Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Zachariah - DVD (1971)

There's something so enduringly naive about this movie that keeps pulling me back to it. Every couple of years I just have to dig it out and watch it again, usually on my own as it gets the thumbs down from everyone I've ever tried to show it to. Maybe I've bigged it up too much and it can only lead to their disappointment.

Anyhow what's not to like about a movie from the short lived "Acid Western" genre?! It's got all the usual western hallmarks - guns, saloons, loose moralled women etc.,  along with Fender guitars and tail end of the sixties acid blues rock.


The film is loosely based on Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha and is basically a moralistic buddie movie starring starring John Rubenstein as Zachariah and Don Johnson (yes that one!) as his sidekick Matthew. The addition of rock music from The James Gang and Country Joe And The Fish is what really sets this film apart though. Yes it is cheesy in places, thin on plot, and very much of it's time, but hey that's what I like about it.

It's billed on the cover as the film The Beatles would have made if they'd got around to filming their much mooted western (it's not, though don't let that put you off). 

A few years ago a friend was staying over at our house on the settee. He wanted to watch a movie late in to the night before going to sleep and asked what videos or DVD's I might have that he could watch. "On the Waterfront, or Dylan's Dont Look Back on VHS" I said, "or this thing called Zachariah I've got on DVD." He took a look at the cover and said "I'll pass on the Zachariah". I still think he missed out.

One of the best things about this film is the appearence of jazz drummer Elvin Jones, drummer of choice for no less than John Coltrane. Here he is in full flow..