Cowboy Killer


"You're in for a damn treat."

Mr. C. Killer, just before making his rootin'-tootin' kills.

Sometimes filmmakers stay "indie" on purpose so they can avoid making the artistic compromises required when a filmmaker accepts someone else's money. Sometimes indie films just plain suck and can't get any money because the people making them are pretentious asses, perverts, or talentless hacks. But at other times, indie filmmakers are just unknowns trying to break through in an extremely crowded field. The people in the latter group have neither deep perversions nor a political agenda, and in fact would love to be making studio films, but no studio exec knows who they are. The only way they can build resumes and credibility is to make some films on their own. That's exactly how Peter Jackson started, for example.

The writers and director of Cowboy Killer are now in the same situation that Jackson faced 20 years earlier. There's good news and bad news about their predicament. The good news is that they have a pretty good idea how to make movies. That bad news is that they don't have the resources available to seal the deal. Hell, they don't have the resources available to seal my deck.

Let's concentrate on the good news. Cowboy Killer, a tongue-in-cheek slasher film about a loco 19th century sidewinder who goes on an ornery killing spree in the 21st century, has a pretty damned good script. It has an original concept, some interesting characters, and some good one-liners. The director put the narrative together clearly and concisely, with very few dead spots. The filmmakers know the minimum genre requirements for guilty pleasures like splatter and nudity. The people involved in the process of making this film have good sense of humor and understand completely that they are entertainers who are supposed to show their audiences a good time. The DVD has a full-length commentary and even a blooper reel, just like a studio release. If they had had enough money to make this into a Halloween theatrical release, it would have been more fun to watch than 75% of the genre films that actually get into theaters.

The bad news is that they did not have that money. They basically had only the money they got by breaking into Aunt Gertrude's childhood piggy bank and selling off her funny-colored wartime pennies. As a result, the film just drips of garage band filmmaking. The locales consist of local parking garages, the city dump, and various homes, cars and apartments which were probably supplied by acquaintances. Worse still, the cast obviously consists of friends, family, local strippers, and other volunteers, none of whom is likely to be recruited soon for the annual command performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company, or even for the annual company picnic skit at the Shakespeare Fishing Rod Company. If the entire acting community consisted of this cast, the Governator and Kathy Ireland could re-enter the industry to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Long stretches of this movie pass without a single credible line delivery, and that has the effect of tearing down the fourth wall completely, so that we can never really relax and just get immersed the story, but are constantly reminded that we're just watching something equivalent to high school kids putting on a play.

And I'm not talking about the kids who get A's in drama. We're talkin' remedial classes here.

Oh, well, maybe somebody in the industry will notice the film's positives and toss a few bucks in the direction of these guys. Amateurish as Cowboy Killer may be from time to time, it is entertaining enough that I would watch another of their movies, and would even watch this one again if they re-did it with a real budget and professional actors. Apart from the budgetary restrictions, the film's only real problem is that it vacillates between being a slasher film and being a parody of slasher films, and the filmmakers never really committed toward either option. As a result, it's probably too nasty for comedy lovers, but offers far too much downright silly nudge-nudge comedy to be a satisfying entry into the horror/slasher genre. In fact, if you like horror/slasher films, you may just realize that the filmmakers are making fun of your taste, which may account for the film's current abysmal IMDb rating of 2.1. On the other hand, if you think you might want to see a micro-budget genre parody, you just might be "in for a damn treat" with a fair share of guilty pleasures.



Coretta Montague - breasts

Kerry Kearns (the blonde) and an unknown stripper - breasts in a long strip club sequence

Dani Dare - completely gratuitous full frontal nudity. This scene had no bearing on or relationship to the rest of the film. If it were cut, you would never notice its absence. It is there just to add a naked chick. Ya' gotta admire that.


  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








The Woodsman


Kyra Sedgwick film clips

samples below

Scoop's notes:

The Woodsman is a controversial film from an unknown writer/director. The script obviously impressed real life couple Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon enough that they agreed to work in it, despite what must have been a minimal payday by their standards.

Kevin Bacon plays a confessed child molester who gets out of prison on supervised parole after twelve years of hard time. The film examines his struggle to live a quiet blue collar life unnoticed, and his greater struggle to deserve that life by keeping himself under control. His parole officer and several of his co-workers believe that a child molester is always a child molester.

This complex script doesn't give the audience the easy out usually afforded by a Hollywood film. In the typical mainstream film Bacon would  be a reformed man who, having paid his dues, is faced with the blind and unwarranted prejudice of a large segment of society. In this film he is a paroled convict who, having paid his dues, is faced with the perfectly justified prejudice of a large segment of society. He is still a child molester in the sense that an alcoholic doesn't stop being an alcoholic. He knows in his heart that he is still a child molester, because he still has sexual feelings for young girls, and we actually see him act on those feelings, falling short of physical contact with the willing victim not because of his will to exercise restraint, but only because he was suddenly touched by something the little girl said.

We see that although he is essentially a good man, his demons are very real.

The key dramatic conflict does not revolve around the prejudice of society, but whether he can conquer himself. The conflict is developed by four circumstances (1)  Bacon is about ready to molest a little girl, until he realizes how much pain she carries from being molested by her own father (2) Bacon sees the pain he causes through a mirror, another child molester who is stalking a playground in view of Bacon's window (3) a new girlfriend (Kyra Sedgwick) learns about his problem and tries to help Bacon get assimilated into normal life (4) Bacon talks to his psychologist throughout the film.

Of course, very few people will ever see this subtle, multi-dimensional, nuanced and unresolved drama about child abuse. It's a difficult subject which is not treated superficially, and the story has no ending. Not exactly a popcorn film! I suppose it will never reach even 100 theaters. That's reality, but something of a shame, because it is a smart script which really tries to understand the problem and manages to coax a brilliant performance from Kevin Bacon. Although we see him act on his sexual urges toward a young girl, and we do not have any hope that he is suddenly "well", we do see him make progress and feel, along with him, that he might have a chance. 

If you think the premise of this film is intriguing, you will probably be impressed by the execution as well.






Sherry Eckert in Hot Springs Hotel - "Hole in One"


Lily Cole backstage at the Pirelli shoot

Rare Winona Ryder nudity in Autumn in NY

TV star Nicolette Sheridan showing a perfect butt in Raw Nerve


Monica Trombetta, also in Raw Nerve


Nina Hoss in Anonyma



Film Clips

Speaking of Nina Hoss, here she is in Woman in Berlin

The women of The Osterman Weekend

The women of Der Koenig of St Pauli


Speaking of Sonja Kirchberger, here she is in an episode of Klinik Unter Palmen

Katrin Cartlidge in Claire Dolan

Barbara Williams in Oh, What a Night

Joanna Lumley with some rare nudity from a Pink Panther movie (Curse of ...)

Inneke Varewyck in this week's Spoed (this show is the Flemish ER, more or less)

Nastassia Kinski in Stay As You Are. Spectacular exposure from a screen nudity hall of famer in one of her best efforts. (Sample right)