Curse of the Chupacabra

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Weird, Weird West

The other day I received another advance screening invitation for Cowboys & Aliens (starring obsession, Harrison Ford), and although I was not displeased with the movie, I did not find it anything to get obsessed about.  Therefore, I will not be doing a review as I am trying to keep this blog about what I DO obsess about.  However!... seeing as though this film was in my Top 5 most anticipated movies of 2011, it would be acceptable to explain my mounting excitement for this film and why I have obsessed about seeing it since the day I heard about it.

There is a relatively new genre known as "weird fiction" or "weird western" that is popular in select circles.  I am not sure of its origins, but I assume "steam punk" is an influence of this weird genre or vice versa, which is basically taking the western setting and mixing it with at least one other genre, such as horror, technology or science fiction.  I have been obsessed with this cross-breeding genre since the mid-90's and just to give an idea of the level of my obsession for this genre, I have started my own book anthology that is a weird western combination of Western/Thriller based on the elusive and legendary, el chupacabra.  (see other posts on this subject)

What is it that I find so appealing about weird westerns? - Not sure.  It's just one of those things in life that I find exciting, original and entertaining.  Maybe it's because there are very few weird western stories out there to experience, that the fascination stems from the unfamiliarity of fantasy or horror that has not been re-chewed and spat out onto a movie screen or in a book.  Of course, the western setting is not the only time period that is being churned into its own genre.  There is a fairly popular book that is being turned into a movie set in the Elizabethan area that is a Horror/Comedy, called 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies', and a civil war action/horror story based on one of our most popular United States President's, 'Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter', both books that I'm getting a little obsessed about reading in my spare time (insert laughter here).  There has even been a weird, popular film series already produced called, 'Pirates of the Caribbean, which is a good example of the weird, throwing together of two genres, which I would classify as Colonial/Paranormal.

But hopefully, thanks to Cowboys & Aliens, this introduction of good 'weird western' to the general public will be welcomed with opened arms (ignoring the atrocious abomination, 'Jonah Hex' and even the highly disappointing 'Wild, Wild West').  And even though the film did not meet my exceedingly high expectations, it is still a good movie that I wish for nothing less than incredible success.

One review-like detail I will comment on about Cowboys & Aliens… Harrison Ford's performance is FANTASTIC!

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Vlad Dracul, known later in life as Vlad the Impaler, suffered more than any should at the hands of Mehmed, son of Sultan Murad. Of all the pain and indignities brought upon him at the behest of the future ruler of the Ottoman Empire, the curse was the worst. All the young Vlad can do is try to survive and plot his vengeance.