Rated | Alphabetical
Dustin Rikert, USA, 2003
Posted: July 28, 2004
My friends, we are gathered here today to discuss a Western flick called
Ghost Rock. What's that I hear you saying? Why should we care about some
rinky-dink Western? Good point. But what if I were to tell you the cowboys did
Kung Fu on each other? A little more interesting, no? Then what if I went on to
tell you that the antagonist in this film was none other than Gary Busey? Is
that more like it? Friends, we ain't even there yet. Take Silverado,
Tombstone, The Quick and The Dead, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon, maybe a little bit of the made-for-cable classic Purgatory,
throw then into a blender, puree all the finest features of each, and what you
will have left will look something like Ghost Rock.
Look, don't even worry about the story. Once there were these two kids, and one
(the little boy, who will grow up to be Johnny Slaughter) had the chance to save
his girl Savannah (not the porn star), but instead cowered like a bitch and let
her get killed. Fast forward many years later, and Big John Slaughter (Mike
Worth -- apparently Jeff "The Perfect Weapon" Speakman wasn't available) is out
to avenge the death of his childhood love. And for some reason, he is really
good at Kung Fu. Johnny runs down the bad guys, headed by Jack Pickett (Gary
Busey), and proceeds to administer old West justice with a little Far East kick.
So why is the film called Ghost Rock? Well, that's the name of the town
where all this high-kickin' justice takes place. But it probably also has
something to do with this scene where a nekkid (that's right, I said nekkid)
ghost chick rises out of a tub armed with two six-guns. She then descends a
stairway -- still nekkid -- and shoots several bad guys. Now, you don't know
that she's a ghost then; you know she's nekkid, but you don't find out until the
end that she's a ghost. Of course, none of this is vitally important to
appreciating a nekkid chick packing heat. But why would a ghost be taking a
As a sidebar, none other than the great Adrienne Barbeau shows up as the head of
the local whorehouse, where one of the hotties has invented lap dancing! I kid
you not; this film shows the genesis of lap dancing! In fact, at the end of the
film, the innovative floozy intends to go to San Francisco to start a
lap-dancing dance hall. (I couldn't make this stuff up!) There's also a doofus
bad guy (always identifiable by the way he folds the front of his cowboy hat
up), who gets his hand chopped off in a fight and scurries away to a local bar
to play cards. Later, a dog enters the bar with the severed hand. Why? Why not!
Oh, and look for Adrienne Barbeau to shoot three guys with a single rifle
bullet. And, oh yeah, constant Kung Fu action!
But the greatest feature here, by far, is Gary Busey, and I'll tell you why. You
see, I don't think Gary knew this was a movie. I think he believed he was
in charge of some Kung Fu-fightin' cowboys, and that he was actually in the Old
West! You can see some of the other actors looking perplexed in their scenes
with Busey; I think that may be because he was not following the script at all.
He's got that crazy look in his eyes, like he does in Lethal Weapon and
the great Under Siege, and he acts even crazier than he did on I'm
With Busey. In fact, unless the prop guy was extra vigilant, there's an
above-average chance that Busey may have actually killed someone during the
making of this film. His lunatic fringe is unmistakable.
In short, pardners, this looks alarmingly like a film made by guys who were
very, VERY high on something. This is well below a B-grade film, but it's like
the proverbial train wreck. You just gotta keep watching! Here's the lowdown: If
you want Kung Fu cowboys, a one-handed guy playing cards, a nekkid, gun-totin'
ghost girl, lap-dancing Old West whores (with fake boobs, no less!), Adrienne
Barbeau making a triple kill with a single bullet, and lest we forget, a
totally insane Gary Busey -- and who among us doesn't, from time to time? --
then Ghost Rock is the film for you.
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