HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Summon the Darkness
Call Northside 777
Cup of Cheer
Lost at Christmas
Super Robot Mach Baron
Battle of Jangsari, The
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Safe Spaces
Stanford Prison Experiment, The
Assassination in Rome
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Shooting, The Might Not Like What You Find
Year: 1967
Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Warren Oates, Millie Perkins, Jack Nicholson, Will Hutchins, Charles Eastman, Guy El Tsosie, Brandon Carroll, B.J. Merholz, Wally Moon
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Bounty hunter Willett Gashade (Warren Oates) returns to the mine where he has been trying to make an honest buck, only when he ties up his horse and mule, he notices a grave - the grave of his old friend who he had left behind to tend the site. Then someone starts shooting at him. He dives for cover, and sees that the would-be assassin is his other friend Coley (Will Hutchins) who stops firing when he realises who he is aiming for. Soon, Will has the story from him - someone gunned down their companion and he didn't see who it was. But then a new character enters the tale...

The Shooting has been impressing and infuriating viewers for decades now, a deliberately confounding western which builds with inexorable dread to a climax which has had more than one person scratching their heads. It was one of two westerns directed by Monte Hellman for Roger Corman in the mid-sixties, the other being Ride in the Whirlwind, although this was the better thought of especially in Europe where it played in Paris for a whole year. In contrast, it was barely released in the United States, and its reputation from abroad had only mustered up a cult following rather than the fame its adherents thought it deserved.

But really, with an ending like that it was never going to be anything more than a cult movie, not to mention the fact that for the rest of the running time this is willfully hard to follow, with muttered dialogue and plot developments which are easy to miss on first viewing. The character who is introduced after Coley explains to Will what has occured so far is never named, but she is played by Millie Perkins, even at that time most famous for playing Anne Frank in the film of the diary. She offers Will a substantial amount of money, more that he can make in the mine, to help her get to a town across the desert, although she obviously has an alternative plan which she is not letting on to him about.

Will agrees, even though she has an extremely prickly personality and they waste no time in getting down to arguing. Coley tags along as well, and off they go across the plains, except that the woman wants to stop off at a nearby town first, where they learn that someone has killed a young boy there. That someone is the key to the plot, as it turns out Will knows him well, leading up to that confrontation for the finale which has been the source of so much bafflement since. But don't go thinking the ending is all the film is about, as leading up to it is a succession of increasingly menacing twists, as if all the main characters are heading towards a showdown that they cannot escape.

One of those main characters was played by Jack Nicholson, here also acting as producer of the film, appearing as the sinister Billy Spear, first glimpsed as a mysterious silhouette on the horizon, until Will works out that the woman keeps firing off shots seemingly at random to in fact send signals to their pursuer. He does catch up with them and provides backup to her in the face of the two grumbling bounty hunters, but it doesn't take much to realise how destructive their relationships will be, mainly to each other. If nothing else, The Shooting is an illustration of how to do a lot with very little, as this was a very low budget effort and the way that they ended up filming most of it in the bleak landscape seems innovative as it saved money as well as supplying the ideal setting. Whether you grasp what is going on or not, and even if you do there are still questions which go unanswered, this all feeds into what amounts to an enigma that may reward the patient. Music by Richard Markowitz.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3152 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Monte Hellman  (1932 - )

"Existential" is a word often used to describe the films of this American director, who after working for Roger Corman on Beast from Haunted Cave, Back Door to Hell and The Terror directed two cult westerns, The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind. In the 1970s he continued his cult acclaim with Two Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter and China 9 Liberty 37, but come the 80s the directing work dried up, with only Iguana and Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 to his name. He also worked behind the scenes on The Wild Angels, Robocop and Reservoir Dogs, among others.

 
Review Comments (2)


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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: