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The Outlaws is Coming

USA 1965
produced by
Norman Maurer for Normandy/Columbia
directed by Norman Maurer
starring the Three Stooges (Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Joe DeRita), Adam West, Nancy Kovack, Mort Mills, Don Lamond, Rex Holman, Emil Sitka, Henry Gibson, Murray Alper, Tiny Brauer, Joe Bolton, Bill Camfield, Hal Fryar, Johnny Ginger, Wayne Mack, Ed T. McDonnell, Bruce Sedley, Paul Shannon, Sally Starr
story by Norman Maurer, screenplay by Elwood Ullman, music by Paul Dunlap

Three Stooges, Annie Oakley, and in cameos: Jesse James, Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickock, Belle Starr, Johnny Ringo, Billy the Kid

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Out West in Wyoming, baddie Rance Roden (Don Lamond) wants to trick the Native Americans into revolt by first seeing to it that their buffaloes are killed, then selling them weapons to overrun the Cavalry, and once that is achieved he wants to take control of the country - of course without figuring how he would overpower the Native Americans once they've defeated pretty much the white men in their territory, but that's besides the point. What's to the point is, that back in Boston, the Wildlife Preservation Journal gets wind that all the buffaloes are killed out West, so they send their best reporter, Cabot (Adam West), to the town where Roden has his headquarters, and a trio of photographers (the Stooges, Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Joe DeRita) along with him. Thing is, Cabot is a city person, totally not cut out for the rough territory the West can be, and Roden, once he notices Cabot's less than a tough guy, and sees to it that he's even made the new sheriff in town, just for a laugh. That soon backfires a bit, as Cabot soon starts printing pamphlets condemning the useless killing of buffaloes, so Roden gives his right-hand man Trigger Mortis (Mort Mills) permission to kill him. However, Roden's on-again off-again girlfriend Annie Oakley (Nancy Kovack) has somehow fallen for Cabot, and she (by secretly doing his shooting) and the Stooges (by tomfoolery that turns out to be ingenuity) save him from repeated attempts on his life, without him even noticing. This all culminates in Roden inviting the whole US's nine worst outlaws, Jesse James (Wayne Mack), Wyatt Earp (Bill Camfield), Wild Bill Hickock (Paul Shannon), Belle Starr (Sally Starr), Johnny Ringo (Hal Fryar), Rob Dalton (Joe Bolton) of the Dalton Gang, Billy the Kid (Johnny Ginger), Bat Masterson (Ed T. McDonnell), and Cole Younger (Bruce Sedley) of the James-Younger Gang, to his town just to shoot Cabot dead - but the stooges glue the the gunmen's guns to their holsters, making them unusable, and Anne Oakley takes care of Belle Starr in a catfight. But to actually get the Cavalry involved, Cabot and the Stooges need proof that Roden was trading weapons to the Natives - so they try to photograph the deal but get captured instead and made ready to be executed ... when Joe remembers his special flute that can call buffaloes. And an instrument like this is enough to turn the tides for the buffalo-starved Natives ...

 

Now by 1965, the Three Stooges were definitely past their prime, and their slapstick-centered humour has lost most of its freshness, and thus their later films are not among their better ones - and The Outlaws is Coming was their second to last feature film. And that all out of the way, this actually isn't too bad a movie - sure, it's a rather simplistic and unassuming comedy, but at least some of the jokes actually hit their mark, and since the direction is genre savvy, the parodistic elements do mostly work. That of course still isn't enough to make a great movie, but circa 90 minutes that don't feel too wasted - especially when seen through a nostalgic lense.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD