A Man Called Dark Silver: A Great Buried Treasure

Sometimes a movie just astounds you beyond all reason. A Man Called Dark Silver is a movie like that, only better. Written and Directed by Dick Silverstone in 1972. Sadly he died less than a year after it’s release so Dark Silver was his only flick. An incredible legacy to leave behind iffin you asked me.

A Man Called Dark Silver is a western of sorts except it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world that is almost entirely desert. The main character, believe it or not, is a man called Dark Silver, who rides a horse in search of Something. Something is apparently another character who Dark Silver mostly seems to hate but occasionally reveals a deep longing. Also Dark silver calls his horse Blind Horse, because it has no eyes.

On his way to Something Dark Silver gets into a couple exceptionally rad shoot outs with different gangs. The best shoot out involves 20 slavers each with more guns than they can hold at one time, and Dark Silver who uses nothing but one six-shooter and an old sledge-hammer. Best use of sledge-hammer in a movie. Ever. Forever. Period. No tag backs.

The slavers are interesting. We spend 10 minutes or so with the slavers while Dark Silver spies on them. This sequence is interesting because all the slaves are black guys, apparently after the apocalypse white people feel it’s okay to throw out the 13th amendment. (FYI I don’t agree, after the apocalypse I hope the 13th and all the other amendments are kept in tact) So that was a cool piece of 70’s racial discussion in film (you know like Crash except Dark Silver is about how racism is bad)

(A few spoilers are in this paragraph)

There is a love interest, but it was really stupid and felt tacked on, like Silverstone’s girlfriend wanted to be an actress so he threw her in there so he wouldn’t have to sleep on the couch for a month. However, the love interest kind of explains everything when Something shows up and kills her, that’s when you realize that all the love story bits were flashbacks to before Dark Silver begins his journey. It was incredibly well done and genuinely surprising.

(Spoilers end)

I saw a few connect to Shadow of the Colossus (that may just be because it’s my favorite video game but bear with me) Blind Horse is really important and Dark Silver talks to him frequently, and Blind Horse always seems to hear when Dark Silver needs him. I have to wonder if  Fumito Ueda has seen this because an important event in SotC pertaining to Agro (the horse in that game) happens almost beat for beat to Blind Horse. I’m not suggesting it was stolen, only that Ueda may have been referencing a great film.

Well this was pleasant surprise, kind of like an American El Topo only without the heavy religious allegory, and the second half tonal shift. I’d recommend A Man Called Dark Silver to everybody, however, good luck finding it cause i made it all up.


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