) is a film starring John Rubinstein
as Zachariah and Don Johnson
as his best friend Matthew. The film is loosely based on Herman Hesse
's novel Siddhartha
, surrealistically adapted as a musical Western by Joe Massot
and two members of the Firesign Theatre
comedy troupe. The band Country Joe and the Fish
perform as an inept gang of robbers (more adept as musicians) called "the Crackers," who are always "looking for people who like to draw." In the same vein, Zachariah boasts: "I can think, I can wait, and I'm fast on the draw." This is a parody of Siddhartha's famous line: "I can think, I can wait, I can fast."
Underneath the gunplay, the jokes, and the music, an important message is delivered: a life of pacifism, quiet contemplation, male bonding and vegetarianism is preferable to a life of violence.
This film is defined as being part of the Acid Western
genre. More precisely, in its own publicity releases, it was called, "The first electric western." This was, in no small part, because this film featured several appearances and music supplied by successful rock bands from the era, including the James Gang
and Country Joe and the Fish
. Fiddler Doug Kershaw
has a musical cameo that advances the plot of the film. The movie also features former John Coltrane
sideman Elvin Jones
as a gunslinging drummer named "Job Cain."Cream
's drummer Ginger Baker
was originally going to play the part of Zachariah.
The... Read More