The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

DEADWOOD ’76 (1965) ** ½

Fans of Eegah and Wild Guitar will have fun with this western starring everyone’s favorite singing sensation, Arch Hall, Jr.!

Arch plays a gunfighter who meets a guy named Tennessee (Jack Lester), who sells cats and they ride into the lawless town of Deadwood together. Arch guns down a couple of guys and gets mistaken for Billy the Kid. He moves onto an Indian reservation where he falls in love with a squaw and meets up with his crazy father (played by Arch’s real life father, Arch Hall, Sr.) who is planning to use the Indians to fight the Yankees. When his squaw is brutally raped; Arch goes out for revenge.

In films like Eegah, Arch Hall, Jr. sorta came off like a putz. But in The Sadist, he actually proved that he had some talent. And Deadwood ’76 is a pretty good showcase for him. He gives a solid performance here and kinda resembles Martin Kove in some scenes. The supporting cast, which includes Harvey B. (Bride of the Monster) Dunn (as the bartender) and Liz (Desperate Living) Renay (as a madam) is also pretty darn good.

The plot is a bit all over the place and has too many subplots. And the fact that the print was jumpy didn’t help. (At one point, Arch goes from having a gunfight on the streets with Wild Bill Hickok to being strung up by a lynch mob in a matter of seconds.) There are some scenes that drag on far too long as well (like the scenes on the Indian reservation), but when Deadwood ‘76 works, it works. Overall, it’s a fairly decent stab by the Arch Hall, Jr. to make himself into a western, and remains one of his better efforts.

Tags: cult, d, western
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