With the release of the trailer for the upcoming Western parody, Outlaw Johnny Blackfans of Michael Jai White’s comedic presence have something to look forward to on the big screen later in 2023. Unsurprisingly, the film, written and directed by White, contains the same humorous elements that made his previous film a parody, black dynamite, an underground cult classic. Still, trailer highlights include scenes reminiscent of another iconic comedy from nearly 50 years ago.
Samuel Goldwyn’s new film stars White as Johnny Black, a man on the run trying to avenge his father’s death. Although the plot uses similar threads to its spiritual predecessor, it is set in the Old West instead of the drug-riddled streets of the 1970s. However, specific references made throughout the teaser borrow from the famous comedy. Western by Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles.
Outlaw Johnny Black has some similarities to Blazing Saddles
Fans of the 1974 classic Blazing Saddles will remember the grand entrance of Mongo (Alex Karras). When Territory Attorney General Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) and his cronies send him to deal with the citizens of Rock Ridge, the dangerously strong henchman comes to town atop a bull. Naturally, the townspeople are terrified of Mongo and hide as he proceeds to hitch his mount to the nearby saloon, but a resident on horseback reluctantly objects. This leads to the monster quietly strolling up to the heckler and knocking out his steed. It’s a hilarious scene that’s lovingly recognized from the film and is arguably resurrected in Outlaw Johnny Black trailer to create a sense of comedic legacy for the future film.
However, the tributes do not stop there. As Samuel Goldwyn Films’ synopsis points out, Johnny Black will face off against a “notorious landlord,” which surprisingly parallels Sheriff Bart’s (Cleavon Little) dispute with Lamarr since his plan involves forcing the townspeople out because that the value of the territory increased with the construction of a new railway line. While there’s no way to tell how the narrative will pan out until the film’s release, the trailer also creates another resemblance between the titular character and another person in Brook’s beloved film. : Jim the Waco Kid (Gene Wilder). Although Wilder plays the incarcerated town drunk, Sheriff Bart quickly learns that the gunslinger is still quick with his hands, and Outlaw Johnny Black gives White’s character the same treatment in the preview.
What can audiences expect from outlaw Johnny Black?
The film will not be White’s first satirical outing. And if this photo looks like the previous one, black dynamite, moviegoers can expect a funny, action-packed and unconventional film that will keep them entertained. In short, the western motif has a lot of usable comedic material, as movies like Blazing Saddles showed.
Granted, Outlaw Johnny Black the trailer and its summary don’t say much to potential fans, and there’s little to no context clues for the jokes, but the punchlines reflect some of the segments found inside Blazing Saddles. Still, viewers will have to wait a bit to see how the upcoming film will pay more homage to classic satire. Either way, the teaser does a great job of conveying the relationship between the two movies by kicking a horse and containing a lightning-fast shooter driven by justice.
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