They Went Thataway; or, The Absolute Top Worst Westerns

by cowboylands

Ladies and gentlemen. I present…the Top Ten Worst Westerns, lassoed, watched, and reviewed by Batboy42. But before delving into these fantastically feeble films, we have here a by-god manifesto, typed by BB’s own self, own words, own heart and soul.

They Went Thataway, by Batboy42



I love Westerns. I like ’em good or bad, but mostly bad. Each of these movies has its special charms, mostly the horses and the riding. All of them, even the worst, has its good points. All are well worth watching.

I can get up and leave and let the movie run instead of pausing it. I can’t tell if I’ve missed any or not. Nor do I care.

These losers have their shining place in movie history. If the films are all good, what do you have to compare them to? Long and lustrous careers have been started on cayuses like these.

Why are most of these films old?
Because they don’t make ’em like they used to.

These movies satisfy a basic human urge for loud noises.

Why do the outlaws all have baggy pants? And all their six-guns never run out of bullets?

What I don’t mind—
grainy picture, video snow, and gravelly sound.

What I don’t like—
clumsiness in dialogue, sets, riding, and lack of plot.

What the Western genre has in common—
handsome heroes, horses, fights, shootouts with six guns,
and villains that rob, cheat, steal, rustle, and sneer.

The only thing better than a fight is a barfight.
The only thing better than riding is trick riding.
Gimme a good stagecoach robbery—
but not TOO good.

I love bad movies—
and my choice shows you I mean BAD.

Load your six guns and mount your horses,
you mangy yellow-bellied coyotes!

Hit the trail!



10 Comments to “They Went Thataway; or, The Absolute Top Worst Westerns”

  1. I laughed! Until I cried! Although a cowboy doesn’t cry. I’m all for revisionist, though, so I’ll cry when I want to.

    Anyway, these are execrable. And some are famous! The number one is a classic baddie. Thank you, for adding to our western lexicon in such a thorough and inspiring way.

    As I read them again, i had a couple of questions:

    How many did you have to see to pare it down to these way-bad westerns? Were there any runner-ups?

    Any that you’ve heard about but couldn’t find to watch and maybe add to the list?

    And what separates the men from the boys, the question behind it all: How did you determine bad and good? What is a GOOD Western?

    Happy trails!

  2. ok. like William Shatner? William Shatner??? CAPTAIN KIRK WHO WAS GOING TO BEAM DOWN AND SAVE ME FROM MY CHILDHOOD???

    I think I only saw one western I remember seeing. clementine? high noon? blazing saddles? blazing saddles counts, right?

  3. Shatner with a bass drum, no less. Without a phaser set for stun in his hand, he’s all washed up. But thankfully, White Comanche isn’t on reruns like Star Trek is. Although–I just checked–it is on Youtube!

    My Darling Clementine? Classic civilization of Wild West movie.
    High Noon-uberclassic indictment of civilization/society
    Blazing Saddles–classic camp. You have to know the genre to spoof it like that.

    Looks like you have a handful of perfect western movies. Maybe that’s a new list: The Only Western Movies You Ever Have to See?

  4. You hit it point blank, Bucko!
    It took a hundred losers to find these ten star turkeys. I watch a lot of bad movies and especially bad Westerns. This is the pick of maybe a hundred pretty doggone bad ones.

    The runner-up was the TV show, The Adventures of Kit Carson. It had commercials for Coca Cola where the narrator and all the kiddies that formed the audience drank that nasty stuff. Hope they didn’t swallow. There wasn’t any plot to the show or the commercials.

    The one I wanted to see but couldn’t get a copy- Cowboy in Africa, a 1967 series starring Chuck Connors [The Rifleman],a hatchet-faced good guy with a repeating rifle… Hi-ho, Jumbo, away!

    Blazing Saddles!? Am I a Mel Brooks fan!
    He said it all in Blazing Saddles, the best ever Western parody.
    If you liked that, try Zorro:the Gay Blade!
    If you are more into film noir, the parody Zachariah is a must-see.
    I loved these three spoofs.

    For more serious watching-
    Hang ‘Em High, Clint Eastwood,1968
    True Grit, John Wayne
    Hell’s Hinges, William Hart, 1916
    These are the ones I used for comparison.

  5. Hang ‘Em High is like an American western take on a spaghetti western. Vengeance, but reined in.

    True Grit. Admission: haven’t seen it. But a John Wayne great it’s supposed to be. Why is it better than Stagecoach, I wonder?

    William Hart originated the bad/good cowboy. I’ve seen Tumbleweeds. He emotes like a villain and radiates like an angel.

    Nice choices for comparison!

  6. Here’s my list of Top Putrid Shoot-em-ups.
    Culled from many sleepless nights in front of the entertainment center

    Cry Blood Apache
    It Can be Done Amigo
    Gone with the West
    (split on this one, I liked it, Bucko Smith didn’t)
    Dan Candy’s Law
    The Hanged Man
    Dead Aim
    Kid Vengeance
    Deadwood 76
    Hawk of Powder River
    The Trail Beyond

    I left off others that were already mentioned.

    I don’t mind saying, I really like Clint Eastwood.
    The cinematic style of his westerns set the trend for most westerns to come.
    (He’s also a right good pi-ano player)

    My all time fav is Outlaw Josie Wales,
    but one particularly weird one is The Beguiled.

    One thing always on my playlist is my mentor and hero:
    Before you spit on the ground and drawl “what’s HE got to do with westerns?”
    He made 3 or 4 western episodes that are classic nice guy w/o a gun fighting off the baddies.

  7. The one I wanted to see but couldn’t get a copy- Cowboy in Africa, a 1967 series starring Chuck Connors [The Rifleman],a hatchet-faced good guy with a repeating rifle… Hi-ho, Jumbo, away!

    This was made into a comic book, believe it or not……

  8. The Picksburg Kid has dead-on aim.

    I’ll bring this list to a post to honor its existence, esp. Gone with the West, which has grown on me considerably.

    But I’ll have to have a considerable pause to reflect on McGyver. *ducks thrown VHS tape, circa 1989*

    The Beguiled is so strange, it deserves its own website. It’s a cross-over, a Civil War Western, but hey, you can say that about another Clint flick, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly….

    And, wealth upon wealth, Cowboy in Africa!

    My Cowboy God! I can’t wait to post!

  9. All MY Macs are on DVD, all 7 seasons……

    If you haven’t seen The Beguiled, get it. Now.
    Pale Rider was good
    (Far as I’m concerned they’re ALL good)
    Clint said his fav was Josie Wales

    …….Missouri Boatride………..

    I got a neat one, an extra, documentary called The American West of John Ford.
    Shot on location, with The Duke and John Ford talking about shooting all those fun westerns.

  10. Any western where the Hero bombs a town with trebuckets,
    and a TNT dropping kite………

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