CineSavant Column

Saturday November 6, 2021



We were impressed by this Daily Mail photo article for Halloween, Ariana Grande wows…. There’s clearly a lot of Photoshop work in those composite images, but the makeup does indeed look creative and clever on its own. I’d say she’s ready for a wet date with Guillermo del Toro. Let’s see some unretouched photos Ms. Grande!

Universal’s original Gill Man is of course untouchable in the aquatic mer-man sweepstakes, with del Toro’s The Shape of Water a handsome contender. Even if it’s only for some limited views in a novelty fashion shoot, Ms. Grande easily tops most of the pretenders in older films, like the aqua-men in the A.I.P. snooze-fest War-Gods of the Deep. I keep trying to watch that show in one go, and it puts me right to sleep.



I’ve just contributed an article to Lee Broughton’s Current Thinking on the Western page, rewriting an article I wrote around 1998 for the old ‘MGM Video Savant’ page. In the guise of an academic essay, I chart the changing tone of the ‘foreign policy’ western, mainly the ‘Gunmen go to Mexico’ subgenre that began in 1954 with Robert Aldrich’s Vera Cruz and pretty much ended (along with the evolution of the American western) in 1969 with Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch.

The article is called The Foreign Adventurism Western. I suppose a later, radical revisit of the same idea is Alex Cox’s Walker from 1987, a sort of post-modern spaghetti-filibuster epic.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson