“A deadly dream that was eating out his soul, a nightmare he had to hunt down and face up to before it turned him into a raving maniac!”
Now this was the train conductors opening words about our hero Wild Bill Hickok, played by action star Charles Bronson, who had arrived back in town in disguise under the name James Otis. Wearing a pair of cyberpunk style round shades* he sneaks off the train. Within seconds his cover is blown, he tries to keep up the charade but no one is having any of it.
Tagline – Two legendary enemies unite to fight the charging white beast!!
To be honest the conductors words about ole Hickok becoming “a raving maniac” look like they are coming true. Every night he has a recurring dream about a rampaging lunatic white buffalo that really has it in for everyone. Looking like a relative of a Wampa ice creature from Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back. This dude has real messed up anger problems. Smashing through rocks, mountains, tribes of native americans, trees and has a real boner for our man Hickok. A destiny awaits them in the dream, of a deadly showdown between man and beast.
Really can’t tell who is more insane? Hickok or the Buffalo? Because he needs a ban on his habit of taking his guns to bed. Pistols and bad dreams don’t mix as bonkers Bill lets off both barrels when he awakes in a fevered daze. Shooting holes in everything.
Tagging along for the ride is old timer one eyed Charlie Zane, played by Jack Warden, and Crazy Horse, played by Will Sampson (“I’m getting the hell outta of here” Chief Bromden from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest).
Have many Native American ancestor’s spirits must of been freaking out in the skies, if they had seen the communication scenes between Crazy Horse and Hickok. Part random sign language part pidgin English, it’s quite the wonder.
The film was directed by J Lee Thompson who made a ton of great films and some I have a real soft spot for, the Planet Of The Apes sequels Conquest and Battle For. The story was written and adapted into the screenplay by Richard Sale.
One Eye Charlie to a wannabe tough guy “Nah nah silly boy didn’t your maa tell you your mouth isn’t for breaking wind!”
With the bleak icy cold winds and snow, this could make a good weekend companion piece to Bronson’s Death Hunt. I was put onto this great fun action flick by watching a youtube video put together by Mikes Take On The Movies film blog tribute to the man Charles Bronson’s films and posters. Check it out it’s very good.
*Fun Fact – It is believed that Wild Bill Hickok would of most likely of worn shades due to a problematic eye disorder.
If you fancy it I’m sure you will enjoy this western take on Jaws or Moby Dick with the added bonus of two historical figures thrown in for good measure. As always have fun and let me know what you thought. Take it nice and easy… Wolfie.
Here’s the trailer
Further Reading Links