Well, what else do you expect from William Shatner?
Comanche Blanco tells the tale of two twin brothers who are half Comanche and half white. Notah has chosen the war-path (har har) and lives among the Cherokee, raiding stagecoaches and generally being a major pain in the ass. Johnny Moon instead lives among white folks and Notah’s constant killing and stealing causes big problems for him. See, when your identical twin robs people and then shoots them all dead, it may cause a few issues for you in the town.
Johnny issues an ultimatum: he declares that the two are no longer brothers and that he will see Notah in four days in a little town called Rio Hondo. There they will face off and whoever survives, wins. Johnny rides ahead to Rio Hondo and waits, but other problems present themselves while Johnny is waiting for the showdown with his “former” brother.
In other words, Comanche Blanco isn’t anything we haven’t seen before.
In fact, it’s a horrible mess in the loveliest of ways.
I have a notorious soft spot for William Shatner. I grew up watching Star Trek with my mom and I watched him for years on Rescue 911. (Please tell me someone remembers this show.) He seems to be someone who can laugh at himself and his portrayal of Denny Crane is so sweet yet insane that I just can’t help myself. Shatner seems well aware of the fact that he is no great shakes as an actor, but embraces it and laughs at it. I can’t snark on someone for that.
And here we see Shatner in full on hammy glory: Gone are the stilted inflections of Star Trek, but Shatner’s still pretty bad as the twins Johnny and Notah. He’s fun to watch, though, as either twin. Sure, he’s not good, but he is entertaining.
The rest of the movie is what’s truly awful: bad sets and crummy acting are rounded off with some very atrocious dialogue and actors who couldn’t deliver a good line to save their life. The depiction of the Comanche is equally hilarious: a mixture of Spanish and what appear to be Asian actors portray the Comanche (this film was made in Spain after all) complete with the “Me Tarzan, You Jane” type of dialogue that is painfully stereotypical for Native Americans in film.
Is it an entertaining film? I’d put it this way: Shatner’s entertaining, and the rest…not so much. It’s ridiculous: Comanche squaws run around in full sixties-style makeup. Shatner as Notah has facepaint that constantly changes so you’re left with glaring continuity errors. The supporting cast is fun to watch just to see them struggle through it.
Comanche Blanco good? Nay, never, but I think you could probably make a damn good drinking game out of it. Now that’s saying something.