One of the most prominent genres of the Classical Hollywood Era was the Western. The Western was known for it’s beautiful landscapes and heroic characters that created a mythos for masculinity. However, in the late 60s a new sub-genre of the Western was born: the Acid Western.
The Acid Western played on a lot of the conventions of the traditional Western by placing the stories and characters in the American Frontier, however the Acid Western used these stories, not to portray this mythos of the American hero, but to analyze the counter-culture from an origin point, such as the Wild West. On top of that, a lot of Acid Westerns defy the genre by focusing on only one or a few people, creating a sense of isolation that’s only further exemplified through the western landscape. This isolation allows these films to play with more hallucinatory aspects of the Western journey.
The Shooting was the first Acid Western, but El Topo popularized it. While this main rush of Acid Westerns came in the 60s and 70s, you’ll see as we go through that its influence has stretched all the way up to the present!
Enjoy and let us know in the comments which of these you liked the most or are most interested in checking out!