The Last Rites of Ransom Pride

The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride purports to be a Western, but looks more like an MTV music video starring Walker Texas Ranger. In it, a tough woman with the improbable name of Julliette Flowers lies, cheats, and kills in order to bring the body of her outlaw lover (with the even more improbable name of Ransom Pride) home to be buried next to his mother. In order to do this, she must exchange one life for another; namely, that of Ransom’s brother Champ. The blood-price is sought by one Bruja, a vicious Mexican voodoo priestess whose (Catholic?) priest brother was killed by Ransom some time before. And if you couldn’t tell Bruja was the villain from the decomposing headdresses she wears, she also has burn scars artfully disfiguring her face and eye.

Juliette Flowers and Champ Pride (am I the only one reminded of Hiro Protagonist?) embark on an almost hallucinogenic journey to retrieve Ransom’s body and gun down anyone in their way, encountering mythical creatures such as a dwarf and a pair of dying conjoined twins. The unnamed Dwarf and the token alcoholic black man get into a game of one-upmanship over who has the better life, but fortunately both are killed before the tales get really tall. The enigmatic twins seem to do nothing but lament their impending double demise.

Oh, and there’s a gratuitous deaf girl with crutch-using father who seems to serve no purpose other than to indicate how bad the bad guys are for abusing her.

Blurred and color-shifted imagery, millisecond flashbacks, and jarring camera work all contribute to the feeling that these disability tropes are, to paraphrase the conjoined twins, “performed for illiterate imbeciles and pathetic whores and they mock us”. We cannot allow this precious time we have to be stained with ridicule, indeed.

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