but then again, that’s a role that’s hard to top. Particularly the quirks of his appetites. But that’s for another review.

Gene Hackman plays the villain who pretty much owns the town,, John Herod. Nothing like a Biblical reference to really strike the right tone for a character. He’s hosting a contest, a competition of quick-draw artists in this nothing little town of Redemption, where the undertaker is the happiest man in town. (Again, there’s a tradition of prophetically named towns in Westerns, including the town of Perfection in the movie Tremors, a Western with underground monsterHackman and Henriksen, Near!...s. And happy undertakers are never a good sign in Westerns, either.) This provides an excuse for a collection of rough, tough, unsavory characters to gather, including the aforementioned Sharon and Lance. They have names like Ace (Henriksen), Scars (Mark Boone Junior), and the Kid (DiCaprio). Sharon never gives her name, being the Woman with No Name (as denoted by the crow’s feet around her dangerous, squinty eyes), but they end up calling her the Lady (I believe she’s listed as "Ellen" in the credits). Nothing like nicknames in the Old West, second only to gangster nicknames. Products of completely different environments, or of parallel evolution, borne of similarly brutal and violent times? You be the judge.

After getting introduced to some of the name talent (we don’t waste time with cannon fodder) and some of the motivating plot devices (there are villagers and a little girl with a speaking part, so you know she’s got to be significant), we see that even withered old men can do that disappearing-behind-a-crowd-of-people. That may not be the main point of this section of the movie, but it’s an interesting lesson nonetheless. Never underestimate the elderly; the geezer you make fun of today could prove to be the very same ninja that visits you in the dead of night and leaves your major organs stacked on the pillow beside you. Consider yourself warned, and be suspicious of all old people.

Every time I see this movie, I am struck by the youth on display in the person of Leonardo. He looks about eleven and a half in this film, even with his fancy gun belt and his tendency toward self-aggrandizing tough-talk. Mind you, there are parts in the film where he actually does emote pretty well, showing that his success at his chosen profession is not based 100% on his looks, but then again, he did freaking Titanic, and after having that rammed down my throat for some number of months, I’m not recovered sufficiently to fully like him again, regardless of how many fun movies or art movies he does. Gilbert Grape, my behind; he’s still a pretty-boy in my book. Regardless, here, he’s the cocky one, the charismatic young up-and-comer who measures his self worth by the bounty on his head and the number of crimes he’s committed. Not entirely unlike the young Kevin Costner in Silverado, but with more casual violence inherent in his demeanor. He also owns one of the town gun shops, with a whole bunch of collector’s pieces, but we’ll deal with that later.

I do have my own favorites, such as Spotted Horse. "Spotted Horse cannot be killed by a bullet!" he exclaims later in the movie, ripping open his shirt to show his bullet scars (even later, he goes on to prove it; Night of the Living Dead Gunfighters. Wait, I’m having a vision of Dead Heat set in the Old West. I got to get off the cough syrup). "I’ve taken four bullets in my arm, three in my left leg, one in my right, and two bullets in the back. Another bullet went through my lip. Another bullet went through my left foot. And another bullet went into my head, today, here, and has not even come out yet!" No wonder he’s talking like that. Dr. Spotted Horse, PhD and Fellow at Harvard, has encountered too much lead, and it’s impairing his brain function. Poor man. A mind is a terrible thing to taste. No, wait, that’s more of a zombie comment again. Sorry.

When Herod enters, complete with gusting wind and slow-motion footsteps, we are unequivocally certain that this is the villain. That’s absolutely confirmed when his henchmen finally enter with the last major player in our drama, a man by the name of Cort, who is a preacher (!) and the target of a whole town’s disgust (!!). Cort is played by Russell Crowe (also looking amazingly young in this movie), who is shaggy-haired and handsome enough to draw catcalls and comments from my wife and my friend Jennie, who watched the movie with me. They came up with the concept of the "Russell Crowe Revue," 25 Russell Crowes on-stage in Chippendale’s-style crowd-pleasing dance routines. Of course, all I had to do was bring up The Insider, and that put the ki-bosh on that whole line of fantasy. Good actor he may be, but it’s often hard to overcome the unsexiness of playing a graying doughy guy.

Regardless, they want Cort to fight in the contest, but he’s renounced violence (as it unfolds, Cort used to be a killer, but got a conscience). So they go to kill him if he doesn’t agree to fight. Naturally, since this is a gun-fighting contest, everybody is a sharpshooter, and since it’s a movie, there are no duds or misfires, as were common in the actual Old West. And also, hanging is the execution method of choice. Hanging is actually a good choice; it saves the cost of a bullet, it’s usually not as hard to clean up after as using a knife, and you can re-use the rope afterward. Of course, these various benefits are lost when you waste bullets (and a perfectly good chair) during the course of your intimidation tactic.

Now, since Russell Crowe is name talent, and since he’s got good teeth (you can usually tell the major characters in Westerns by their having straight, clean teeth, when all the no-namers look like the Before pictures shown at a Dental Re-Constructive Surgeon’s convention), you know he’s not going to die at this time. This does set up a number of things, though: the evil of Herod, the penitent conviction of Cort, and the grudging heroism of Lady, as she acts to save the man’s life (but not right away, and not without some difficulty). It also makes sure that Cort and Lady are entered into the contest.

Lady’s background story is told in hazy flashbacks, and though it’s more involved than the Harmonica Player’s story in Once Upon a Time, it is unfolds in a fairly similar way, in that we don’t get the full story until much later in the film. We do get little glimpses all through, most every time she sleeps, actually. Of course, with the Harmonica Player, the truth is elegantly simple, and is saved for the last five or so minutes. Here, because it’s a ‘90s movie, we get more chunks of the story earlier, so we can guess the gist of it before we see the details, and see how she copes with her almost not being able to go through with it. As she arises this morning, in the Kid’s bed (laid over kegs of dynamite, a bit of foreshadowing), she ends up admitting her intention to kill Herod. The Kid says he’s too fast, and it also slips out that Herod is his father.

Regardless, on the next day, the contest starts. Cort, having spent the night in chains by the town fountain, is challenged by a vicious thug, who displays his bravery by challenging the one guy who says he won’t fight. Ace shows off with some trick shooting, and is challenged by Herod. Lady is about to gun Herod down in the bar, but before she can do that, Kelly, the guy who shot at her in the beginning, shows up and challenges her. However, the first contest is fought between the Kid and the Swedish sharp-shooting champion. This is one of the few matches apparently devoid of rancor or a personal grudge. But it does allow us to witness a very cool "arming up" montage. Raimi uses this opportunity to slip in a "gun-cam" shot, with the c...Henriksen and Hackman, Far!amera fixed looking up across the pistol as it is moved around, the chamber spun…

Then it’s time for the gunfight. This is the first point where the stops are fully pulled out. Quick zooms, dramatic quotes, shots of townspeople closing their shutters, close-ups of eyes, gun hands, and later on they do that neat Vertigo-like trick where they zoom in on the subject while pulling the camera back, so it looks like the background is swiftly receding… it’s all the Western standards all in one place, with all the cheesy dramatic cinematic techniques thrown in.

This is how the movie qualifies as self-aware. It tosses in everything about Westerns, every archetype and cliché, and mixes them all together, while still utilizing them in the manner in which they’re supposed to be used. Raimi is too experienced a film-maker to have done this unthinkingly; the mere fact that they’re done so well, and so appropriately, shows that it’s fully intentional. And if it’s intentional, that must mean he’s trying to evoke both our amusement and the sensations of the old-style Westerns. Sam’s playing with the genre, pushing everything he can think of into this movie and, by the sheer weight of cliché, pushing it into humor. He does that on occasion in Xena, Hercules, and the Back 2 Back Action duo. It’s not like this is an unusual technique; it’s exactly what Peter Jackson did in Dead Alive, taking the zombie movie as the model in that case. It’s up to the individual opinion as to whether or not this kind of tactic is effective, but if you enter into the experience expecting satire within the genre standards, you’re bound to have a better viewing experience than if you were expecting a straightforward Western.

The Kid wins (he’s the name talent, so there was never any doubt), and though he’s violent and vicious, he’s not a obligate murderer, like some of the other gunfighters. He’s willing to let his opponent live, provided the man gives up.

There’s a classic montage, cross-fading images, many in slow motion, across a black background. It’s amazing how ludicrous it seems, but given the rest of the movie, it is hard to imagine any other type of transition fitting in correctly.

Now the time comes for Cort’s fight. He’s unshackled, and led down the street to the Kid’s gun shop. Luthor’s Odious Comic Relief torments him the whole way, but he finds little ways to get back at the rat-boy. God helps those who help themselves. Seems Lex is going to get a gun for Cort, so he can fight, even though he claims he won’t. The Kid starts pulling out all these custom rigs, high quality guns, telling the stories behind each of them. Cort starts pacing, trying to ignore the metallic music over at the counter. He’s looking more and more like an addict, trying to ignore the fix of his drug just waiting for him on the table. Lex tosses him a gun, and he just starts spinning it, a very flashy move.

Come to think of it, most of the folks here have decent gun handling skills, from spins into the holster and whatnot… no, wait, I’m thinking of Three Amigos. I was very impressed with how the comedians playing gunfighters seemed to handle their weapons, and even though Russell Crowe is not really a comedian, he has a good feel for it, too. Must have been his misspent youth.

Luthor thinks a man can’t change what he is. He thinks Cort will always be a killer to the core, and he refuses to believe the Kid is his son, refusing to believe the Kid is a "real" gunfighter. Cort says he won’t fight, but Luthor buys him a gun anyway, cheap but functional. He only gives him one bullet. "Preacher has the Lord on his side. He only needs one bullet. Just one. Otherwise, he might be tempted to shoot his way out of town."

The contest comes, the thug goes to kill Cort, and without his conscious volition, Cort draws. I should have known Crowe had a bright future in acting when I saw his look of dismay at his own reflexive action. But we of the audience knew he would survive; after all, we’ve spent so much time developing him as a heroic character, it would be silly to have him die now.

Herod faces Ace, and before they get going, there’s a nice casual exchange, allowing Ace to continue bragging, until Herod calls him on his bluffs, catching him in his lies. I always knew Lex Luthor was smart, from way back in the Superman movies, but he really, really loves the sound of his own voice. Given the amount of time he spent taunting Superman, I should have realized it earlier. Anyway, once again, Lex relies upon sharp-shooting and pontificating, dragging out the inevitable killing of Lance Henriksen. Oh, it’s so much fun whenever Lance dies. It happens so often, and he’s so good at it. Some are lackadaisical, such as in Scream 3, and some are more emphatic, such as in Hard Target. Here, it’s much more florid and dramatic than necessary, as befits the context. At this point in the movie, I’m starting to get inured to the bombastic approach… actually, by this time, I’m usually digging it.

It is exactly three-quarters of an hour into a hundred and five minute movie, and already we’ve seen a whole mess of killings, along with a few woundings. As Westerns go, this particular flick has very few slow points, which works to its favor.

The final conflict of the evening is Lady facing off against Kelly, and now we have to see if Lady has the guts to really succeed. It wouldn’t be much of a movie if she didn’t, but what she didn’t expect was the elation of winning.

In the night, Lady has a face-off with Lex, who has invited her to dinner at the Lexcorp Headquarters. We now hear a little about how Luthor came to be, what drives his evil. It’s revealed that Lex had a screwed-up childhood, which is, I think, psychologically accurate to the modern understanding of criminality. It’s not that I believe in a Scientology-like model that things we hear at birth can affect our lives, but the lessons you learn as a child, particularly those of pain, abuse, or smothering control, whether psychological or physical, stick with a person forever. Certainly, the realistic Luthor backs up my assertions. However, when faced with the Man with No Fear (who I thought was Daredevil, though it’s actually Lex Luthor, apparently, and, crossing both archetypes and the copyright laws between Marvel and DC), Lady can’t compete, and flees.Spotted Horse! Cannot be killed by a bullet!

The next day alternates between pouring rain and dusty hot sun. This town must have wonderful drainage, as the times when it’s not pouring, it seems to be bone dry. I wish I knew how they did that; we could use that sort of drainage scheme in Chicago. The contests go on, but Luthor changes it from "left standing" to "left alive." Just like it should be; guns are designed to be fatal, and gunfights should be lethal as well. Admittedly, death is not treated as realistically in this movie as it is in Unforgiven, but the horror of death is fairly well represented by the absolute utter lack of respect the killers display toward each other and the dead. Those with any soul left are shaken when death comes, and close to the end, we see the death of a couple of characters we care about, and the pain that causes. That’s something that all too few action movies show, and it’s something that should be encouraged. I mean, I’m not opposed to the slick, stylish violence, I don’t think violent movies create violent behavior where none existed previously, and even this movie breaks its own rules about the significance of death at the dramatic end, but I do think a real, human portrayal of the consequences is valuable.

But I’m off-track.

The Kid kills off a minor character, Luthor takes out the smooth and stylish hired gun the townspeople called in (with, by the way, some of the best over-the-top camera work… I thought the shot of Ace through the bullet hole in a playing card was cool, but this…), and Cort has some difficulty with Spotted Horse. One of the most disgusting characters finally gives Lady a motivation to complete the second round of competition. I have to say, as far as justified killings go, this one was set up for most of the movie as the most justified. Well, but for the final fight, of course, which, as will surprise no one, is set up best of all.

So, anyway. The third day of competition, it’s down to four people. Cort, Lady, the Kid, and ol’ Lex. No good can come of this. Of course, there’s always the truism that if you have enough allies, you can outsmart even the toughest thugs. That’s a very simple lesson that it’s better to be nice than tough. Well, it would be best if you were both, I suppose, but it’s hard to be the one when you’re the other. The old ninja man plays a role, as does the blind kid. It’s very good to know Mr. Raimi does well by his secondary characters.

The last day of competition. DaI've heard of killing time, but...wn. A final face-off between the forces of Good and Evil in the heart of the town of Redemption. And what a significant face off it is. For one thing, it’s completely over the top in the coolness factor. Things blow up, but for perfectly good reasons (not like bats are flying into them or anything). And through it all, the final twist (not entirely unguessable) comes out. The details of it all relate back to the rest of the movie, actually, bringing things around to a close nicely. And just when you thought you’d won… but I’ll leave that discovery, as amusing as it is, to the viewer.

There are some really nifty activities in the closing sequence. An uncanny display of look-ma-no-aiming gunplay reveals that old skills never really do fade completely, and after everything wraps up, things come to a close with a new hope for Redemption, in several senses of the word. Ah, if only real life were this predictable and yet this interesting.

It is interesting to note that this is yet another Raimi movie in which Bruce Campbell, loveable mug, played a significant role. There are many times when Campbell has worked without Sam, but I can’t think of more than a handful of Raimi projects that haven’t involved Bruce. As it happens, he played a Justice of the Peace who married the Kid and his cute red-headed girlfriend, but that whole scene was cut from the final version of the movie. We still see the Kid and his new bride in their finery, talking to Lex, but we’re given no hint as to why they’re dressed up so nice and purty. Reckon the Raimi brothers thought it was just extra padding, all things considered.

Personally, I truly do think seeing Bruce’s face in the background would have been a special treat, just like I think having the Legendary Hoff appear as the Prettiest Gunfighter in the West would have been wonderful (hence the two Hoffs). But we can always dream.

The whole soundtrack was heavy with the Spanish guitar, the horn section, the wailing harmonica… it didn’t really do the satire thing, as much as the visual action did, but it was very evocative of the classic films it was.

This is a Western in a modified Modern Realist tone, which, regardless of what it means to other art people, means to me a Western that attempts to show some realistic scenes of life as it was, while still allowing the leads to appear attractive to the modern viewer. Unforgiven does this the best that I can think of offhand, but The Quick and the Dead modifies it enough to be slick and flashy in the vein of a modern action flick, with comic touches. If the respectable old standard of the Western is going to have any more big-screen time, it’s going to have to mutate into something like this, something with a modern view of action, and an appreciation of the classic standards.

Do we like it? Yes we do. Is it good? Well, it’s enjoyable, and it looks real nice. People can only call it a "bad" movie because it seems cliché, almost formulaic, but then again, that’s what it’s going for, so it’s hard to fault it for that. Personally, if I had to choose, I’d rather have this movie than any of John Wayne’s. Luckily, it’s not an "either/or" situation, and I can enjoy both for their own merits. And there’s always a place for Clint, as well.

"Pumpkinhead 3?!"


These are the times of which to cherish...

- Lady’s quick thinking when Cort’s life was on the line. Literally.

Rat-boy, in action

Rat-boy gets his come-uppance, not once but twice.

- One of the top-billed actors, Gary Sinise, makes an appearance of less than a couple of minutes. Admittedly, he’s good in the screen time he has, but still… that’s like Martha Quinn’s high billing in Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town.

The dapper Dr. Spotted Horse

My dear, dear friend, Dr. Spotted Horse. Now, that’s one Native American who a) knows how to dress, and b) doesn’t know the meaning of the word "quit." If we’re lucky, we each have a little Spotted Horse inside us. Hopefully not literally.

- The little blind boy who can throw accurately. A sort of pre-pubescent, Old West Daredevil, or perhaps the kid who would grow up to be Rutger Hauer in Blind Fury. No, wait, he went blind in the Nam, it wasn’t like he was born that way in the Old West. My bad.

- Chair Tricks with Lex Luthor!

-- Copyright © 2000 by E. Mark Mitchell

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