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Western films, from silent to today

The Shooter (1997)

The Shooter (1997) VHS coverMichael Dudikoff plays ex-Civil War hero Michael Atherton. As he approaches the town of Kingston, he rescues a whore from a whipping and kills three men in the process.

Turns out one is the son of Jerry Krants, a no-account whose gang has been terrorizing the town. Krants and his men capture Atherton, smash his gun hand, torture him, then leave him to die. Instead, he’s nursed back to health by Wendy, the woman he saved earlier.

Once his gun hand has healed, he sets out to even the score. What he doesn’t know is that he’s got a new enemy in Kyle Tappard (Randy Travis), the man who’s been hired as sheriff of Kingston, the man who’s still carrying a grudge that dates back to the war.

Rating 2 out of 6Review:

Heavy on the Spaghetti Western influence – just check out the close-ups of the faces and the gun hands during the showdown in Kingston — but lacking the style of those films. It’s also too low budget with too many low-grade actors to be wholly successful.

Country music star Randy Travis wound up appearing in a number of Westerns. This isn’t one of his best. He’s supposed to be the villain of the piece, but can’t quite pull it off.

This film comes a decade after Michael Dudikoff starred in “American Ninja” and “American Ninja II.” Shortly after its release, Valerie Wildman landed a recurring role as Faye Walker on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives.”

Directed by:
Fred Olen Ray

Michael Dudikoff … Michael Atherton
Randy Travis … Kyle Tappard
Valerie Wildman … Wendy
Andrew Stevens … Jacob
William Smith … Jerry Krants
Libby George … Gina
Eric Lawman … Paul
Robert Donovan … Gentleman Pete
Cal Bartlett … Sheriff
Hoke Howell … Duncan

aka: Desert Shooter

Runtime: 91 min.

Memorable lines:

Jerry Krants: “I’m gonna make this very simple, sheriff. I want one thing: Atherton. Now you give him to me, I’m gonna spare this town. If I don’t get him, I’ll make a graveyard out of this whole dump.”

Jerry Krants: “Atheron, there are no Yankee war heroes. Just god-damned cowards.”

Jerry Krants: “Dead men don’t need a gun. You know where to take him.”

Wendy: “You got a plan? Or you gonna fire at them like they’re tin cans on a fence?”
Atherton: “Haven’t given it much thought.”
Wendy: “Well you better. Cause they ain’t tin cans, and they’re gonna fire back and there’s a hell of a lot more of them than is of you.”

Wendy: “So you’re gonna go to war for a bunch of strangers that don’t give a damn about you?”
Atherton: “I ain’t fighting nobody’s war. It ain’t about right. It ain’t about wrong.”
Wendy: “What is it about?”
Atherton: “I don’t know.”

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