Ok, let’s talk a bit about these sub-genres (hope Korano will not nail me again)
What makes a genre a genre? The SW itself was often called a sub-genre of the western, which at least proves that they were somehow different from the usual idea of a western.
But I can’t see that much sub genres of the SW.
At least a genre film should have a few things more in common with other films of the same genre than let’s say a setting like snow. If Snow westerns should be an own genre these films should have a little more which makes them different from other westerns than that they are set in a snowy landscape.
Also Twilight ain’t a genre, these are simply a bunch of films which were made very late in the history of SWs, and I don’t think they are too different from all that was made before. and where they are different (Keoma, 4 of the Apocalypse), they don’t share these differences with others of the twilight westerns.
Same goes for the Pre- Fistful westerns. That’s not a genre, even if these have in their simplicity a similar approach to the western genre, it ain’t different from many later SWS.
There are a few circus westerns, but again they don’t share much than being set partly in a circus (Boot Hill and 2 Guns for a Coward have nothing in common) and Parolini’s Sabata films have some acrobats jumping around, but not even a circus in sight from which they could have been escaped.
The only relevant sub types of SWs are the political ones, of which the Zapatas are again a sub type, and the comedies.
Then there are a few of these East meets West films, maybe they can called a sub-genre, but they are not very important for the genre, and it’s only a handful.
Maybe the heist westerns are a sort of sub genre, as there are quite a lot of them.
There is also at least one musical, there are a few SWs with strong melodramatic elements, a few with a woman in the lead a few of this, and one of that, but always not enough to create a movement.
And terms like autumnal, gothic, exploitation are only describing a few influences on a few westerns, but hardly a genre.
Basically the SW tells 2 stories, and most of the SWs belong to one of these story lines:
- The revenge story
- The greed for money story, in which the hero’s only interest is to make money (by bounty hunting, treasure searching etc)
But I’m not sure if these 2 types of films can be related to a genre definition. They belong to the genre of the SW, they even contain the key elements of the SW, but are they really a sub genre of the SW?