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: The Deadly Trackers (1973)  ( 6910 )
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« #15 : May 30, 2013, 07:11:58 AM »

the violence and blood may have been caused by the breakdown in the Production Code (or, some will argue that the Production Code was finished because of all this violence; another chicken/egg question), but I am not talking here merely about the violence and blood. What I am referring to as the characteristic of Westerns of this period was also a certain level of extreme outrageousness. It goes way beyond just the violence and blood.

Like Neville Brand having a rail for a hand. Like the scene where he's eating the watermelon with the rail, and the rest of the gang is eating the fruit.

I don't think you saw that sort of outrageousness in the AW's that came before the Spag Era. I think the spags brought a whole new outrageousness to the Western -- as I mentioned previously, films like Django, The Mercenary, Death Rides a Horse, The Big Gundown, have an outrageousness, like people eating messily and a crude sense of humor, grotesque faces, etc. that may hve begun with the Leone films but they took it to another whole level, and then I think the subsequent AW's started copying some of those characteristics.

I don't think this sort of stuff appeared in AW's that came before the late-60's. I suppose that you could make the argument that, since that was the time that censorship ended, maybe that stuff would have shown up in AW's even if spags never would have existed. Who knows what would have happened. But IMO the spags introduced that to the Western, and then some subsequent AW's (for better or worse) used some of these techniques.

Such a bizarre thing like that rail as a hand may be indeed influenced by a SW. But that's only a minor detail. And maybe The Deadly Trackers is one of those who borrowed more from Italy than usual. The revenge plot is also typical for a SW, but also not uncommon for US westerns.

I wouldn't say that nobody cared for SWs, but the typical SW ingredients like the Leone like shoot-outs, the ritualised duels and the Morricone type of scoring are rarely found in US Westerns. The themes of the US westerns, the increasing violence, the overall dirtyness of characters and sets, this all can clearly be found in the older US westerns.

It is of course speculation what was inspired by what, but you can easily find the roots for nearly all aspects of 70s westerns solely or also in the older US westerns. And if I make assumptions, I do at first assume what is more probable.

What else kind of outrageousness do you think could only be inspired by SWs?

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