High Plains Drifter

High Plains Drifter ★★★★★

Amoral ghost story revenge that feels like a grim pulp western paperback from HELL.

Perhaps the cruelest American Western of that time period? Perhaps. Eastwood utilizes knowledge acquired from Siegel and Leone and conjures up a raw, sardonic, and mean little horror western yarn with ominous vibes and atmosphere that lingers in perpetual limbo equal parts hellish and haunting—a genre deconstruction where the hero is more frightening, cruel, and ugly than any of the villains. That dynamite fire n’ brimstone finale (and final shot) has been etched in my mind since I first saw it as a kid, same goes for Eastwood’s unpure hellbent on revenge specter—returning to save a town by breaking its back and making it humble. Red Dead Redemption. Might be my favorite 70’s western?

Apparently John Wayne hated this and that makes me love it even more.

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