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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 
Roddenberry 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 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... 

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