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Here’s a pleasant surprise: Sodbusters is a spoof of Westerns that doesn’t owe anything to the one that everyone usually rips off, Blazing Saddles. Instead, director and cowriter Eugene Levy
yes, the SCTV cast member — has come up with a droll tone he manages to sustain through most of the movie. Kris Kristofferson stars as a mysterious gunfighter named Destiny, who rides into the little town of Marble Hat, Colo., and gets involved in a dispute between farmers, led by Fred Willard (Fernwood 2-Night), and cattlemen, overseen by John Vernon (Animal House). A parody of Westerns ranging from Shane to The Wild Bunch, Sodbusters is more interested in verbal humor than slapstick, and teems with amusing throwaway non sequiturs. When Willard invites Kristofferson to his house for dinner, the host casually remarks, ”People say my wife can charm the fat off a ferret, but no one thought she’d ever make a dessert out of it.” Kristofferson just stares at his plate. (He proves to be an extremely effective deadpan comic in this movie.)

Later, a villain points his weapon at a helpless but sarcastic woman. ”Lady,” he says, ”I got a gun here. I don’t want to use it. Am I makin’ myself clear?” ”No,” she says, ”you’re too subtle.” The bad guy looks crushed. Sodbusters isn’t subtle, but it’s funny. B