Movie Fan Man: Cinema Connoisseur

Traditional, Artsy, Genre-Within-Genre: A Little Something for Everyone

Cowboys vs. Aliens 2: Far Alamo

by Tony Nash


(All opinions are of the author alone)

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Far Alamo (2018) R ****

Edited & Directed by: Fabrice Mathieu

Featuring archive cameos of:

Lee Van Cleef

Charles Bronson

Clint Eastwood

James Coburn

Eli Wallach

Henry Fonda

Steve McQueen

Gian Maria Volonte

Yul Brynner

John Wayne

Laurence Harvey

Richard Widmark

Terence Hill

Aldo Giuffre

With music samples of Ennio Morricone, Dimitri Tiomkin, and James Horner

Synopsis: The Alamo is under siege by carnivorous and murderous bugs from Outer Space. With the aid of freelance gunman, the defenders of the Alamo are able to repel the alien menace.

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A homage to the Western, both the Traditional and the Italian, and cheesy to gross Sci-Fi films, film fan Fabrice Mathieu splices together a nice fan film that is both entertaining and well made. Here the heroes of the Alamo have a new threat to deal with in the form of Alien Bugs rampaging across the deserts of Texas, and they need all the help they can get in defeating the invading menace. Several freelance gunman, both bounty hunter and mercenary, decide to help out the Alamo defenders, giving the group a fighting chance. Mixing such iconic Westerns as The Alamo (1960), Per un Pugno di Dollari (A Fistful of Dollars), (1964), Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (For a Few Dollars More) (1965), Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) (1966),  C’era una Volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West) (1968), and Il Mio Nome Nessuno (My Name is Nobody) (1975) and the Starship Trooper Trilogy is all at once creative, ingenious,and insane as the audience is taken through a delirious action packed ride that, while seems very unbelievable and ridiculous, successfully allows the suspension of belief that allows the spectator to sit back and enjoy without caring about whether it’s implausible or not.

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The usage of close-ups of such iconic Western actors as Lee Van Cleef, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, James Coburn,  and Eli Wallach is used to great effect by Mr. Mathieu and helps to build up the suspense he’s looking for as the heroes watch as the hoards of Alien Bugs are seen roaring up the landscape. Even with the footage being spliced together from other films and music, Mathieu edits and mixes all the elements together in such a way that it doesn’t feel like something put together at random by fan, but by a real pro wanting to show his appreciation and love of two totally different, but very much entertaining genres of films.

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The only element that really works against the film is the use of decapitation with some of the characters. Not only is it really obvious that these images are in fact spliced and mixed together, totally killing, even if only briefly, the effect that Mathieu was looking to achieve, but adds an unnecessary amount of violence to the piece. Now this isn’t anything against Mr. Mathieu as he’s only trying work the actions of the bugs in a way that appears believable, but shows that there are just certain mash-ups that don’t work right.

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Despite a significant single flaw. Mathieu’s Far Alamo is still a highly entertaining little short film that fans of Westerns, Sci-Fi, Action, and Fantasy films should get a kick out of. While Mathieu has often been declared by online critics as putting together too unusual and too implausible mash-up edits of various films, this one works rather well. Is it implausible: yes, does it defy logic: yes, is it at all boring: no, is it entertaining: yes. Since the film is about gunfighters tackling hostile invading aliens, the elements of shoot-outs and the Bugs being hit with various forms of fire power works in the piece’s favor and gives some plausibility to the action might actually taking place in a real movie. Mathieu hits the mark fairly well here and offers something really interesting to look at and enjoy.

(I do recommend checking this little short out, even if only once, as it’s something totally different and creative. Now I know this contains Western elements and should’ve probably been shown on Western Wednesdays,  but the mash-up and Fantasy elements allotted it its own separate place I’d have given the film five stars, but the decapitating scenes really took the value down a little, but not so much, of the film’s overall feel. It’s available on both YouTube and Vimeo, so fans of films have some outlets to check it out. Even if people only watch it for something quick on a rainy day, it’s worth the 5 minutes the piece runs.)

all images courtesy of Images and their respective owners

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