Curse of the Undead

A specifically Christian allegory made up of two themes, a land dispute between California ranchers and, fueling the result, a vampire gunslinger who feeds on young women to show the hysterical nature of the whole business.

He is a Spanish fratricide and suicide back from the dead at the devil’s bidding, he fears no gunshots, sleeps in a coffin and hires out to the offended party after killing the paterfamilias.

The trend of the thought is very deep and wide, the two themes are diligently worked out, the acting is very subtle, like the excellent script.

The grave tempo and complicated rhythms set up by the gradual unfolding of the tale belie the actual speed of the work, which is very swift.


The Night of the Two-Legged Buffalo
The Wild Wild West

The Prince of the Coral Islands is on his way to sign a treaty in Washington, he hates the feathered cloak and circumscribing missionaries of his father’s realm, wants an autocratic rule after his own fashion, therefore he engineers an international incident at the costliest mud spa in all the world, he is to be kidnapped by American ruffians.

A buffalo hunt is planned, but as it happens West is the quarry, ridden down in a corral by the prince on horseback with a lance.

The kidnappers are continental aristocrats led by a vicious Englishwoman, Lady Beatrice, whose demure surface is so remarkable she is taken in some quarters perhaps as “fragile”, ideally. She is played by Dana Wynter.

Nick Adams is the self-described “barbarian”, a cheerful epicure who goes on to meet President Grant in spite of all. “You’re lucky I didn’t try to cook you as well as kill you,” he blandly says to James West.


The Night of the Freebooters
The Wild Wild West

The curious weapons of the filibusterers are a prototype tank called the Turtle, and the X-2 rifle, which fires an explosive projectile capable of penetrating it. With these, and an army of “criminals, revolutionaries, desperate men,” it is thought possible to conquer “first Baja, then Mexico, then all of South America, realm of the conquistadors,” in view of “power, wealth, destiny, a whole new world.”

Gordon as Col. Sandoval explains to the expeditionary leader, Thorwald Wolfe (“a wolf is born to hunt”), that there will be no resistance from the Mexican Army, what with “the Yaqui Indians in revolt, revolution brewing in Chiapas, Sonora,” and so forth.

An officer at a border post was offered the Governorship of Baja California. “I should have seen it coming,” he says in his cell at Wolfe’s fort. “My country may have forgotten me, but I haven’t forgotten my country.”

His wife is brought to the fort on the eve of invasion by Gordon disguised as a madam with a cartload of women. “Good psychology,” says disciplinarian Wolfe.

After all the hullabaloo with West and the prisoner in the Turtle fired upon by Wolfe with his X-2, Gordon toasts “the lady who arrived at the right time, with all the right equipment.”

“He gets fat on trouble,” West has observed of him.