Posts Tagged by Westworld
|September 22, 2011||Posted by Ariadne under Western Literature, Westernfilms||
With Cowboys & Aliens being a summer hit, this seems like a good time to say something about science fiction Westerns – a genre mix that has been around for quite some time now. It’s important to note that science fiction Westerns include science fiction elements in a Western setting; the opposite of this are space Westerns – where Western elements are incorporated into a science fiction setting. For example, Joss Whedon’s Firefly is often considered to be a space Western.
I have to admit that my personal favourites of science fiction Westerns include some of the occasions where a science fiction franchise would take a one-time trip to the Old West. For instance, the fantastic Red Dwarf series had an episode where all of the characters found themselves in a virtual reality Old West, fighting against the Gunmen of the Apocalypse. Another personal favourite includes the Back to the Future III – this film was so enjoyable that I don’t know how to start describing it. The entire concept allowed some nice jokes and nods to the Western genre, such as Marty McFly’s character introducing himself as Clint Eastwood once he travels back to the Old West.
A good example of this subgenre is Wild Wild West, a 1999 film that’s in fact a remake of the Wild Wild West series that ran in the ’60s. The film mixed Western, espionage and science fiction. Westworld, on the other hand, was a 1973 thriller with Yul Brynner as a lifelike robot in a Western-theme amusement park. Written and directed by Michael Crichton, this film was well received by critics. Recently there have even been rumors about a possible Westworld remake.
Among novels, most prominent are Stephen King’s Dark Tower series of books. King himself admitted that the main character of Gunslinger was in part inspired by the Clint Eastwood’s character of “The Man With No Name”, from Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns. Then, among graphic novels we have Rosenberg’s Cowboys & Aliens – the piece which inspired this year’s film of the same name. The title, I believe, is self-explanatory!
In short, this unusual mix of genres might not be for any Western fan, but it can be interesting for those who sometimes want to see the Western genre from a different angle.