The Gunfighter (Short)
Well, here’s a spin on the Western I never saw coming. Writer Kevin Tenglin and director Eric Kissack set up a basic Western trope- a gunfighter (a literal Man with No Name, played by Shawn Parsons) walks into an old saloon, looking for a fight. He has all eyes on him, from the prostitute to the bartender to a group playing cards to a team of brothers who seem to take particular interest in him. A narrator (Nick Offerman) comes on the soundtrack, but what happens next, I don’t know that anyone could have predicted.
This is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in recent years, and it’s only 9 minutes long. That comes from the execution in general, first and foremost, but from the cast especially. As the narrator, this is a tour de force from Offerman, and his deadpan, serious delivery not only would fit effortlessly in a straight-faced approach to the genre, but it makes the movie even funnier, with the cast on-screen playing along in the best way possible. This is short, sweet and hysterical comedy set in the old west. It loves genre while also punching holes in the conventions in a way that is more “Blazing Saddles” and less “A Million Ways to Die in the West.” I hate to use the word perfect when it comes to movies, because no movie really is, but “The Gunfighter” is pretty close to it.