Sunday, April 25, 2010

bad/awesome flixxx review: Keoma (1976)

One of the final great "spaghetti westerns", KEOMA was a last hurrah and a shining triumph of what the genre had been, and could have been. In 1976, when most of the steam had already run out of these types of flicks, and they had moved on from serious dramas to shitty parodies or even shittier "western comedies", Franco Nero brought to life the story of a "half-breed" hell bent on making up for lost time.

KEOMA is the tale of Keoma, a half-white, half-native American man who has returned from the civil war to his home in the old west. Upon his return he finds his old town run by a corrupt Confederate soldier who's got a posse of assholes that ride roughshod all over the citizens of the town. Something has infected the water and given some of the townsfolk the "plague". The bad guy (Mr. Caldwell) won't let anyone leave town except to go to an old mine to die if they are sick enough. Keoma sees them taking a bunch of them to the mine, and he rescues this pregnant lady, and takes her back to town. The townsfolk are pissed, b/c they think she has the plague and might infect them.

Other things aren't working out so well for ol Keoma either. His dad, who used to be the main ass kicker in town, never even leaves his ranch anymore b/c things are so fucked. His 3 bigtime asshole half brothers are in cahoots with Caldwell, and they've been kicking Keoma's ass since their ol man brought him back from the reservation. His only friend in the world, who was his dad's ranchhand, and was also a badass with a bow and arrow, is now the town drunk. Plus there's this old witch that Keoma sees all the time, who's haunting him and asking him "why he came back?", and "isn't he tired of killing?" Keoma always has a tuff as hell answer for her. "Everyone deserves a chance to be born", or "I go alone because I AM alone", or "I do what I do because I am free, and that is the only way to be free." or some shit like that. He's tuff like I said. Plus, Franco Nero had KILLER steez. Ive never seen so much style. There's so much action in this flick... It really has everything you could ask for in a western. There's a fucking 15-20 minute shootout that's like 3 on 50 or so. I don't wanna give away the juicy bits though. The only thing that is annoying about this one is this running ballad theme that narrates throughout the film. It sort of has a BILLY JACK vibe about it, but its really bad, in that its this really shrill ladies voice describing what's happening as it transpires. "you have to go and save her now, you get up on your horse and ride away as fast as it will take youuuu!" HA! it really is like that. And then like, a really out of key drunken sounding dude is singing as if he is Keoma, or responding/narrating in the song.... anyway, that part sucks. But not enough for you to not totally understand that this is a hell of a western. I'm gonna find some more of these to watch, as this was enjoyable. Aloha from somewhere in PA!!


  1. Might I ask how/where in the hell do you find these gems on playable media???

  2. Hell, where do you find all these movies? You never come across anything as cool as this on my meridian.

  3. several places my friends. people bring them to me, flea markets, vhs bins, and if you hear of a good one, chances are even if its out of print you can find it on ebay or sold somewhere on the net. there are bootleggers of all kinds outside of the US that peddle their products as official, but 99% of the time, when it arrives, its a boot. b/c a load of these just haven't been rereleased yet. but tons of them have. just like record shopping, you have to know what you're searching for.

  4. dearest valiant,
    saw that you posted a DEATH song on ya twitter tweeter. so good. i meant to tell you about them.. they're my friends family! you should check out their band as well, rough francis :
    glad to see your taste in music is just as stellar as your taste in boots.
    with love from burlington,
    yasmina the flower

  5. Thanks for the answer! I've tried to buy movies from ebay a few times, but haven't had too much luck because I live in Finland. I think people just don't find it worth the trouble to send relatively cheap items like old films overseas. And like you said, most of the stuff available here is just low-quality copies, home taped vhs movies dubbed in Russian and with Swedish subtitles, bs like that. I guess I just got to keep on searching for the real gems.