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Fri, 29 Jul '11

Cowboys, Aliens and Weird Westerns

Space invaders aren't the only unusual threat the West has won over.

by Peter Y. Levin

In Cowboys and Aliens, gunslingers of the Old West encounter a threat from beyond reality as we know it. Will they prevail? With Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Jon Favreau (who directs) in the posse, you're likely to have a good flick on your calloused, cowpunchin' hands. This is in direct contrast to previous cowboy mash-ups that brought much weaker ammo to the gunfight:

Cowboys and Dinosaurs - In 1969's The Valley of Gwangi, a large Allosaurus is captured and put in a wild west show, only to break free and go on a not-so-unexpected rampage. The humans win the battle but not the audience, as the Ray Harryhausen-designed monsters give better performances than the actors.

Vampires and Cowpokes - BloodRayne II: Deliverance posits that Billy the Kid was a Transylvanian bloodsucker who terrorized little towns in the 1880s. As you might expect, only a leather-clad half-human lady based on a video game could stop him. Directed by Uwe Boll, whose movies suck harder than Dracula.

Space Cowboys - Oblivion's rootin' tootin' cast is studded with the likes of George Takei, Julie Newmar and Isaac Hayes. This would have been amazing in 1970. Unfortunately, it came out in 1994. You have got to see the Oblivion trailer. Like the manure that fertilized the West...it stinks! But in a good way. Sort of.

Cowboys and Aliens opens today. We're so happy, we could yodel.

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