What Is a Western? Interview Series: Desert Terror


Autry curator Josh Garrett-Davis interviews Brad Sykes, author of Terror in the Desert: Dark Cinema of the American Southwest, about the genre of Western horror and its use of the desert landscape. 


What Is A Western? Interview Series: Desert Terrror

Interested in learning more about the films and ideas discussed in the interview? 

To Read

Brad Sykes’s Terror in the Desert: Dark Cinema of the American Southwest (2018)

To Watch

The Sadist (1963) - Based on an actual killing spree, this is the original “desert terror” movie and still one of the best.

Duel (1971) - Steven Spielberg’s first feature is the ultimate road rage thriller.

The Hills Have Eyes (1977) - Horror-master Wes Craven’s tale of a nice American family vs. an inbred clan of cannibals.

The Hitcher (1986) - Hitchhiking horror doesn’t get any scarier than this.

Near Dark (1987) - The best vampire Western ever made.

White of the Eye (1988) - A brilliant psychological thriller about madness lurking within an average Arizona family.

Silent Tongue (1993) - Sam Shepard's spooky film is part Native American ghost story, part history lesson, and all terrifying.

Breakdown (1997) - The best road thriller since Duel, with Kurt Russell versus a malevolent trucker.

U-Turn (1997) - Oliver Stone's jet-black comedy is every stranded traveler's worst nightmare.

The Canyon (2009) - Survival horror in the Grand Canyon, featuring a strong lead performance by Yvonne Strahovski.