Birth of the Acid Western

Birth of the Acid Western is a work in progress documentary on film culture in New Mexico since the turn of the 19th century up to the “birth” of the acid western genre with Orville Wanzer’s 1965 film The Devil’s Mistress, and the fraught relationship between artists and their art.

The Devil’s Mistress transforms the Western into what Wanzer described as a “modern western, without the cavalry and without the Indians.” The movie tells the story of four robbers on the lam, escaping toward the Organ Mountains when they happen upon the devil and his mistress, and meet their doom.

Julia Smith @ NMSU Articles

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About the Film

Birth of the Acid Western is a documentry film about movies and moviemakers beginning in Las Cruces, NM, with Orville Wanzer's 1965 film acid western, The Devil's Mistress


The film in the desert: The Devil's Mistress

In 1965, Bud made a feature, The Devil's Mistress, which was distributed nationally. Back then, all feature films in the U.S. came from Hollywood.



Acid Western

What is the Acid Western subgenre?
Who is Orville Wanzer?
What is The Devil's Mistress about?


Former NMSU professor’s feature film to return to Rio Grande Theatre

Wanzer’s 1965 cult classic was the first feature film created and produced in the Las Cruces area and premiered nationally at the Rio Grande Theatre.

Wanzer’s fully sustainable and self-made hermitage

The house has been taken over by rattlesnakes beneath the floorboards, vermin in every cranny of the house, and layers of dust from years of abandonment when Bud’s health declined in the 2000’s.


NMSU- Creative Media Institute

Check out some of their reactions to the film and get a sneak peak of some scenes from the movie.


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