23) The Shooting (1967) Dir: Monte Hellman Date Released: XX 1966 Date Seen: January 23, 2010 Rating: 3.75/5
Even though I watched a really bad video/audio transfer of The Shooting, the impact that the truly horrible sound/picture quality had on me was minimal. The film's biggest asset is its Twilight Zone-esque dialogue, which stands apart from its generic compatriots in that it's more about an invisible menace than a tangible one with a six-shooter and spurs. Jack Nicholson's script, which I've heard he "meticulously" researched for period-specific details (commence eye-rolling here), crackles with the kind of straight-forward intellectual brawn of Rod Serling's great serialized drama. As in The Twilight Zone, he tension in The Shooting is purely imaginary, never really a matter of visualized terror or gore, not of sight or sound, but of mind. In that sense, the film deviates a bit from its tightly-scripted and largely suggestive build-up and gets a bit high on its own fumes by the end during its big psychedelic reveal but otherwise, it's a steady and consistently funny acid western.