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SAMURAI COWBOY (director/writer: Michael Keusch; screenwriter: Deborah Tilton/story by Dave Hunsaker & Rick Ponte; cinematographer: Les Krizsan; editor: Peter Svab; music: Osamu Kitajima; cast: Hiromi Gô (Yutaka Sato), Catherine Mary Stewart (Jessie Collins), Robert Conrad (Gabe McBride), Matt McCoy (Colt Wingate), Conchata Ferrell (Bobbi Bob Pickette), Mark Acheson (Flint Clayton),Ian Tyson (T.J. Welsh), Byron Chief-Moon (Jack Eagle Eye); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Max Kirishima; Monarch Home Video; 1994-Canada)
“Mired in predictability.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Canadian born TV director Michael Keusch (“Lena’s Holiday”) directs this affable derivative western comedy, that is mired in predictability. It’s based on a story by Dave Hunsaker & Rick Ponte and is written in a formulaic way by the director and Deborah Tilton.

Young Japanese businessman Yutaka Sato (Hiromi Gô) yearns to be an American cowboy, the result of watching too many westerns. When his best friend Tokyo business partner dies unexpectedly from a heart attack, Sato buys a Montana ranch sight unseen and when seen discovers it’s badly rundown. Facing bias from local bullying cowboys, old-time cowboy Gabe (Robert Conrad) comes to the rescue and rounds up the stray cattle and shows the city slicker foreigner how to operate a ranch.

More trouble comes about when rich neighbor ranch owner Colt Wingate (Matt McCoy) indicates he wants the ranch and when the foreigner turns down his fair offer, he has his henchmen sabotage the samurai cowboy’s ranch. Help is also offered Sato by the pretty veterinarian Jessie Collins (Catherine Mary Stewart) and the friendly real estate agent/bar owner Bobbi Bob (Conchata Ferrell), as the obsessed greenhorn rancher is determined to live out his dream.

It unfortunately couldn’t create any suspense as to whether Sato makes it or not, the comic effort was feeble, the cautious romance between Sato and Jessie was never convincing and the trite characters were too uninteresting as one-dimensional stereotypes.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”