1972’s Chato’s Land was the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration between tough guy screen icon Charles Bronson and eccentric director Michael Winner. But it gradually morphs into a satire of 20th century American foreign policy that abandons all pretense of metaphor and historical accuracy. It was Ray’s first film in color and his vivid use of it–which will be familiar to fans of his most famous film from the following year, Marvel: 10 Weirdest (Yet Hilarious) Extras In The Sam Raimi Spider-Man Movies, Weird, Weird West: 10 Essential Cult Westerns, 10 Things In Western Movies You Didn't Know Were CGI, The 15 Best Civil War Westerns Of All Time, 10 Western Masterpieces You've Probably Never Seen, Chris Hemsworth: His Best And Worst Movies, Ranked (According To IMDb), The Godfather: The 10 Worst Things The Characters Did, Wizard Of Oz: Main Characters Ranked, By Likability, Harry Potter: 10 Brilliant Memes About The Wizarding World, 10 Best TV Shows & Movies About Being Stranded On A Desert Island, Kaley Cuoco & 9 Other Actors Who Voiced A.I. It’s Nicolas Cage vs. As was the convention with Italian movies of that era, the audio is entirely dubbed so it’s your choice as to whether you see the Italian dub or the English. The essays in Weird Westerns analyze a wide range of texts, including those by Native American authors Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) and William Sanders (Cherokee); the cult television series Firefly and The Walking Dead; the mainstream feature films Suicide Squad and Django Unchained; the avant-garde and bizarre fiction of Joe R. Lansdale; the tabletop roleplaying game Deadlands: The Weird West; and … Despite frequent declarations of the western’s death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive in American popular culture in … After being turned by her, he’s reluctantly forced to join her bloodthirsty family as they travel across the country in an RV, leaving a path of destruction and dead bodies in their wake. With original Waco Kid, Gig Young, collapsing on the first day of shooting and studio executives refusing to insure the movie’s co-writer, Richard Pryor, for the role of Bart. The little boys all try to act like the steely-eyed … Westerns make up one of the widest and oldest genres in cinematic history and their famous iconography can sometimes paint a rigid, predictable, picture in people’s minds. There have been several films dealing with the arrival of aliens in the West with High Plains Invaders (2009), Cowboys & Aliens (2011) and Alien Showdown: The Day the Old West Stood Still (2013). Many have also drawn strong parallels between the story and Vietnam revisionist horror movies that wouldn’t appear in numbers for another decade. A one-stop shop for all things video games. 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Featuring a cast of notable actors like Patrick Fugit, Henry Thomas, Isaiah Washington, Nicky Cox, and Michael Shannon, it’s a shame Dead Birds went straight to home release as it deserves a bigger audience. Plenty of gunsmoke shall follow… The isolation, the ever-present danger of starvation or brutal conditions, and the general rougher way of life in westerns make for a great foundation for horror stories. The Aurora Encounter (1985) purports to tell the true story of a UFO landing out West. It found instant acclaim among the budding French New Wave directors, but it was initially panned by critics on its release in America. The history of movie Westerns more or less begins with the end of the Old West itself. But the interactions between Dourif and Jones are amazing. Weird Western Tales is a Western genre comics anthology published by DC Comics from June–July 1972 to August 1980. Madness, chaos, and death ensues. ‘Death Shark’: Chinese Monster Movie Goes Heavy On the Computer-Generated Shark Action [Trailer]. “Howdy. Westerns are a hallmark of American cinema, but some of the genre's best examples are anything but generic or traditional. It features Charles … Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre—an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy. It’s the only movie genre that is uniquely American. Along With the Feature Film, a “Dungeons & Dragons” TV Series is Also in the Works! And what better way to start that list than with one of the countless Spaghetti Westerns with phony Django titles? Sergio Corbucci’s remarkably bleak Spaghetti Western is remembered in popular culture either for its nihilistic ending or for the influence that it’s had on the genre as a whole. RELATED: 10 Greatest Spaghetti Westerns, Ranked. Shot entirely in monochrome and hauntingly scored in electric guitar by American folk-rock legend Neil Young, Dead Man is undeniably an incomparable trip. We run down the 50 best examples of the genre, from The Searchers to True Grit and beyond. Sheriff Langley stumbles upon a missing woman’s car on the side of the road, and in his quest to find her, he finds a nearby old ghost town literally haunted by the ghosts of its past. The town residents feel like modern cowboys, namely plucky heroes Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward). In Vampires, vampire hunter Jack Crow is hellbent on revenge against the vampires that wiped out his entire team in an ambush. It's an experience that could comfortably be called timeless. Stranded in 1955, Marty McFly learns about the death of Doc Brown in 1885 and must travel back in time to save him. Their journey takes them into Shawnee territory, a hostile tribe very unhappy about the trespass. The journey getting there is filled with injury, harsh conditions, and ruthless raiders. RELATED: The 15 Best Civil War Westerns Of All Time. Set during the Civil War, a group of Confederate army deserters seek refuge in an abandoned plantation after robbing a bank and fleeing from the law. Steam Page For ‘Resident Evil Village’ Updated Info Includes a Multiplayer Component, Tripwire’s ‘Maneater’ Confirmed to be Receiving DLC, PlatinumGames Hopes to Update ‘Bayonetta 3’ Progress Later This Year. Cowboys vs. Aliens El Topo Feature Ghosts of Mars The Burrowers Westerns westworld. This one is a deep cut that’s still stuck on VHS. It was Ray’s first film in color and his vivid use of it–which will be familiar to fans of his most famous film from the following year, Rebel Without a Cause–made it the indelibly striking experience that it is today. But this plantation is deserted for a reason- it’s home to bizarre, near Lovecraftian supernatural forces. The Western was once the most popular film genre and John Wayne was its greatest hero. You’ll certainly see a lot of it in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and you’ll hear even more it in the scores from their shared composer, the infamous Ennio Morricone. Director:Robert Zemeckis|Stars:Michael J. None of it prepares them for the vicious troglodyte clan they’ll have to battle for their lives and the lives of the townsfolk they’ve come to save. About the list: While the original idea seems to be focused more on a horror/western mash-up it seems to now include Steampunk (with anachronistic steam-based technology) and other science fictional elements (the science fiction western).However, I'll not include the Space Westerns (where western-style stories are set in the future, like Firefly) as we want to keep … This was Carpenter’s way of tackling a western disguised as a horror movie, and its better for it. Bearing similarities to the case of the Donner Party and set during the 1840s at a military outpost in California, Antonia Bird’s quirky tale of cannibalism is an all-timer. Mel Brooks’ beloved comedy is debatably his greatest work and a perfect example of a more crowd-pleasing–but no less biting–version of a satire on American history’s depiction in media. Petty scared the pants off gamers with the Outlast series, he helmed this 2008 horror western set in 1879. Its very existence still feels a little miraculous to this day. The bold feature debut by S. Craig Zahler spends its time lulling audiences into forgetting there’s any horror at all in this western. Antonia Bird wasn’t the original choice to helm this odd Western horror movie. Written by Simon Barrett (The Guest, You’re Next), this modest budget horror film is a hidden gem. This dark Western has the feel of a Gothic horror movie. There were two or three threads active at the time, and some back and forth about what is or isn't "weird" or ghostly or whatever. A prairie set anthology with a wraparound that features James Earl Jones as a grizzled bounty hunter with a body in tow and Brad Dourif as a man in route to meet his wife. Its unrepentant weirdness and unabashed politics have, however, caused it to endure and find greater appreciation over the years. Before video game writer J.T. It was attacked from every angle at the time and its commercial failure was linked to Cox’s subsequent exile from Hollywood, although the reaction to Walker’s incredibly rare lampooning of American history’s depiction on-screen looks a lot more like blacklisting from a modern perspective. Quirky humor with an equally quirky score to match, Ravenous charms with its eccentricities and unique spin on Wendigo folklore. Martin Scorsese would later assess. The unlikely pair gather around the campfire to tell each other four tales of terror. Based on a story by David Schmoeller (Tourist Trap), Ghost Town is a fun Western movie that takes a literal interpretation to the ghost town. Tales of revenge for desecrated burial grounds, pregnant drifters, haunted gunslingers, and a family man forced to participate in a lynch mob. Coilhunter (The Coilhunter Chronicles, #1) by Dean F. Wilson (Goodreads Author) Deadstock is a supernatural Western that combines gothic horror with the truly bizarre … Low budget and full of surrealistic imagery, Eyes of Fire is a unique… You’ll certainly see a lot of it in Quentin Tarantino’s. Scalphunter then took Hex's place as the featured character in Weird Western Tales Publication history Original series. Predator Outfit Releases Tomorrow For ‘Fortnite’? Shot entirely in monochrome and hauntingly scored in electric guitar by American folk-rock legend Neil Young, Alex Cox’s 1987 sorta-biopic about William Walker’s disastrous filibustering–and short-lived takeover–of Nicaragua starts out as a semi-respectable, if left-field, Hollywood prestige period piece, sporting both a score from The Clash frontman Joe Strummer and a screenplay from, Sam Peckinpah was a roguish force in American cinema and his own works in the, Nicholas Ray’s female-led Western may be the most widely, and openly, beloved film among filmmakers themselves throughout the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. I’m gonna separate your head from your shoulders. Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre—an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy. You can’t talk about weird westerns without mentioning 1972’s Weird Western Tales, a western series retitled from All-Star Western to act as a companion title to Weird War Tales. Here’s our list of ten essential cult Westerns, big and small, to watch if you want to get a better understanding of film history. Weird West Weird West is a literary subgenre that combines elements of the Western with another literary genre, usually horror, occult, fantasy or science fiction. So there’s plenty out there, alongside other more mainstream weird westerns – perhaps most prominently HBO’s Westworld, another scifi reimagining of the west, as well as all the other western TV shows and films that are regularly released: Steven Soderbergh’s Netflix series Godless, about a New Mexico mining town inhabited almost entirely by women, the Coen Brothers Ballad of Buster Scruggs, … Impact Wrestling Pays Tribute to ‘Mortal Kombat’ With The Karate Man Ripping Out Ethan Page’s Heart, Lloyd Kaufman Praises the Script for Macon Blair and Legendary’s ‘Toxic Avenger’ Reboot, Trailer: Mena Suvari Terrorized at ‘Paradise Cove’ [Exclusive]. Stay Home, Watch Horror: 5 Under-the-Radar ’70s Horror Gems to Stream This Week. Another neo-western horror movie, this time by John Carpenter. Of all the many subsets and genre mashups of horror, the horror western seems like a match made in heaven. The Phantom Empire. Or hell, depending on your perspective. The upcoming release of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained will reboot the Django saga by making him an African American and pitting him against … Taking place in the desert town of Perfection, Nevada, the ex-mining settlement makes for an isolated setting. Not only was it probably the source of the genre’s name, it also chronicled the earliest adventures of the most iconic cowboy in comics: Jonah Hex. Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 Western Dead Man is seen by some as the culmination of the ‘Acid Western’ tradition started by El Topo. It further sets them on a collision course with witchcraft and one very haunted forest. Hope you don’t mind none.” Severen (Bill Paxton) is one mean, scene-stealing vampire. A quality exemplified by the remarkably strange score from composer Michael Nyman and Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn. Oh, and it’s set in the southwest. For more bad movie reviews see my Bad Movie page. But, several weeks into filming, she found herself in the director’s chair after friction with producers resulted in the original director’s abrupt replacement with studio stalwart Raja Gosnell, who the cast apparently rejected in favor of her. Computer Systems, Harry Potter: The 10 Saddest Things About Harry, 5 Ways Wonder Woman 1984 Lived Up To The Hype (& 5 Ways It Didn't), Fitzcarraldo: 10 Crazy Behind The Scenes Facts About The Movie, The Lord of the Rings: The 10 Saddest Things About Samwise Gamgee, Star Wars: 10 Egregious Plot Holes Created By The Disney Canon, Star Wars: The Sequel Trilogy's 10 Best Quotes, Ranked, 10 Most Rewatchable Movies Of The Last Decade, Boogie Nights: How Paul Thomas Anderson Emulated Goodfellas' Style (& Nailed It), Star Wars: 10 Most Disturbing Alien Races, Ranked, Harry Potter: 10 Innovations In Magic Pioneered By Severus Snape, 5 Best Outfits From The Devil Wears Prada (& 5 Worst). Third book in the Test Patterns series explores the frontier days of the Wild West. Despite frequent declarations of the western’s death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive … That he’s a killer for hire checks off another box of common western tropes. All the latest gaming news, game reviews and trailers. One of the most common recurring themes in western movies is that of revenge. Martin Scorsese would later assess Johnny Guitar as “an example of a minor film, grown to achieve the status of a classic” adding that, in the US, “people didn’t know what to make of it, so they either ignored it or laughed at it.”. Considering how iconic Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder have become in their lead roles as Sheriff Bart and the Waco Kid, it’s strange to think that neither actor was Brooks’ first choice. It found instant acclaim among the budding French New Wave directors, but it was initially panned by critics on its release in America. If you have a soft spot for schlocky ‘80s horror, this is for you. The cast is absolutely stacked, too; Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Neal McDonough and more star. Despite frequent declarations of the western's death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive in American popular culture in … And how!! Like pretty much all anthologies, it’s a mixed bag. His singing cowboy had to battle... Riders of the Whistling Skull. A pair of outlaws on the run hide out in a town populated only by children who act like adult western townspeople. This is the perfect merging of the two genres; the mounting tension between American soldiers and Native Americans makes for a great backdrop to the unique monster mythology that provides the supernatural terror. This makes for a perfect time to look back at some of the best horror westerns that have come before. By Chris Alexander . 11 talking about this. The weird western is a term given to works that blend classic western tropes with other aspects speculative literature: so generally science fiction, horror, or fantasy. 'Mystery Ranch' (1932). Perfection is becoming a bit of a ghost town itself, in part thanks to giant underground worm creatures dubbed “graboids.” So, essentially, this is one fun-filled horror-western-comedy creature feature, but set in a modern era. Atypical, weird, and dreamlike, Eyes of Fire feels like a folk tale. There's even one about Jodorowsky personally murdering several hundred small bunny rabbits with a fork just for one scene. So subversive and explosive was his image that it ended up being Ride the High Country, by far his most normal-looking Western, that ended up sticking out to movie buffs as his cult classic. Despite frequent declarations of the western’s death, the genre is now defined in part by its zombie-like ability to survive in American popular culture in … Sergio Corbucci’s remarkably bleak Spaghetti Western is remembered in popular culture either for its nihilistic ending or for the influence that it’s had on the genre as a whole. So is the rest of his nomadic clan. No further judgment on my part--I just compiled what folks thought was weird. But it’s the posse of cutthroats and reluctant accomplices, assembled by Jack Palance’s glory-obsessed ex-Confederate soldier, who commit a far more heinous crime in the name of justice. When not either writing or editing, he can most likely be found complaining about movies on Twitter. 1977) when the character was promoted to his own eponymous series. Watch ‘Friday the 13th: Jason Lives’ at the Actual Crystal Lake Filming Location in Georgia This August! Johnny Guitar (1954) The first adjective most critics jot down for Johnny Guitar is “Freudian.” For … Low budget and full of surrealistic imagery, Eyes of Fire is a unique entry in the horror western. Not all horror is of the supernatural kind. Though, not all of them were appreciated as such when they were released, finding devout audiences over time and despite mistreatment from critics. As more foreplay for the upcoming Frontierado holiday (August 3rd) here’s a look at 3 weird westerns. https://www.ign.com/articles/2014/05/28/the-10-funniest-comedy-westerns They just appear more quietly and subtly alongside themes that would become hallmarks of Peckinpah’s more well-known films, such as moral compromise, the death of the West and the concept of masculine honor. At least in the sense that it’s gritty action and a major departure from the gothic vampires we’d grown accustomed to. The arrival of a mysterious, frostbitten stranger arrives at the outpost with tales of how his travel party were stranded by snow. Lucky for you, it’s currently streaming on Tubi, Kanopy, and Prime Video. Zahler uses violence and gore like an art form, and if you thought you were desensitized to it all Bone Tomahawk proves otherwise. It would take the comic books of the 1970s to revive the idea with titles like Jonah Hex. Jones would pull similarly few punches with his comparably downbeat take on women and the West in his second feature, the also-brilliant The Homesman. Alex Cox’s 1987 sorta-biopic about William Walker’s disastrous filibustering–and short-lived takeover–of Nicaragua starts out as a semi-respectable, if left-field, Hollywood prestige period piece, sporting both a score from The Clash frontman Joe Strummer and a screenplay from Pat Garret and Billy the Kid writer Rudy Wurlitzer. This one is a deep cut that’s still stuck on VHS. Some are mainstream, big budget flicks starring A-List actors of the swinging ‘60s. Or perhaps it was seen as his specialty and no one else wanted in. Sure, this isn’t a western in the traditional sense, but the setting, motifs, and structure is there. Released today, Three Burials would almost certainly be hounded morning, noon, and night by a wave of professionally outraged internet and media pundits who would call it ‘overly political’ and ‘prejudiced against real Americans’. But, truthfully, the genre has produced some of the strangest and most significantly revolutionary films to ever grace the screen. The directorial debut of actor Tommy Lee Jones is a strange, dark, comedic, and harrowing journey from Alejandro… Evil Animatronics in the Bloody ‘Willy’s Wonderland’ Trailer You’ve Been Waiting For! ON October 2, 2016. The Best of the Weird Western This Halloween, set aside Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and watch these solid Westerns. I’ve talked about Territory before in this column, but it’s still a great example of the genre. Weird Westerns mix never really caught on in the Pulps. Bird would claim that this familiar experience of Hollywood backstabbing would inform her understanding of Ted Griffin’s screenplay about cannibalism in the Sierra Nevada and, despite Bird feeling locked out by producers in the end herself, Ravenous came out as weird as a big studio movie ever can. Poor midwestern cowboy Caleb, he had no idea the beautiful drifter that came into his life was a vampire. The original title ran … Sam Peckinpah was a roguish force in American cinema and his own works in the Western genre are considered as fundamental facilitators of many of the films on this list. The lead performances from Jean-Louis Trintignant as the titular gunslinger–who, as you may have inferred, doesn’t speak anyway–and Klaus Kinski’s unforgettable villain are intensified by the style though, and it brings the two unique actors together in a very unique way. It follows Tommy Lee Jones’ Texas ranch hand as he seeks to avenge the unjust murder of his friend, the titular Melquiades Estrada, at the hands of Barry Pepper’s border patrol agent. DEADSTOCK. The addition of traditional screwball comedy to Brooks’ takedown of institutional racism made it much more palatable and marketable to a wide audience compared to a movie like Walker. One that’s quite clearly inspired a number of great cult Westerns from the following decades. Territory Emma Bull practically invented the urban fantasy genre with War for the Oaks, so it’s perhaps fitting that she would take a shot at mixing fantasy and westerns. Weird Westerns. It is best known for featuring the adventures of Jonah Hex until #38 (Jan.–Feb. Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre-an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy. It’s fast-paced, entertaining, and it has bite. (Or if you just really like good movies.). Not all weird Westerns come from Italy, and remain in the grubby underground. How the West was weird. NEXT: 10 Western Masterpieces You've Probably Never Seen. Perhaps it was Williams writing as the Pulps were dying that explains that. Here are five great examples of modern Weird Westerns to check out. RELATED: 10 Things In Western Movies You Didn't Know Were CGI. A large section of it revolves around deliberately inflammatory remarks which  Jodorowsky made while promoting the movie and they have become almost mythologized over time. Alejandro Jodorowsky’s hugely influential Western from 1970 is often credited as the first-ever ‘Midnight Movie’ and it became a byword for controversial weirdness in a legacy that endures to this day. Weird Westerns is an exploration of the hybrid western genre—an increasingly popular and visible form that mixes western themes, iconography, settings, and conventions with elements drawn from other genres, such as science fiction, horror, and fantasy.. Film critic Pauline Kael’s review led to the birth of the term ‘Acid Western’ and you can feel El Topo in the subsequent films that would make that term a bonafide subgenre. Its super low budget shows, though. HBO Max Preview Includes First Footage from ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’, ‘Mortal Kombat’, ‘The Conjuring 3’ & ‘Malignant’! Frontier living is harsh, but throwing horror into the mix makes it downright brutal. BAD KIDS OF THE WEST (1967) – Even for a Spaghetti Western this movie is weird, weird, weird. Race, Gender, Genre. These 10 films are a perfect primer into the world of horror westerns. BEGIN SLIDESHOW. What better way to start Frontierado Week than with a look at some of the most obscure but laughably weird Italian westerns? The directorial debut of actor Tommy Lee Jones is a strange, dark, comedic, and harrowing journey from Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Trilogy of Death’ screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga. With a cast full of names like Clancy Brown, Doug Hutchison, Jocelin Donahue, and more, The Burrowers follows a rescue party in search of a family that went missing under strange circumstances from a still unexplored territory. The go-to source for comic book and superhero movie fans. When unseen attackers swoop in one night and steal horses and a few town residents, the town sheriff (Kurt Russell) sets off with a small search party to rescue them. On Friday, IFC Midnight is releasing Emmi Tammi’s The Wind, a western frontier set horror film in which its lead might be dealing with a demonic presence. 13 of the Weirdest Westerns Ever Made. With no fuel readily available for the DeLorean, the two must figure how to escape the Old West before Emmett is murdered. Hex’s mangled mug hides a mess of contradictions that was a more … Mascot’s delightfully nutty 1935 serial made a star of Gene Autry. Katheryn Bigelow’s neo-western blends horror with western and biker movies, and the result is one of the most savage vampire movies of all time. From then, the movie shifts from a moralistic Western to a proto-slasher movie as Chato picks them off one by one. The essays in Weird Westerns analyze a wide range of texts, including those by Native American authors Stephen Graham Jones (Blackfeet) and William Sanders (Cherokee); the cult television series Firefly and The Walking Dead; the mainstream feature films Suicide Squad and Django Unchained; the avant-garde and bizarre fiction of Joe R. Lansdale; the tabletop roleplaying game Deadlands: The Weird West; and … It counts. Too bad this never launched more sequels. Nicholas Ray’s female-led Western may be the most widely, and openly, beloved film among filmmakers themselves throughout the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. He’s then whisked back in time and forced to square off against the zombie-like Devlin, an outlaw who made a pact with the Devil and forever trapped the town in purgatory. But it’s mostly forged out of the odd couple pairing of Gary Ford’s lonely Native American–named “Nobody”–and Johnny Depp’s skittish city boy thrust into the life of an outlaw. The best Weird Westerns, of course do this. Like most of Jodorowsky's work, El Topo is a heady mixture of religious iconography, and blatantly provocative shock value, that is largely open to interpretation. It seemed like people wanted anything weird, even if it wasn't weird in the Lovecraftian or genre sense. Bronson’s eponymous Chato is an Apache who’s hassled to the point of murder. When the outpost dispatches a rescue party, well, they find themselves prey to a sadistic cannibal instead. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F. Wilson. Like many of Jarmusch’s films, it sports an impressive cast of actors in bit parts that litter a sporadic story. And both the western and horror genres are fond of exploring unknown frontiers. It’s not hostile Native Americans behind the disappearances, though, but a species of monstrous underground dwelling creatures. An unassuming film on many counts, Ride the High Country deceptively contains no less of Peckinpah’s fascination with lust, greed and violence. Set in 1750, a preacher is accused and persecuted for polygamy and adultery, so he and a group of followers, including his mistresses, escape death by fleeing town. Mark has been a writer and editor for ScreenRant's lists section since 2019 and leads the Update Team, keeping content fresh and relevant.