YouTube Westerns: Quick on the Draw

YouTube is not only a repository for numerous cat videos and old music videos, but also for creative visions that might not otherwise ever be seen but the world at large. Here are three short films set in the Wild West.



A Shot in the Dark

  • October 25, 2019

A dangerous outlaw and another man meet at night in the desert.

A Shot in the Dark is a short little western that almost reaches the seven-minute mark. It is just two strangers meeting. One of them is a mysterious camper. The other claims to be a dangerous criminal. You know where this is going when you start watching it but the trip there is enjoyable. As a story it is not great or groundbreaking, but it is entertaining. It’s short and sweet and to the point.

The first gentleman to speak is a better actor than the second gentleman. While the story and its direction overall are fine, the acting of the other is a little flat. If there is anything wrong with this movie, it’s that. The production values are good on this. It certainly isn’t done on the cheap though occurring at night certainly saves money on having to do something in the background.

A Shot in the Dark isn’t bad. Not great or groundbreaking but definitely entertaining. If you go searching for Western fan films this would not be a bad one to take in.


Red Dead Redemption-Fan Film

  • Written and Directed by John Lyde
  • February 28, 2014

A man attempts to save a woman from a group of outlaws.

The Red Dead Redemption games are a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve never really played them and aside from the artwork on a few games I know little else. But looking for Western fan films on YouTube I came across this and gave it a look.

Red Dead Redemption is a short 16 minutes of Western themed action of a lone fighter going to save a woman. I do not know if the basis of the story is tied into one of the games, but that didn’t prevent me from enjoying it. There’s just an outlaw reigning death and destruction to all in his path.

The production values are pretty good, and the direction is fantastic. I’m not saying movie quality but better than most television. And the acting is superb for a fan film. This whole production reeks of experience as well as love for the material and genre.

As story goes, there is not a lot here. It’s just shoot the bad guys and save the girl. The only twist in it is the good guy used to be one of the bad guys but he’s since turned good. How that all came to be is not explained at all.

I’m not sure this is a great film, but Red Dead Redemption-Fan Film is pretty good. I’m not sure if it’s something you’ll revisit but it is something you will enjoy if you come across it. And courtesy of me you can come across it right now!


The Deputy

  • Written and Directed by Michael Brian Rawlins
  • May 11, 2019

When a local sheriff and his deputy escort a gang leader, things don’t go quite as planned.

The Deputy is an action oriented Western short that delivers. The story is pretty basic and it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. What really sells this are the action sequences. Once things get going the action doesn’t let up until the finale and it just builds. They’re frenetic with great editing and just great choreography.

Each threat encountered becomes just a little bigger than the previous one. The ante is upped just a little each time with the climax being a perfect payoff to everything. There’s no way they could have ended it any differently and not for the viewer it have been anti-climactic.

The action sequences here, which could easily fit into the part into a larger narrative, are better than many action films out there today. The main character, The Deputy (Michael Brian Rawlins) who’s replacing his father, takes on all comers and dishes out as good as he gets. With creative camera angles and judicious cuts you are sucked in.

What dialogue and acting there is comes off good. Not great but good. There’s some witty humor between the only two really defined characters and some darkly humorous moments in the action.

The Deputy is a great piece of action oriented western. It’s exciting and intense and is so good that you’ll feel it’s over too soon because you want more. This is a must see!


YouTube has been a big boon for creators who otherwise would not have had an outlet for their work. It is a place where the Western genre gets some love. While the mid film is the weakest of the trio here, these all show promise and are worthy entries in the Western genre.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: