Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday's Ways Not To Die


Have any of you heard of the 1958 Western called Terror in a Texas Town? I never had until a few weeks back when I saw that Arrow Video was releasing one of their super deluxe blu-ray editions of it and my eye was caught by Sterling Hayden (certainly not the first time that's happened) and so I checked it out and...
 ... it's nuts! It's very very strange. And this scene specifically deserves to be way more iconic than it is. Although... well, it's the ending of the movie, so if you don't want the scene spoiled then don't hit the jump where I shall expound upon it...

It seems kind of silly to have warned people about spoilers now, since I called this post "Man vs Harpoon" and that's what we get. In spades! This scene is the big showdown between the movie's bizarre hero, a slur-accented retired fisherman Sven Hansen (Hayden) and the movie's bizarre black-suited bad guy, Johnny Crale (Ned Young) - it's like the climax of High Noon but with a gigantic fucking harpoon for some reason.

The advertising played this angle up because why the heck wouldn't they - you can hear the 11-year olds enthusiastically making their wagers like their counterparts would years later with Freddy vs Jason or Gozdilla vs King Kong. It's very much in that spirit, but simpler, for a simpler murdering time.

There are a couple of fantastic little docs on the blu-ray's extras that have critic Peter Stanfield talk about the film in context - he puts it alongside other weirdo-Westerns of the period like my beloved Johnny Guitar with Joan Crawford (and again with Sterling Hayden). It fits right in.

The film was directed by Joseph H. Lewis, who also made the far better appreciated Gun Crazy in 1950 - Stanfield goes into what a strange career Lewis had but how there are several diamonds in the rough of his filmography. Have any of you seen this movie? It's surely worth seeking out.

Previous Ways Not To Die: Beam Me Down -- Touchdown to Terror -- Lucy Loses Her Head -- Goo Gone -- Jake Fully Loaded -- Time Stops For One Man -- They Shoot Actresses Don't They -- Chop Top -- Paint Me Like One Of Your Dead Girls -- Doggy Puddle -- A Present of Violence -- Backseat Die-r -- Supermarket Reaped -- Jungle Boogied -- In the Hallway with the Candlestick -- This is Not the Blonde You Are Looking For -- The Sting -- Blue Mooned -- Pray For Death. -- I Want To Die! -- Come and Knock on My Face -- All Dolled Up -- Tomahawk Justice -- Sleep It Off -- The Fall Guy -- Catricide -- Rumbling in my Tummy -- Fuzzy Wuzzy Was A Monster -- Split End -- That Darn Dame -- Board Now -- Signed By The Zodiac -- Damsel in Da' Street -- Whispers of a Mad-Man -- Peek-a-Boom -- Precious Miseries -- A Triple Salchow Before Dying -- Night Nurse -- Don't Be Greedo -- The Hand That Rocks The Greenhouse -- Jacked Up -- The Big Squeeze -- Say My Name --  Silver Shamrock -- As The Wine Turns -- sleepytime --  Eat Crow -- An Un Made Man -- Bear Topped -- When Your Hoop Dreams Become Your Hoop Nightmares -- Ungodly Grabbers -- Head Today Gone Tomorrow -- Something... Happened -- Phone Jacked -- Poker Face -- Not Ready For This Jelly -- World's Greatest DEAD -- Swiss Miss Meteor Strike -- The Whim of a Mads Man -- Big Wheeled -- Deep Red -- Bunny Petit -- Ding Dong Going Down -- The Headless Hitchcock -- Oops I Dropped The Soap -- Mary had A Little Slam -- The Beast With Too Backstabbed -- Wrath of the Merman -- Stomach Bug -- Something Icky This Way Comes -- Dagon It -- The Passion of Margaret White -- Worm Food -- Kim Jong Kill -- Harkonnen A Vagrant -- A Little Off The Top -- Laid Out By Lamas -- 1 2 3 Dandy -- One Ringy-Dingy Two Ringy-Dingy Die Ringy-Dingy -- Nanny Slam -- Forced Head -- A Wolf at the Door -- X-Ray'd -- Helen Helen Helen -- Bad Robot -- Giggle Gassed -- Dark Meet -- The Lady in the Iron Mask -- Croaked -- Exit Stage Crazy -- Cold Cocked By Colin Farrell --  Comb Over -- Wishing You Happy Father's Day -- Bright Light Bright Light -- Flame With Ash Highlights -- Don't Spoke Unless Stuck Onto -- Teen Angst Bullshit -- Come What May (Day) -- Dodge This -- The Dead Knock At Dawn -- A Gentlemenly Sacrifice -- Spade & Neutered -- Flambe By Vincent -- L.O.O.K.E.R Over -- Something in the Fog -- Polly Wants A Scalpel -- Major Swirly -- White Meat Dark Meat -- Oh Dae-su You Devil -- Unto Darkness Delivered -- A Hammock Built For Slew -- Venom Down -- Worm Turned -- This Anaconda Do Want Some -- Cereal Murdered -- Deady Dearest -- Spotted Dick -- Chinatown Syndrome -- Feeling the Fury -- Blank With the Blank in the Blank -- Kill the Cook -- You be The Steeple -- Boiled Bashed Stabbed & Gassed -- Iced Princess -- Straight Razor Symphony -- Prey For Mantis -- Talos Unplugged -- A Mysterious Raptoring -- Mad Monkey Robo Rampage -- Give Me Liberty, Or... -- Horns of Plenty... Dead! -- Mistress-And-Run -- Wolverine Interrupted -- Who Let The Guts Out -- Zzzapped Innards-Side-Out -- Bad Romance -- Twas Beauty (And Also Aeroplanes) -- Bad Head -- Valentine's Day Massacred -- Belly Buster -- For Being Not The Babysitter -- Splat In Slo-Mo -- To Be Dis-Continued -- For Being Mouthy -- Do You Smell What Billy's Mom Is Cooking -- The Milk Done Gone Bad -- An Inability To Stop Drop and Roll -- Bug Sprayed -- Extreme Makeover: Leatherface Edition -- Window Seat Suck -- Razor Bunting -- Stabbed Thru The Heart And Witches Are To Blame -- Shark Kibble -- Is That a Straight Razor In Your Trunks Or Are You Just Happy To See Me -- Bad Dates -- Fry Guy'd -- Super Battle Bystander Shrapnel Shred -- Staring Contest of the Dead -- Satanic Self Sacrifice -- Fist and Fortune -- Psychedelic Penis Slice To Window Toss -- For Crimes Against Accent -- Sacked -- Speed Bumped For Traffic Spikes -- Shark Versus Jet-Ski -- Hot Oil Treatment -- Tucked In By Jason -- Just A Pair of Snowbodies -- Poison Pellet Kibble Swap -- Dolly Disassembled -- Fire Escape Fall Out -- Unbuggered -- Tell 'Em Large Marge Sent'cha -- Blue Man Gooped -- Tongue Stung -- Now Wouldn't Cha, Barracuda? -- Leaving on a Rat Plane -- Panthers! -- Fashion Faux-Pwned -- "It's Just A Box." -- Blasted Pigeons -- Taunting Ahnuld -- The Too Hot Tub -- Beyond the Veil -- Sunken Prayers-- Super Crack -- Brains Blown -- Fur For The Boogens -- White Hot Bunny Rabbit Rage --Dragged To Hell -- The TV Van That Dripped Blood -- Don't Mess With Mama -- Heads Ahoy --Martyred For Sheep -- Heads Nor Tails -- He Loves Me Knot -- The Great Bouncing Brad --Miss Kitty's 8 Mishaps -- Boat Smoosh -- Meeting the French-Tipped Menace -- A Magic Trick -- Slick Suck -- We Who Walk Here Walk Alone -- Raptor Bait -- Kneegasm'd -- Dare to Dream in Fincher -- Reach Out and Throttle Someone -- De-Faced -- Voluntary Drowning -- Cross Borne -- Pulled Up Hell's Sphincter -- An Arrow Up The Ass - The Numerous Violent Unbecomings of Olive Oyl -- Ack! Ack! Zap! -- Baby's First Acid Splash -- Chop, Drop and Sashimi Roll -- Forever Rafter -- Can't You Hear Me Now? -- Daisies Ways #5 - Harpoony Side Up -- Acid Dip -- On a Wing and a Prey -- For Standing in the Way of Sappho -- Busting Rule Number Three (For The Purpose of Number Two) -- Daisies #4 - Window Dressed To Killed --Hands Off the Haas Orb -- Bullet Ballet -- A Single Vacancy at the Roach Motel -- A School Bus Slipped Thru The Ice -- Trache-AAHHHH!!!-tomy'd - For Mel Gibson's Sins -- A Wide Stanced Slashing --- Daisies Ways #3 - Scratch n' Snuffed -- The Victim of a Viscous Hit & Run-- Curled -- Kabobbed -- Daisies Ways #2 - Aggravated Cementia -- Boo! Nun! -- 2009's Ways Not To Die -- Bug Scratch Fever -- Daisies Ways #1 - Deep Fat Fried in My Own Unique Blend of 500 Herbs & Spices -- By the Yard End of the Stick -- Screwed From A Very Great Distance-- A Righteous Bear-Jew Beatdown -- Fisted By Hugo Sitglitz -- Xeno Morphed -- Fuck-Stuck -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 4 -- Lava Bombed -- The Cradle Will Rock... Your Face Off!!! -- The Food of the Nilbog Goblins -- The Slugs Is Gonna Gitcha -- Phone Shark -- Hide The Carrot -- Sarlacc Snacked -- Avada Kedavra!!! -- Hooked, Lined and Sinkered -- "The Libyans!" -- Axe Me No Questions -- Pin the Chainsaw on the Prostitute -- The Wrath of the Crystal Unicorn -- The Ultimate Extreme Make-Over -- Drown In A Sink Before The Opening Credits Even Roll -- The Dog Who Knew Too Much -- Don't Die Over Spilled Milk -- Inviting the Wrath of Aguirre -- An Inconceivable Outwitting -- The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique -- Nipple Injected Blue Junk -- Your Pick Of The Deadly Six -- Thing Hungry --Don't Fuck With The Serial Killer's Daughter -- DO Forget To Add The Fabric Softener -- Any Of The Ways Depicted In This Masterpiece Of Lost Cinema -- Rode Down In The Friscalating Dusklight -- Good Morning, Sunshine! -- Mornin' Cuppa Drano -- The Cylon-Engineered Apocalypse -- Tender-Eye-zed -- Martian Atmospheric Asphyxiation -- Maimed By A Mystical Person-Cat -- The Sheets Are Not To Be Trusted -- Handicapable Face-Hacked -- I Did It For You, Faramir -- Summertime In The Park... Of A Pedophile's Mind -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 3 -- Strung Up With Festive Holiday Bulbs By Santa Claus Himself -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 2 -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 1 -- Decapitated Plucked Broiled & Sliced -- Head On A Stick! -- A Trip To The Ol' Wood-Chipper -- Pointed By The T-1000 --Sucking Face With Freddy Krueger -- A Pen-Full Of Home-Brewed Speed to The Eye --Motivational Speech, Interrupted -- A Freak Ephemera Storm -- When Ya Gotta Go... Ya Gotta Go -- Hoisted By Your Own Hand Grenade -- Having The Years Suction-Cupped Away --Criss-Cross -- Turned Into A Person-Cocoon By The Touch Of A Little Girl's Mirror Doppleganger -- Satisfying Society's "Pop Princess" Blood-Lust -- Done In By The Doggie Door-- Tuned Out -- Taking the 107th Step -- Rescuing Gretchen -- Incinerated By Lousy Dialogue-- Starred & Striped Forever -- Vivisection Via Vaginally-Minded Barbed-Wire -- Chompers (Down There) -- Run Down By M. Night Shyamalan -- Everything Up To And Including The Kitchen Toaster -- Sacrificed To Kali -- Via The Gargantuan Venom Of The Black Mamba Snake -- Turned Into An Evil Robot -- The Out-Of-Nowhere Careening Vehicle Splat -- "Oh My God... It's Dip!!!" -- Critter Balled -- Stuff'd -- A Hot-Air Balloon Ride... Straight To Hell!!!-- Puppy Betrayal -- High-Heeled By A Girlfriend Impersonator -- Flip-Top Beheaded --Because I'm Too Goddamned Beautiful To Live -- By Choosing... Poorly... -- Fried Alive Due To Baby Ingenuity -- A Good Old-Fashioned Tentacle Smothering -- Eepa! Eepa! -- Gremlins Ate My Stairlift -- An Icicle Thru The Eye -- Face Carved Off By Ghost Doctor After Lesbian Tryst With Zombie Women -- Electrocuted By Fallen Power-Lines -- A Mouthful Of Flare --Taken By The TV Lady -- Bitten By A Zombie -- Eaten By Your Mattress -- Stuffed To Splitting -- Face Stuck In Liquid Nitrogen -- Crushed By Crumbling Church Debris -- Bitten By The Jaws Of Life -- A Machete To The Crotch -- Showering With A Chain-Saw -- In A Room Filled With Razor Wire -- Pod People'd With Your Dog -- Force-Fed Art -- Skinned By A Witch -- Beaten With An Oar -- Curbed -- Cape Malfunction -- In The Corner -- Cooked In A Tanning Bed -- Diced -- Punched Through The Head -- Bugs Sucking On Your Head

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