The Wild Bunch

You think movies like Natural Born Killers or Pulp Fiction glorify violence? They pale in comparison to Sam Peckinpah's modern Western, The Wild Bunch. The difference between The Wild Bunch and later movies is that the killings are committed in a more detached manner, but yet have a curious sentimentality to them. This paradoxical mix is what puts Peckinpah's effort a notch higher than the ones by Oliver Stone and Quentin Tarantino.

Pike is the leader of the wild bunch, a group of gangsters who are tricked into stealing a bunch of silver washers from the Railroad company. Pike realises that the Wild Bunch lifestyle cannot last forever and wants to do a "last job" that would make them wealthy. The Railroad company employs Thornton, who was once part of the Wild Bunch himself, and a a gang of bounty hunters to destroy the Wild Bunch. The movie is essentially about the chase by Thornton to get Pike, and during this process senseless, almost comical, acts of violence are the norm, culminating in the destruction of a Mexican village. By the end of the movie, you are left totally desensitised to the sight of dead bodies covered with splotches of red.

The movie starts off with a bunch of kids placing scorpions in the middle of a colony of ants. At first the scorpions struggle, but are eventually overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the ants. The kids then cover the scorpions with hay and set fire to the whole thing. All this happens while there's a carnage between Pike's gang and Thornton and his bounter hunters. This sort of a parallel showcasing the childlike nature of the wild west lifestle is what makes this a highly unsettling movie to watch.

Movie ram-blings || Ram Samudrala ||