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Western films, from silent to today

The Return of Josey Wales (1986)

Returning from a raid to collect Indian scalps, Capt. Escabedo and his troops stop by a canteena near the Mexican border looking for refreshments and entertainment.

By the time they’re done, the saloon owner is dead, a whore named Rose has been beaten, gang raped and is dying. And a gambler named Tenspot has been taken captive, for hanging at a later date.

Two were friends of Josey Wales; the whore was a former lover.

So Josey gives up the tranquil family life he’s settled into and sets out on vengeance trail.

But Capt. Escabedo isn’t anxious to meet the gringo gunman he’s heard so much about, and keeps on putting obstacles in Josey’s path.

Review:

A low-budget attempt to cash in on the popularity of Clint Eastwood’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales” (1976) and not a very good one.

Parks, in his lone directorial effort, manages to mimic the wry humor of an Eastwood character, but little else.

Even the good ideas in the script — like the whore who topples backward in a chair during a shootout and remains in that position shouting “no mas, no mas” — are poorly executed.

But, hey Parks does give us closeups of rats. And lizards. And snakes.

Our star-director here has enjoyed a long acting career. You might remember him from Quentin Tarentino’s “Kill Bill” films. He had a substantial role in both.

Directed by:
Michael Parks

Cast:
Michael Parks … Josey Wales
Rafael Campos … Chato
Everett Sifuentes … Capt. Escabedo
Suzie Humphreys … Rose
John William Galt … Kelly
Charles McCoy … Charlie
Joe Kurtzo … Nacole
Paco Vela … Paco
Robert Magruder … Tenspot
Benita Faulkner … Enloe
Charles Escamilla … Lt. Valdez
Arturo R. Tamez Jr. … Pancho Marino
Manuel Valdez … Manny

90 min.

Title tune: “Life with Josey Wales”

Memorable lines:

Rose, the whore, talking about Tenspot: “He is a born gambler. And a born loser. His moma should have hit him in the head (when he was born) and sold the milk.”

Mexican Capt. Escabedo: “Another whore with dreams.”
Rose: “I was not a whore when I loved.”

Gunman about Josey Wales: “He’d charge hell with a bucket of water.”

Paco, with a showdown looming with Pancho Marino: “We waiting for something?”
Josey Wales: “Yeah, we’re waiting for the sun to move behind me. So Mr. Pancho doesn’t have to stand out there too long in that heat. And I’m gonna give him time to have a couple extra drinks. I don’t want to break up that drinkin’ party.”
Paco: “That’s very good of you, Josey, to be so thoughtful for someone who’s going to try to kill you.”
Josey, spits chew at a snake: “It’s my nature. It’s a weakness of mine, actually. I just can’t seem to outgrow it. Know what I mean?”

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