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Top 10 Sci-fi Westerns Part 1

Of the genre combinations, this is not one that readily comes to mind
(such as the ever popular Slasher/Romantic Comedy crossover). My favorite
crossover might be Horror/Comedy with SF/Horror a close second, but
some really great SF just happens to have Western themes.
Check out my top ten. It was originally five, but then I remembered 5 more:
 
10. Westworld (movie) -
About a theme park that uses A.I. androids to show
guests "a good time" in different worlds created to
simulate space travel, ancient Rome, the Age of Chivalry,
and the wild west. Unfortunately, a good time means being
massacred by androids. Some great moments in this flick
and Yul Brynner is the baddest android gunslinger badass
ever, but takes too long to get going. This could use a
remake, but avoid the sequel like the Black Death if you
know what's good for ya'. Look for the late Majel Barrett RoddenberryRoddenberry in one of her few non-Trek roles.

9. Star Trek: The Original Series "Spectre of the Gun" (television) -
Kirk, McCoy, that logical guy - what's his name? Spork or something,
Chekov, and Scotty (woohoo!) [from now until the end of time, Scotty
always gets a "woohoo" in my blog] beam down to make contact with the
Melkotians, but in interfering with the strict "no sales" policy (even
though there was a clear sign next to the door and everything!) they must
face a punishment sucked from Kirk's mind. Was it the Stay-Puft Marshmallow ManMarshmallow Man? No it was the Gunfight at the OK Corral. You know, the
one where the Clanton gang says "let's have a gunfight and the Earps say
"OK". Since the details were sketchy in Kirk's mind, it gave the show an
excuse to use almost no money in making the sets. Fast thinking! Of all
the crew in a 'somewhat familiar, but not really' setting episodes, this
is my least favorite except for the Ancient Greece one, the Nazi one
being my favorite, and the gangster one in second. Check it out for the
express purpose of preparing you for the Futurama Trek episode. Actually,
you'll have to watch the whole series to fully get that gem.

8. Galaxy Express 999 (manga/anime) -
Tetsuro is on his way to the Andromeda galaxy to get a mechanical body
for free. His transport is a steam-locomotive refitted for space travel.
[Hey! If you can buy a WWII battleship that can zoom through hyperspace
(Yamato), you can buy this!] On his way, he stops by Titan where there
are NO RULES!! Yay!!! Or so you'd think. Since people can do anything
they want, they can also KILL YOU and take your stuff. Utopia, right?
This is where Tetsuro learns some hard lessons about survival in space
and picks up a gun called a Cosmo Dragoon designed by Tochiro who has
died and who's essence has been transferred into a pirate ship refitted
for space travel. Are you beginning to sense a pattern? I thought this
series would be my least favorite Leiji Matsumoto creation -
especially since the main character looks like a pod person from the
Dark Crystal - but it's definitely his best work. I'll talk more about
it in a future blog entry.

7. Back to the Future III (movie) -
This movie seemed a lot better than it actually was because BttF II
was such a piece of crap. Saying that, there were some good performances,
some funny moments, and it tied the whole trilogy together (a feat that has
rarely been repeated - you listening, older George Lucas?). Most amazing feat
is convincing the audience that Doc Brown can still procreate.

6. Captain Ken (manga) -
One of Osamu Tezuka's lesser known works about a human boy (Ken) who
endeavors to save the Native American-like Martians from the cowboy-
like Earthers. Ken's design makes him one of my favorite Tezuka characters.
Something about the combination of "hinomaru" (Japanese flag sun symbol)
headband and cowboy hat that drew me to this character.
The story is seemingly simplistic, but there are some interesting twists
and the ending leaves me in tears every time. Don't expect it to be
translated anytime soon, so hurry up and learn Japanese so we can talk
about it. I can wait. Waiting....

To be continued...
x

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