HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Zachariah Put Down Your WeaponBuy this film here.
Year: 1971
Director: George Englund
Stars: John Rubinstein, Pat Quinn, Don Johnson, Country Joe and the Fish, Elvin Jones, Doug Kershaw, William Challee, Robert Ball, Dick Van Patten, The James Gang, White Lightnin', The New York Rock Ensemble, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, Lawrence Kubik, Hank Worden
Genre: Western, Music
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: It arrived in the post today! What did? The new gun that Zachariah (John Rubinstein) ordered, that's what, and he can't wait to try it out and get the hang of it, firing off bullets in the desert until he feels his aim is good enough. Finally satisfied, he mounts his horse and heads off to see his best friend, the blacksmith Matthew (Don Johnson), to show off his new acquisition and he turns out to be as excited as Zachariah is, heading out to the middle of nowhere with him to try it out for himself. They are both agreed that this means Zachariah is headed for some kind of status in life - but is a gunslinger what he really wants to be?

This was billed as "The First Electric Western", not meaning some kind of science fiction hybird with the venerable genre, but the fact that every so often someone starts playing an electric guitar, for this is in its way a musical of sorts. Or at least that's how it starts out, and very promising it looks to, or rather sounds as the country rock and acid rock played by the likes of Country Joe and the Fish and The James Gang is pretty foot-tapping stuff, brightening up what you expect to be a worthy and earnest drama. Sadly, this doesn't last, and earnest is precisely what it ends up being, making it utterly of its time.

The film was evidently intended to feed your head as well as your ears, if you see what I mean, and certain members of the audience who have been into spritual enlightenment may well recognise the plot of this as an adaptation of the hippies' favourite writer, Herman Hesse: his novel Siddhartha, to be exact. But even if you're not up on your counterculture literature, you should be able to appreciate what they were trying out here; it is worth mentioning the team of writers included those comedy merchants The Firesign Theater, who it should be noted hated what their script ended up as and effectively distanced themselves from the finished production, although their names remain on the credits.

So if this does not enjoy their endorsement, who does like it? Chances are if you were around in the seventies and are keen to revisit the world of cosmic opportunity that was opening up in your mind, should you have been so inclined, then nostalgia renders Zachariah quite entertaining. Certainly the aforementioned music is worth investigating, although you might be better off tracking down the soundtrack album for that, but even if you were not around at the time this was released and don't know your sheepskin jacket from your joss sticks there is a worthwhile message here about not bothering with soul-destroying competition and opting for the simple life, allowing your experiences to make you the person you are today without, say, getting into face-offs with gunmen.

Zach is set on the path of violence after he shoots down a troublemaker in a bar, and with Matthew as his cheerleader they join the gang of outlaws known as The Crackers (actually Country Joe and the Fish). At this stage, the comedy is being played up and all very goofy it is too, with slapstick and oneliners and a ransom for the gang that dwindles to twenty-five dollars when it turns out they are inept. But Zach wants bigger things, and sets his sights on Job Cain (Elvin Jones, who regales us with some excellent jazz drumming), a big shot around there. Soon, however, after a dalliance with super-showgirl Belle Starr (Pat Quinn) he realises there's more to life than filling people full of lead, and heads off to the desert (well, it's all desert in this really) to find himself. This is all leading up to a final confrontation between Zach and a black-clad Matthew to prove which is the best, peace or force, and there's only one way to find out - fight! So if the amusement levels are frittered away eventually, then it's not a dead loss, a little piece of eccentricity from when it was possible to raise money for such things. If not get money back. Music by Jimmie Haskell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2876 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: