WILD WILD WEST
Loveless's "signature weapon" faces
off against West and Gordon in the climax of the film, at the
Cook Ranch just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Cook Ranch is
20,000 acres of untamed New Mexico land, and has functioned as
a location for such films as Lawrence Kasdan's "Silverado"
and "Wyatt Earp."
The filmmakers and crew spent two weeks at Cook Ranch re-creating
the rail linkage at Promontory Point, Utah, where the two great
railroad lines from East and West met and joined the United States
with the Golden Spike. At that moment, a single contiguous transportation
route was formed across America, one that was a technological
marvel of the time.
Conventional history books, however, fail to make any mention
of the rude interruption by a gigantic 80-foot mechanical Tarantula
which crashed these lofty proceedings -- but that's where reality
ends and the machinations of "Wild Wild West" begin.
More than 300 extras were on hand, along with hundreds of horses
and such period vehicles as stagecoaches, covered wagons, buckboards,
buggies and surreys, all coordinated by the production's special
animal wrangler, RUDY UGLAND, and his team.
"You want a movie like this to have a certain scope,"
says Sonnenfeld. "And, while we're not making a traditional
Western, we definitely had to pay homage to the West's beauty
and grandeur. It was also a lot of fun, because I got to wear
chaps and eat in great restaurants in Santa Fe."
For Jon Peters, the idea of shooting on beautiful Western landscapes
further defines the unique approach Sonnenfeld has taken with
"Wild Wild West." "It incorporates the ideas I
love most about this movie, taking the Western town, with its
dusty main street, and overlaying our science-fiction element,"
notes Peters. "The combination of the two is just thrilling
to me... the idea that, instead of a gunslinger coming down the
end of the street, stopping, the spurs clicking and pulling the
gun, you've got an 80-foot mechanical tarantula at the end of
that street, pulling out its guns to decimate the town.
"This movie is witty, it's got sex appeal, the visual thrills
are tremendous, and the chemistry between the characters is great,"
sums up Jon Peters. "To me, this is exactly what people go
to a summer movie to see."
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