Tonight's entry is respectfully dedicated to Rikard,a bro with similar appreciation for the tits items in life.I'm finally getting around to this one well over a year later?Better late than never, haha.When I got dragged to see this one by my old man, a Bronson freak of great reknown the world over, I was mainly interested in seeing the titular pale bison trampling cowboys and indians alike under vengeful hooves.I didn't groove on Charlie's distinctive monotone action vibe 'til I hit double digits.For a skinny little Italian kid with a penchant for monstruous creature features like I was,producer Dino De Laurentiis' mid to late seventies stretch of bombastic animals gone awry movies was the emotional equivalent of missing Thursday and Friday from school with a fever,getting couch-based TLC from the em and pee,new toys,Nugent lps,and horror movie marathons(even though I just may have been technically healthy enough Thursday night for school on Friday,I may or may not have embellished the illness' seriousness for a few hours the next morning just to add on to the upcoming weekend.Parlaying sickness into accrued kid wealth and prolonged "me" time at age eight.And to think some skeptics have doubted my genius...).Just give me some sort of pissed off animal of significant size on a human-hating hullabaloo,and I'd eat it up with a fork,no questions asked.Tonight's entry was no different,at the time.
If there's one thing Bill Hickok(Charles Bronson) hates more than the top bunk, it's hard-charging mechanical buffalo puppets that haunt his dreams.We meet Wild Bill Hickok(Charles Bronson) roused from the middle of his latest nightmare with guns a-blazin' towards a white bison of mythical proportions that frequently tramples through the legendary gunslinger's subconscious with the discretion of a diesel train.He's powerful opposed to such things, see, and ruinin' a feller's dreams like 'et is fixin' to get blasted, round these parts.Hickokski tracks the beast, pairing up with a cantankerous old geezer(Jack Warden) while pit stopped in a one cow town, while elsewhere, Crazy Horse(Will Sampson), the Indian, not the forty-ouncer, is having very real quandary of his own with the albino instigator, having selfishly trampled the Chief's entire village and murdered his own child just for the eff of it.Forced to repair his wounded pride and restore his tribal stature, Horse must hunt the animal himself, or forever be known as 'The Worm' to his peers, the first nation equivalent of being called a "Shirley", I'd wager.
When he's not trampling Hickok's dreams and destroying native villages under vengeful hooves, the white buffalo also enjoys long, impressionistic gallops in the snow and the music of Lobo.When the men inevitably meet, they communicate through crazy sign language, despite speaking perfect English to each other at the same time, mind you, and after saving each other's lives in ambushes, respectively, they declare themselves 'blood brothers', even though both men are blindly determined to be the one to finally bag the achromatic fucker, singlehandedly.Hickok even turns down some choice western-style trim from the obligatory hooker with a heart o'gold(Kim Novak, in one of her final roles) while sharing a bed with her(!).Talk about dedication to the cause, baby.Stuart Whitman, Slim Pickens, and John Carradine all make their contrived genre cameos, while Clint Walker does a good job in a rare villainous turn.Though the beast is seemingly immortal, and powerful enough to barrel through mountainous snow and rock walls, the unlikely duo eventually fell it, with Crazy Horse riding atop and skinning it with a knife like a feathered Ahab of the West; the shabby plastic snow and less-than-believable sets pretty much serving as a final resting place, if not for the Hollywood western(Heaven's Gate would finish the job a few years later), then definitely for the horror/western/adventure.
Nevermind your healthy skepticism of my white skin.Lead me to your peyote, More-Ornate-Than-Wolves(Will Sampson).Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky in the coal region of the Allegheny's in Pennsylvania to Polish and Lithuanian parents, changing his name to 'Bronson' during the McCarthy hearings because he thought his real name sounded 'too Russian'(!).Buffalo was his last picture for UA, a box-office dud that really signalled the end of his real creative ambitions in film, though he'd again work with director J. Lee Thompson on typical Bronson-fare titles like 10 To Midnight(1983) and The Evil That Men Do(1984), staying busy right up to his last feature, Death Wish V:The Face of Death(1994), before succumbing at the age of 81 in 2003.A real favorite of mine since my teens, Bronson's contribution to film, and the action genre in particular, is immeasurable, and really, he's great here as Hickok, a performance that's been brought to light since the film's recent re-evaluation by movie fans everywhere.On the scale, Buffalo earns two Wops, a very watchable exercise in exploitation.Check it out.
With the Great White Buffalo, they gonna make a final stand in the new, magic land.