What You Need To Know:
(AB, NA, LLL, VVV, S, N, A, AB, M) Pagan worldview which strongly mocks God, Scripture, salvation, forgiveness, faith, & love, & promotes revenge as proper, successful means to resolving conflict; 25 obscenities & 6 profanities; brutal violence -- gunfights, merciless beatings, murders, dead men's bodies stripped of clothes & possessions, & man kills his own son; references to sexual intercourse & clearly implied rape of young girl; brief, partial female nudity; alcohol use & abuse; preacher is beaten, tortured & mocked for his faith & nonviolent stance, then forced to kill other men in gunfight, religious symbols portrayed as weak & inadequate; and, American flag torn down & desecrated.
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD is nothing more than a blatant but unsuccessful rip-off of nearly every Western in which the mysterious, nameless stranger cleans up the corrupt town, kills the oppressive bad guy, saves the cowardly residents, and re-installs law and order, only this time featuring Sharon Stone in the tough, anti-hero role. Gene Hackman plays Herod, the wicked killer who owns the town and everyone in it. He stages an annual quick-draw competition with a big cash prize. Stone, known as “the Lady,” rides into town with the express purpose of killing Herod, whom we learn through flashback is responsible for the death of her father when she was a little girl.
Visually, THE QUICK AND THE DEAD is first rate, with rich, warm tones bathing the actors and the landscape. However, the action is contrived and the story is predictable. Most offensive, however, is the blatant blasphemy — and that without any renunciation or redemption. A religious character known as the Preacher is debased, beaten, corrupted, and his faith and his God mocked. Ultimately, bad writing kills this movie. With minimal changes, it could have qualified as a parody of the Western genre. The movie’s attempt to be taken seriously, however, fails miserably by film’s end, with one of the worst, most moronic, endings in recent memory.