High Plains Drifter

High Plains Drifter ★★★★

No remorse for the sheriff, in his eye I ain't right/
I'ma paint his town red, then paint his wife white!

as with his directorial debut PLAY MISTY FOR ME this is a discordant manipulation of Eastwood's own screen image, Clint using here a graphic provocation gleaned from mentor Don Siegel to interrogate his 'Man With No Name' character type from Leone's DOLLARS trilogy. like a Marvel WHAT IF? comic that asks What If 'Blondie' stepped out of the stylized spaghetti and into a very nasty revisionist view of the American West full of cowardly self-interested brutes? would he take anything he wanted, including lives & women? and also what if he was some sort of vengeful ghost? the images that stick in the craw are the surrealist flourishes: Lago literally done up like Hell, little Mordecai traipsing about with a bullet-riddled top hat wielding a too-big gun, bull whips cracking out of the darkness like angry desert snakes. John Wayne famously responded to the film saying, “That isn’t what the West was all about," like he could see the romance dissipating in the sunset, and crass depravity riding into town. you ever wonder what The Duke would have made of Kid Rock?

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