With a New Year Comes a New Challenge . . .

Merry Christmas Eve, people. (And to those who don’t celebrate — Merry Monday! Mondays, by nature, are not typically merry, but I enjoy my alliteration.) I’m afraid I have nothing holiday-related to bring to you today — instead, I look forward to the future! (Er, the incredibly near future of 2013, that is.)

With a new year comes a new challenge and a new genre of movies to watch. This year I will be moving away from my beloved horror movies to watch something else entirely . . . westerns.


If only, my loves. If only.

As a kid, westerns bored the shit out of me, and as an adult . . . well, they still sometimes do. But there are a lot of conventions and tropes in the genre that intrigue me, and I have a special place in my heart for modern cowboys and weird westerns. (Some westerns I have liked, weird, modern, or neither: Unforgiven, Firefly, Blazing Saddles, True Grit (2010), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), and Maverick. Also, I enjoyed the hell out of Territory by Emma Bull, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, and I’ve been wanting to read Dead in the West by Joe R. Lansdale since I read his short story in the same ‘verse, “Deadman’s Road”. Oh, and I watched some Adventures of Brisco County Jr. as a kid. And Justified is one of my very favorite televisions shows ever — so, yeah. I have some love for the genre, even if I’m not a giant John Wayne fan.)

am making a considerably shorter list this year, though. If I couldn’t make myself review 24 horror movies, then it’s certainly not going to happen with westerns. (My own theory regarding my failure, by the way, is that I’m just contrary and lose interest in things once I’ve assigned myself to do them. Or I just taking procrastination to new levels.)

As for the movies that I’ve picked?

The Westerns I WILL Watch, Dammit

  1. High Noon
  2. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  3. Once Upon a Time in the West
  4. A Fistful of Dollars
  5. The Wild Bunch
  6. The Good, the Bad, and the Weird
  7. The Searchers
  8. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
  9. The Proposition
  10. Django
  11. Tombstone
  12. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

I have an incredibly cheap cowboy hat with skulls on it that I bought for a few bucks at Party America. Maybe I should wear that during showings — it might help get me in the mood.

8 thoughts on “With a New Year Comes a New Challenge . . .

  1. I think I feel the way about westerns that you do about horror movies: I can never see enough of them, even when they’re really bad, because of some deep-seated compulsion that probably stems from traumatic incidents as a child that I’ve blocked out of my memory. (You were probably menaced by the ghost of a psycho killer; I probably got kicked in the face by a cow.)

    I’ve seen several on your list, but I will happily re-watch them when you do 😀

    • This love of westerns surprises and pleases me for some reason. (Hopefully, the surprise doesn’t annoy you. Sometimes it annoys me, when people from work or wherever find out that I like horror movies, and they’re like, “I never would have guessed,” or “You don’t seem the type.” And I’m like, yep, sunny and sweet on the outside, disturbed psychotic in the gooey center.)

      Also, here’s a question: what if you were menaced by the ghost of a psychotic cow? Would you be more of a horror fan or a western fan? Or would it be kind of half and half?

      Here’s to hoping I don’t shred apart all your favorite movies with my devilish and razor-sharp wit 🙂

  2. I didn’t like Django, and I’ve never seen McCabe & Mrs. Miller, but all the rest range from very good to great. Once Upon a Time in the West is the greatest western of all time, imo.

  3. If you are going to do “A Fistful of Dollars” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” it seems odd to miss out the middle film “For A Few Dollars More” not least since it’s BETTER than “A Fistful Of Dollars”. To my mind, this trilogy just gets better and better with every installment, with the first film in the series actually being the least fun.

    • I decided that I didn’t want to do the whole trilogy this year, since I had limited myself to twelve westerns. I kind of wanted to see the first one, though, and I think a few lists I read did have it listed higher than the sequel. If I like those movies, though, I’ll just go back later and watch For a Few Dollars More.

  4. Django is really more of a blaxploitation movie with Spaghetti Western undercurrents, but I found it to be one the best films of 2012 so I highly recommend it.

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