Weird Westerns


PHANTOM EMPIRE (1935)
Gene Autry discovers a futuristic city underneath his ranch in this enjoyably delirious serial Western.

RIDERS OF THE WHISTLING SKULL (1937)
A serial Western about Three Mesquiteers who head off into the desert to find hidden gold protected by a whistling, skull-shaped rock formation and a frankly racist representation of a Native American cult.

BILLY THE KID VS DRACULA (1966)
The first of two Weird Westerns made back-to-back by William Beaudine in which Western outlaws battle monsters. John Carradine stars as Dracula, and regretted it.

JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (1966)
The second William Beaudine Weird Western, this time featuring a body builder in Western garb converted into a mindless monster by Frankenstein;s granddaughter, rather than daughter.

BLACK NOON (1971)
A television movie in which a preacher comes into a Western town filled with pagans, mostly interesting because it somehow managed to tell the story of the classic folk horror film "The Wicker Man" two years before "The Wicker Man" was released.

ALIEN OUTLAW (1985)
A low-budget North Carolina film about space aliens stealing guns from a trick shooter to hunt humans, featuring the unexpected appearance of actual Western stars Lash LaRue and Sunset Carson.

SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT (1989)
An enjoyably New Wave Weird Western, featuring a Western town full of vampires trying to survive on artificial blood, and not doing a very good job of it.

GRIM PRAIRIE TALES (1990)
A middling Weird Western anthology that benefits greatly from its wraparound story, in which James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif, playing two craggy frontier types, tell each other stories.

RAVENOUS (1999)
A genuinely superb Western horror story in which frontier cannibalism becomes a satiric metaphor for manifest destiny.

THE BURROWERS (2008)
A posse goes after pioneers they believe have been kidnapped by Indians, and instead discover predatory monsters and a terrifying metaphor for genocide.

SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD (2009)
George Romero's oddest zombie film, in which an island full of Irish cowboys and fisherman battle over what to do with the undead.

COWBOYS & ALIENS (2011)
A failed blockbuster about alien strip miners and the coalition of Western types that battle them, benefiting enormously from a big budget and an enviable cast.

GALLOWSWALKERS (2012)
A notoriously troubled Wesley Snipes Western about a gunfighter who returns from the dead, along with everyone he killed. The story is hard to follow but the art direction is, at times, almost hallucinogenic.

KILL OR BE KILLED (2015)
The story of a gamg of Texas desperadoes stalked by some sort of murderous evil, but who mostly spend their time irritating each other.

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