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Weird Westerns: Back to the Future Part III (1990)

"Back to the Future Part III" may be the first example of a strange phenomenon, that of an established fantastical series setting one of its later sequels in the Old West. There are enough of these that it might be considered a subgenre of a subgenre. In the world of Weird Westerns, let's call it, I don't know, the Wild Hill Valley Western, or the Mad Dog Tannen Western, or perhaps the Acoustic ZZ Top Western. I feel some detail from the film would make a proper name for this microgenre.

As "Back to the Future" films go, this was something of a return to form after the narratively daring, wildly inventive, but somewhat taxing Back to the Future Part II, which sent our heroes Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd) into a satiric future and then back through the events of the first film.

This sequel, based on a suggestion from Fox, was more meat and potatoes, set in a single location (Hill Valley, in this film barely a fro…

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