Sunday, May 8, 2011

Parting shot: The Quick the the Dead

For a better appreciation and understanding of this article, a glance at Bill’s analysis of The Quick and the Dead may be helpful, although far from essential.

Of the three movies we’ve reviewed thus far, Sam Raimi’s The Quick and the Dead is the one we have agreed the most on. So much so, in fact, that conjuring up any article with pretences of selling it as a ‘rebuttal’ would be pretty dull. I figured it was time to mix things up a bit in an attempt to keep the reply portion of the marathon fresh. However, it felt right to remain in the spirit of the film we reviewed last week. Here, therefore, is my reply:

Setting: a small, underdeveloped and dusty town somewhere in what legend calls the wild, wild west. We are in a bar, half full with customers. I’m sitting at a table against the wall, minding my own business while nursing a whisky (dirty glass). You are at the bar, sharing a bottle of whisky with some hick.

Dumb Hick
I just loves me that scene in Fistful of Dollars when Clint arrives at the town, eh, what’s the name of that town again?

Bill (in a cocky tone)
Saint Domani.

Dumb Hick (puzzled)
Uh, I don’t think so, Bill. Seems to me the town was called something like-

Bill (now a little peeved)
I just told you what the town was called you dumb cow: Saint Domani.

Edgar (resting his glass of whisky on the table)
The town was called San Miguel.

The Dumb Hick and Bill, unaware of Edgar’s presence, turn around.

Bill (in a serious tone)
You better not occupy yourself with what isn’t yours, boy

Edgar (clever as ever)
You better not occupy yourself with what you don’t know.

Bill and Edgar share a long, hard stare. Both do there best to keep emotions in check but the animosity is obviously growing. Bill walks over to Edgar’s table but remains standing.

You think you know that much about westerns, boy?

I’m no encyclopaedia, but at least I don’t go around pretending I know that much.

Bill (giggles sarcastically)
It looks like I’m going to have to challenge you

Edgar (finishes his whisky in one gulp)
It looks just like that.

A few minutes later Bill and Edgar face each other in the middle of the street just outside that bar. They are at 20 paces from each other. A crowd as gathered. The bar man is standing between them.

Bar man
You both know the rules. Questions will be fired immediately after a correct answer is given. The first to deliver an incorrect answer loses the match…and probably his reputation. Understood?

Bill (anxious)
Yeah, yeah. Now start shootin’!

Edgar (cool as a cucumber)
We heard you loud and clear bar man. Let’s get this over with. I have a date for a premiere tonight

The town clock clicks away the seconds before the match begins. Suddenly…high noon!
Bar man
What’s the name of the kid in Shane?


Bar man
Who is the cinematographer for the 2010 remake of True Grit?

Roger Deakins!

Bar man
What is the theme song to the original 1969 version and who sung it?

Edgar (thinking: this is a cakewalk!)
‘True Grit’, sung by co-star Glen Campbell!

Bill (thinking: huh, the kid’s good)

Bar man
What famous Herzog collaborator makes an appearance in For a Few Dollars more?

Klaus Kinski!

Edgar (thinking: Damn Herzog fanatic…)

Bar Man
What is the name of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western?

Django Unchained!

Bill (thinking: Ah! I knew I should have paid more attention to Tarantino!)

Bar man
What year was John Ford’s Stagecoach released?


The intensity picks up as the Bar man launches question upon questions at the two opponents, but neither makes a false move. The minutes turn into hours…

Bar Man (clearly fatigued)
Hey, do you guys wanna take a break or something? Maybe call it even?

Not a chance. I’m not leaving until I’ve gone all John Wayne on this cinephile imposter!

Guy, you’re paid to do two things: serve drinks and ask official match questions. As far as I know, we ain’t in the bar right now!

Bar man
Where does the Korean film The Good, the Bad, the Weird take place?

Manchuria !

Bar man
How many people escort Russell Crowe’s character in the 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma?


Bar man
What is the past relation between the two leading characters played by William Holden and Robert Ryan in 1969’s The Wild Bunch?

They were partners!

Bar man
True or false: Unforgiven won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993.


Silence befalls the bar man. A few moments pass. Bill anxiously awaits the next question while Edgar begins to smile in satisfaction.

Bar man
Edgar wins!

What!?! Check your facts booze man. Unforgiven did win!

Edgar (with some definite swagger)
Oh yes it did, Bill…In 1992.


Just like that Bill bursts into flames and spontaneously combusts. The townspeople cheer loudly as they gather around their new hero. The Bar man falls to the ground in exhaustion.

Edgar! Edgar! Edgar!

A super hot woman, most likely a supermodel, approaches Edgar.

Come here sweet thing, cause you + me = destiny!

Edgar opens his eyes and adapts them to the light. He is lying in bed with his portable computer at his side. The sun has already risen up and its beautiful, warm glow has entered Edgar bedroom.

Man, of only real were like that…hey, what time is it?

His cellphone reads noon

Oh crap! I overslept! And It’s Sunday! I have to write that rebuttal for The Quick and the Dead for the western marathons Bill and I are doing!

Edgar begins to type away frantically...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was freaking awesome Edgar, you clearly win this round, you are the man! :)