I never even knew a movie existed where Charles Bronson and Will Sampson (Chief Bromden from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’) teamed up to battle a giant albino monster buffalo up until a couple weeks ago. But yeah ‘The White Buffalo’ is just that, a wild west adventure flick that channels ‘Jaws’ in obvious ways but alsogives a lot more to ponder upon later. This 1977 action flick features Bronson as Wild Bill Hickock who’s haunted by nightmares of a vicious monster buffalo, so much so that he’s developed a bad habit of grabbin’ his pistols during the dreams and randomly firing it in real life while he’s in a deep slumber.
The visions intensify and soon Bronson’s on a cross country quest to track down this pesky monster. There’s some great action in between of course where Bronson kicks a ton of ass and gets into some crazy saloon shootouts, cuz let’s not forget what he’s best known for, over the top ass kickin’ action. Meanwhile the awesome Will Sampson plays the legendary Crazy Horse, who’s daughter happens to be slaughtered by the giant buffalo in a bloody massacre on his settlement and it inspires a quest of revenge against the beast.
I really dig this forgotten gem, from the cool sets to the atmospheric gothic journey when Bronson heads off on into the mountains in a stage coach, to the drama between Hickock and Crazy Horse as they try to come to terms with the white man’s dominance in the world. Of course my favorite part of this 70’s horror/action hybrid is the threat of the giant beast looming in the mountians, which I read was inspired by the success of ‘Jaws’. The creature appears within an almost dream like landscape, even when outside of Bronson’s nightmares.
The giant beast is actually pretty well done I think, considering the times, using animatronics and puppetry and well placed camera angles. there’s some pretty bloody and intense scenes later as well when the duo finally confronts the albino behemoth. Considering the movie had a PG rating back then at least it gets nice and dirty when it needs to. We all know those 70’s “PG” rated flicks can feel a lot more like an R rated movie in modern times. The movie definitely works best showcasing the unlikely alliance between Bronson & Sampson and does it’s best to show what sort of bonds and trust can develop against a greater threat. I had a blast with this one and it’s easily become one of my favorite Bronson movies! Track this one down, it’s a unique little largely forgotten monster flick!
I may be late to the party with this one, but I got to see Snowpiercer last night in the theater finally! It’s one helluva flick and I’d really expect nothing less from Boon Joon-ho who also directed the amazing monster movie “The Host” years ago. For one I love movies that take place on trains but this one is certainly not your average adventure on the tracks! This wild ride takes place years after a chemical is released into the atmosphere to solve climate change problems on the Earth, instead it turns the planet into a frigid ball of ice and one man builds his ultimate dream, a fast moving train to house the existing survivors of the ice age. The only problem is that the rich survivors live a lavish life far at the front and the poor are jam packed like sardines to live in filth in the back tail end cars, suffering from brutality and starvation from their higher ups. This situation could only last for so long before a revolt is planned by the poor box car rebels who are lead by none other than Chris “Captain America” Evans, who’s nearly unrecognizable in the role.
Evans finally really gets a chance to prove he’s far more than a Marvel superhero delivering an excellent performance filled with real emotion. I also have to mention his role in this movie is far more ass kicking than anything you’re likely to get from a Disney Marvel movie. It really made me see him in a whole new light and judging from the film’s nearly flawless critical reception it was clearly a great move for him. Cudos to Evans for taking the role.
We’ve got an incredible adventure here, that in a way really has something to say about the divide today between the rich and the poor, all taking place on huge, high speed train that travels continuously across the globe with no plans of ever stopping in fear of the icy otherworld. It’s a crazy idea as the people aboard the Snowpiercer refer to the train as “the world”. What’s most interesting is seeing Evans and his crew fight their way through each car and with each the decor changing and changing dramatically. It’s some of the most stunning visuals I’ve seen in recent times and gives the perfect backdrop to this breath taking tale.
I’ve got to mention the role of Song Kang-ho who’s a personal fave of mine from many other flicks. He plays the ass kicking, drug addict who almost steals the show himself and Tilda Swinton’s villainous role is one that you’re not likely to forget anytime soon either. This movie will also make you look at “protein bars” and forst bite in a whole new light. Bottom line here is you need to go check this out asap, it’s one of the best movies of the year and I hope it busts the door wide open for Boon Joon-ho here in the USA, we need more movies with amazing original ideas like this on the big screen hitting the major theaters, it’s a shame this one got such a small limited release…