James Roday (Shawn Spencer), James Brolin (Hank Mendel), Dule Hill (Burton Guster)
With the comedy detective show Psych now in syndication, despite still being in production, I recently watched a Western themed episode, originally broadcast August 21, 2009, starring James Brolin as Hank Mendel. When Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) attempt to find out the truth behind a murder they uncover a secret gold mine and a villain named Stinky Pete (Jim Beaver).
“High Noon-ish” (4:03) contains elements of a Weird Western with a ghost rider being blamed for recent deaths in the Western theme town. The conclusion sees this entertaining episode classified as a Weird Menace Western (according to categories featured in my Encyclopedia of Weird Westerns).
Chiller has been showing re-runs of Beyond Belief : Fact or Fiction recently – and to my surprise two Weird Western stories have featured. The series was originally broadcast sporadically by the Fox Network between 1997 and 2002. Original host James Brolin was replaced by Jonathan Frakes after one season. The viewer is presented with a series of short dramatized stories that have a paranormal twist and is left to decide if they are fact or fiction. Brolin or Frakes reveals the truth at the conclusion of the show. It’s a simple but entertaining format.
“The Card Game” involves a modern day crooked poker game. The ghost of Judge Roy Bean makes an appearance to put the crooked dealer in his place by giving him the shock of his life.
“The Ghost Town” is set in the Old West town of Red Ridge. On August 5, 1998 a traveler is stranded and stumbles across Red Ridge. But to his amazement he finds himself in 1848.
Believe it or not “The Card Game” is a true story based on a factual occurence. “The Ghost Town” is pure fiction.