In collaboration with Screen Seven and in association with Jeremy Wooding, Lee Broughton programmed and introduced a screening of Blood Moon (Jeremy Wooding, UK, 2014).
A mysterious gunslinger called Calhoun (Shaun Dooley) is travelling through Colorado in 1887 when his stagecoach rests up at a ghost town. Calhoun and his fellow travellers are unexpectedly taken hostage by two outlaws and are imprisoned in the town’s saloon. As night draws in and the full moon rises, it soon becomes apparent that a werewolf-like skin-walker is prowling the town’s empty streets.
In his book The Euro-Western: Reframing Gender, Race and the ‘Other’ in Film (I.B. Tauris, 2016), Lee Broughton argues that a significant number of British Westerns – examples include Marcel Varnel’s The Frozen Limits (UK, 1939), John Baxter’s Ramsbottom Rides Again (UK, 1956) and Robert Parrish’s A Town Called Bastard (UK/Spain, 1971) – are distinguished by the fact that they feature uncharacteristically strong and active female characters and allusions to the gothic horror tradition.
Blood Moon is a British Western that follows a similar pattern of engagement with the genre. Indeed, Wooding’s film remains an original and compelling weird Western tale that manages to incorporate its supernatural elements – and its strong and active women – in wholly effective and plausible ways.
The screening took place at Screen Seven in Leeds on 10 August 2017.