Friday's release of Cowboys & Aliens got us thinking about all the opportunities for interterrestrial warfare between the Old West and New Frontier that Hollywood missed before. Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford have plenty to worry about, bringing horses to a spacecraft fight. But their predicament likely won't be as fun as these dream matchups between, well, cowboys and aliens.
Clint Eastwood vs. Gort from 1955's The Day The Earth Stood Still
Clint's squint won the West. Gort's can unleash a death ray vaporizing anything in its path. The Man with No Name never flinches, so ducking for cover is out of the question. Eastwood squeezes off a few rounds, and lights a couple sticks of dynamite with his cheroot. The 8-foot-tall robot seems indestructible. Then Eastwood remembers Patricia Neal's Gort-stopping command — "Gort, klaatu, barada nikto!" Winner: Eastwood.
John Wayne vs. The Queen Mother from Alien
The greatest movie cowboy ever draws the baddest alien to ever slime the screen. "Fill your hand, you rhymes-with-witch," Wayne bellows, sounding like Sigourney Weaver with truer grit. The creature responds with screeches and squeals not even Gabby Hayes could interpret. Mostly they furiously glare at each other, leading spectators to believe a draw is inevitable. Then it happens. Winner: The Duke, forgetting he's in a Western and calling in his Sands of Iwo Jima troops.
Yosemite Sam vs. Marvin The Martian
A classic showdown of Looney Tunes characters. In one corner, the rootinest, tootinest hombre who ever hornswoggled a varmint. In the other, a deceptively mild-mannered alien who'd destroy Earth with an Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator, simply because our planet blocks his view of Venus. Marvin's temper is mild compared to Sam's tantrums, which works to his advantage. Winner: Marvin, with a sucker punch when Bugs Bunny distracts Sam.
Sheriff Bart from Blazing Saddles vs. Dark Helmet from Spaceballs
All we need is Mel Brooks as a referee. Dark Helmet grabs an early advantage by using his Schwartz death grip to strangle Bart's schnitzengruben. The sheriff escapes to the swinging sounds of Count Basie, turning the tables by pointing a ray gun at his own head. Oh, baby, he is so talented, and Dark Helmet is so dumb. Winner: Sheriff Bart when Dark Helmet runs away at ludicrous speed.
Annie Oakley from Annie Get Your Gun vs. Sil from Species
Slim pickings when it comes to gunslinging women of the Old West but Annie Oakley steps into the ring. Fight observers question Annie's decision to shoot at Sil with a rifle propped over her shoulder, looking for backward aim in a mirror. Sexy Sil thinks there's a chink in Annie's armor until realizing her opponent isn't a man. Annie has things under control until Sil begins doin' what comes naturally. Winner: Sil, engaging her in a Britney-Madonna liplock and impaling her throat with an alien tongue.
Steve Persall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8365.