Is the Western on Its Way Back?

(Asa) #81

Nice piece. I mean tbh even in posing the question at the start of the thread, I was never of the opinion that the western had gone altogether at any point so, in that sense, it’s true that the western never really left (and I’m talking about actual westerns here). But of course filmmakers transpose the western wholesale to all manner of other times and places; James Mangold for example made Cop Land because he wanted to make the story as a western but wasn’t confident at that stage in his career about taking on a period piece (he went on to remake 3:10 to Yuma, of course). But the themes most prevalent in westerns - morality, struggles through adverse conditions, revenge - lend themselves so well to cinema, you can tell those tales against any backdrop at all (the post-apocalyptic backdrop being especially ripe, stripped and freed as it is from other contemporaneous themes). But whilst some - many - of these tales of revenge or morality or survival will be consciously supplanted westerns, many certainly will not be.

Ultimately though, I’d hate for the western to die altogether and be allowed to do so because, well, they’re all post-apocalyptic films now, aren’t they? Ooh, no.

I wonder how much more popular the western needs to become in the US before the Italian film industry decides once more to exploit the popularity and knock a few spags out? :sunglasses:


It’s interesting to note that one of the first post-apocalyptic Westerns was Hermann’s Jeremiah, a Belgian comic book series first published in 1978 in Zack magazine, a German comics anthology. Among Hermann’s influences were most probably films like Robert Clouse’s The Ultimate Warrior (1975) and clearly Spaghetti Westerns, concerning the two protagonists’ (a)morality and worldview.

The first two pages of La Nuit des rapaces (literally: “The Night of the Raptors”), Jeremiah’s first adventure:

Two pages from Jungle City (2015), Hermann’s thirty-fourth and last Jeremiah album to date:

(Sebastian) #83

Translated my review of FORSAKEN, for all of you viewing pleasure

(Guanto) #84

Yeah I think my thing is longing for that specific sub-genre ya know? Like being a martial arts fan that yearns for Kurosawa’s Samurais but could care less about the Shaw’s kung-fu masters (not that that’s possible of course) – or – being the first in line for SAW VIII but turning your nose up at FRIDAY THE 13TH XXVI – Clamoring for all the Hammer Horror films but finding the Universal stuff lukewarm (actual personal example there). It’s a pit in my stomach along these lines.

The fact that one loves, but never gets, the signature tropes of the Spaghetti Western with all its glorious weird west vibe and pulpy comic book aesthetic, and is instead relegated to being placated with a rash of traditional Fordesque Westerns, of varying production values, kind of sucks. I like four-wheel drive vehicles but I want a jeep. I like steak, but I love filet. Zombie flicks are awesome but ONLY if they walk!

It’s just a huge gaping hole in the cult genre midnight movie underground, and I don’t know why. Is it really still that obscure in a world where pop culture thrives on the slightly off, familiarly foreign and coveted cool? Argh. I guess I am just not satisfied with saying “Westerns are back, or alive, or never left” - I want more than that… more specific that is.

Also, to the point about the “western” being packaged as other genres, including post-apocalyptic, it’s an interesting phenomenon considering that’s exactly what so many of the westerns, including the Spaghetti’s, did to the other genres to get their foothold. I guess I’m OK with robbing Peter to pay Paul as long as Peter robs me back. :slight_smile:

(Sebastian) #85

Ti West digs Mannaja :wink:

(Sebastian) #86

Nice article

(Sebastian) #87

Bring it, Kev

(Sebastian) #88

(Sebastian) #89

And a little preview of Brimstone

(Sebastian) #90

Game of Brimstones trailer and pictures

(Sebastian) #91

Here is another

(Sebastian) #92

If this is any good?

(Nick) #93

It looks good to me, hopefully we’ll see some more trailers for this movie in the near future.

(Sebastian) #94

Too bad it’s a bad article, I was surprised at the choices of titles he makes to outline his point, but I agree with the general premise

(Sebastian) #95

(titoli) #96

More than half of these 15 are not westerns in traditional sense, but neo-westerns, meta-westerns, crossover/fusion, animated etc.

I completely understand what make those kind of movies ‘a western’, but I rather make distiction between movies which are ‘true’ western in every sense and these neo types. If we start commonly call these kind of movies a western, then, historically, we should include a lot of movies in western genre and in every discussion of the greatest movies of the genre. Every road movie for start.

(Sebastian) #97

Interesting short

(Sebastian) #98


(Tom B.) #99

Sorry but I’ve seen these so called resurgences before. Few make it to the big screen and are released on DVD. You’ll always find a few fanatics who will continue to make small budget westerns for DVD release or You Tube and a few will pop up at Film Festivals. We’ll also hear about projected TV series for TV movies with big names attached to them but even the ones who do reach theater distribution will show up at one or two theaters in a big city and then quickly fade away. If The Magnificent 7 couldn’t stir up some attention we won’t see anymore than one or two a year. Sorry to be so pessimistic but the studios and producers with clout aren’t and haven’t been interested in decades and that feeling just won’t change.

(Stanton) #100

But only because the audiences don’t care for westerns (unless they are from QT). If westerns would make more money, the producers wouldn’t hesitate to make them by the dozen.

Actually I can understand by most modern westerns that the audience stayed away. I have no clue why mediocre films like the 3:10 to Yuma Remake or the new Mag 7 version made any money at all.