The Man with No Name vs. The Thing
The Movie Cowboy: Arguably the most recognisable cowboy in movie history, Clint Eastwood’s nameless drifter is the embodiment of gunslinging bad-assery! Everything from his battered boots to his filthy poncho is screaming two words: bad motherfucker.
The Movie Alien: A parasite so macabre it even puts the willies up Kurt Russell, The Thing is unquestionably the most hideous alien on the list. One look at the spider-head scene is all the evidence you should need.
If They Fought: If anyone’s eyelids were to remain unbatted by The Thing’s grisly antics, they would surely belong to The Man with No Name.
The Winner: It’s going to take a lot more than a grotesquely mutated head to knock Clint off his stride. Six bullets in the bonce and this one’s over.
Sample Dialogue: [ The Man with No Name ] “Every town has a boss… and you’re looking right at him.”
Frank vs. Terl
The Movie Cowboy: Once Upon A Time In The West ’s blue-eyed nightmare, Frank is the sort of wrong’un who transcends the commonplace violence of the Old West with his own personal brand of sadism. He’ll kill you, he’ll kill your wife, he’ll kill your children. He’s thorough like that.
The Movie Alien: Terl is one of the ludicrously coiffured Psychlos from risible sci-fi actioner Battlefield Earth . Clocking in at nine feet tall and weighing around 1,000 pounds, he might look like a bit of a tit, but he’s not someone you’d go out of your way to pick a fight with. Unless you’d paid to sit through his film, of course…
If They Fought: Regardless of the result, there will be one less sociopath in the universe come the end of this one. Everyone’s a winner!
The Winner: Terl overpowers Frank, ploughing his fist straight through the cowboy’s midriff. However, Frank manages to fire one last shot off as he falls to his knees, picking off Terl’s son before he dies. Typical.
Sample Dialogue: [ Terl ] “Bow before the might of the Scientologists! I mean, ‘the Psychlos!’ That’s what I meant…”
Ennis Del Mar vs. E.T.
The Movie Cowboy: One half of Brokeback Mountain ’s forbidden coupling, Heath Ledger’s rugged sheep-herder is a man’s man who just so happens to prefer the company of men in all elements of his life. An emotional pressure-cooker, he could explode at the least provocation.
The Movie Alien: Cuddly E.T. is one of the friendliest aliens you could ever hope to meet. Whilst most of his intergalactic brethren are lording it with their ray-guns, he’s never happier than when reviving a dying flower. Awww.
If They Fought: E.T. might be a loveable soul, but he’s no fighter. Ennis, on the other hand, has thrown more than a few punches in his time…
The Winner: The bout is called a no-contest as the two gently weep on each other’s shoulders. The crowd angrily demands their money back as the two shake hands and leave arm in arm.
Sample Dialogue: [ Del Mar ] “I wish I knew how to quit you.” [ E.T. ] “I’m off home in a bit. I’m sure you’ll manage.”
William Munny vs. Jabba The Hut
The Movie Cowboy: Unforgiven ’s bandit turned pig farmer turned bounty hunter, Munny is a grizzled old sod, but one who must be taken seriously. In his youth he was feared for his murderous ways, and though time may have softened his disposition, it hasn’t dimmed his accuracy one bit…
The Movie Alien: A grotesquely corpulent crime-lord, Jabba is essentially a giant slug, albeit one with excellent taste in women. He might not be the most mobile, but equally, he’ll take some putting down.
If They Fought? The bout draws a crowd from all over the galaxy, many of whom have only come to watch the bikini-clad Princess Leia serving as ring girl.
The Winner? Munny puts a bullet through Jabba’s eye, killing him instantly. Sadly, Munny’s creaking knees aren’t quick enough in carrying him from the scene and the cowboy is crushed by Jabba’s toppling corpse.
Sample Dialogue: [ Jabba ] “Eyes off the princess you seedy old git!”
Bret Maverick vs. Block Invader
The Movie Cowboy: The slickest sonofagun in all the West, Maverick’s stock in trade is cards and confidence tricks. Occasionally, he indulges in a mixture of the two. Definitely one to watch your wallet around…
The Movie Alien: One of Attack The Block ’s clan of hoody-hating critters, the block invader (sorry, we couldn’t think of a better name for them!) is a frightening, if slightly daft-looking proposition. Those teeth might glow like a fairground attraction, but they will go through bone like butter…
If They Fought: Maverick would need to have his razor-sharp wits operating at the peak of their powers to stand any chance against these ferocious furballs…
The Winner? We’re going for Maverick, simply because trying to get the better of him is like trying to nail a jelly to the ceiling. The man leads a charmed life. And if the aliens were outdone by a bunch of teenagers, they can’t be all that can they?
Sample Dialogue: [ Maverick ] “Hey, hairy, what’s that behind you?” *Disappears with brazen cowardice*
Rooster Cogburn vs. The Predator
The Movie Cowboy: Rooster Cogburn might be a trigger-happy boozehound, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get the job done when he puts his mind to it. The feat of endurance he performs at the end of True Grit proves he’s not to be underestimated.
The Movie Alien: A member of a fearsome warrior race that get their kicks by hunting other species. A shocking haircut would appear to be its only weakness.
If They Fought: On paper, this should be a total rout. Cogburn spends most of his time in an alcohol-induced stupor, whilst the Predator is a finely honed killing machine…
The Winner: Cogburn might be a reprobate, but he’s also a wily old goat. If Arnie’s knuckleheaded military man could outwit the Predator, we’d back Rooster to find a way also.
Sample Dialogue: [ Cogburn ] “I ain’t impressed by that fancy-pants weaponry… I live by my wits, see? Now, where did I put my gun?”
Woody vs. Superman
The Movie Cowboy: Toy Story ’s amiable, Stetson-toting lawman. Loyal and brave, he’s a match for any adversary! Provided that adversary is also a toy…
The Movie Alien: Kal-El, the spandex-wearing Man Of Steel from the planet Krypton. Usually goes by the slightly ostentatious moniker of Superman.
If They Fought: It would certainly be a good clean scrap between two of the most straight-shooting good guys in movie history.
The Winner: It’d have to be Superman, wouldn’t it? Taiwan-made plastics don’t hold up too well against eye-lasers…
Sample Dialogue: [ Woody ] “Come on now partner, let’s not have any trouble… Aargh, I’m melting! Fetch my warranty… ”
Will Kane vs. Optimus Prime
The Movie Cowboy: Gary Cooper takes on one of his most iconic roles as Will Kane, the resolutely upstanding lawman at the heart of High Noon ’s narrative. Nothing is going to keep him from defending law and order… not even his wedding day.
The Movie Alien: Optimus Prime is the big daddy of the Transformers, an Autobot powerhouse and a damned heroic one at that.
If They Fought: You might think Kane would be fazed by a robot that can shapeshift into a massive lorry, but you’d be wrong. He will not back down!
The Winner: Prime would be too honourable to simply run down a human, allowing Kane to land a bullet right in his fuel tank. Kaboom!
Sample Dialogue: [ Kane ] “Don’t shove me Optimus. I’m tired of being shoved.”
Ethan Edwards vs. Grey
The Movie Cowboy: John Wayne turns in one of his finest performances as grizzled badass Ethan Edwards in seminal western The Searchers . Chronically prejudiced against various sections of his own species, he’s unlikely to take kindly to an invader from another planet.
The Movie Alien: One of the extra-terrestrial “archaeologists” from Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull . Often found skulking around the space between spaces (whatever that means), they’re motivated by a keen thirst for knowledge rather than the usual alien aim of intergalactic dominion.
If They Fought: The greys are inordinately powerful, but Edwards is fired by a bigotry no alien would ever have encountered before… will good old-fashioned hatred be enough to see him through?
The Winner: Sadly not, as the grey bamboozles Edwards by beaming a condensed stream of George Lucas films directly into his brain, which promptly explodes after the first reel of Howard The Duck .
Sample Dialogue: [ Edwards ] “Explain to me just what the hell George Lucas was thinking, and I might not kill you.”
Ellen vs. Xenomorph Queen
The Movie Cowboy: Make that “cowgirl”. Oft referred to as “The Lady”, Sharon Stone's Ellen in The Quick And The Dead (Sam Raimi's underrated western) is a lightning-quick gunslinger with a taste for revenge. The bloodier, the better…
The Movie Alien: The towering “mother” who rules her hive with an iron fist. Don’t even think about harming one of her young, unless you’re looking for a serious hurting.
If They Fought: The Xenomorph Queen came a cropper the last time she faced a feisty Ellen, and you have to wonder whether that will play on her mind second time around.
The Winner: Ellen’s freakishly quick firing action would make this a close run thing, but the Queen’s got a score to settle with the fairer sex, and she edges what would turn into a hell of a catfight.
Sample Dialogue: [ Ellen, taking her cues from another Raimi hero ] “Yo, she-bitch… let’s go.”