Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Filipino Western: Julio Valiente in San Basilio

Most would think that shooting at a knife in your hand is, well,
crazy and dangerous. But not Julio Valiente -- it's a way to save bullets.
In addition to the many imported Western movies and TV shows that my grandfather and father enjoyed, I also grew up on some Filipino Westerns.

Filipino Westerns can be considered an early sort of interstitial or cross-genre movie. They grabbed many existents and tropes of, er, Western Westerns and stuck them in the tropical clime of the Philippines, and liberally mixed them in with pulp tropes. Hence, masked heroes with horses and six shooters riding past nipa huts and trees native to our tropical clime.

Here's a series of clips strung together with the theme music from one of those Filipino Westerns: San Basilio. The most memorable part of the film is the part when two villains are running away from the hero Julio Valiente, and he decides to execute them with his last bullet (ignoring the ones on his arms, of course) by shooting through his knife -- the implication is that his knife split the bullet in two, allowing him to kill two people with one bullet. The actor -- Lito Lapid -- is currently a Senator.


2 comments:

  1. Wow. I didn't know there were any Filipino Westerns, but it sort of makes sense. Who says the internet isn't educational? :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad it makes sense to you! It doesn't make sense to me now, but many of us look back fondly at these flicks -- perhaps because they were not only escapist, but also because they took another genre and melded it with local sentiment.

      I think they were also shaped by the old western serials that I'm sure the directors and script writers of the time had grown up with.

      Delete

That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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