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Film / Sweetwater

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Sweetwater is a 2013 Western starring January Jones, Ed Harris and Jason Isaacs. Sarah Ramirez (Jones), a frontier widow, seeks to avenge the death of her husband at the hands of the fanatical minister Josiah (Isaacs) with the aid of eccentric sheriff Cornelius Jackson (Harris).


  • Asshole Victim: Basically all of the people Sarah kills are unsympathetic jackasses at best, if not outright thugs.
  • As the Good Book Says...: Josiah quotes "The wages of sin is death" to justify killing two men who stole his sheep. Of course, he's ignoring the whole "do not murder" bit, naturally.
  • Blatant Lies: Josiah says he only has one wife, but it's well known he really has two, with Sarah as the third that he wants to add.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Sarah kills a perverted store owner by shooting him through the rectum.
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  • Cult: Josiah formed a small one made up of a few men and his two wives after apparently leaving Mormonism in Utah. His men are unhappy they don't have wives of their own as he promised them yet though.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Martin the peeping tom store owner masturbates while watching his female customers change in the fitting room.
  • Daughter Of A Whore: Sarah's former madam is revealed as also being her mother at the end of their conversation.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sarah's mother appears in the film, but her father remains unseen and unmentioned. Most likely, as her mother was a prostitute, he's just one more customer and probably unknown.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Sarah kills people for overcharging her, spying on her while she was changing, and working for the man who killed her husband.
  • Egocentrically Religious: Josiah's beliefs always center upon his own desires, the voices he hears backing this up.
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  • Hearing Voices: Josiah hears them periodically and interprets this as God, with himself as a prophet. They always back up his own evil desires though, so it's quite probable he's simply delusional.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Josiah denounces Sarah's marriage with Miguel, a mestizo Mexican man, saying his rape of her "cleanses" this sin.
  • Mission from God: Josiah firmly believes that he's God's prophet on Earth, meant to set up a polygamist community he'll rule.
  • Mutual Kill: Josiah and Jackson manage to shoot each other dead simultaneously near the end of the film.
  • The Peeping Tom: Martin the general store owner spies on female customers changing into dresses in his fitting room through a peep hole from the back of the property. Sarah catches him and jabs him in the eye with the tip of her parasol early on. Later during her killing spree she shoots him through the rectum as he's standing with his pants down outside masturbating while he watches a girl changing through the peep hole.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: "Prophet" Josiah. He's not only a polygamist (implied to be a Mormon who had splintered off to form his own sect), but also a blatant racist who says not only are mixed racial marriages wrong (standard opinion at the time) but that those in them should die, and previously tells Sarah once he rapes her that this "purified" her from the sin of being with her Mexican husband.
  • Polyamory: Josiah is a polygamist who has two wives, while still pretending he's only married to one.
  • Rape as Drama: Josiah rapes Sarah offscreen after he punches her down once she's lowered her gun, telling her after that it's "cleansed" her of the sin of being with a Mexican.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: Josiah punches Sarah, then in the next scene it's made clear he's just raped her, though nothing is shown.
  • Revenge: Sarah goes on a killing spree against everyone who wronged her in the second act, from her husband's murderer (plus his men), an unfeeling banker, and a peeping tom store owner.
  • Sinister Minister: Josiah, a self-proclaimed prophet with a small band of fanatical followers, is a bigoted, paranoid religious murderer.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Sarah's killing spree is understandable after what she's been through, even if not all of her victims were that bad.
  • Threeway Sex: Josiah is seen about to engage in it with his wives.
  • Token Minority: Sarah's husband Miguel, a mestizo Mexican man, was the only person of color in the film. He dies pretty early on.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Sarah loses her husband, has a miscarriage, and is raped in quick succession. Not surprisingly she completely snaps and goes on a killing spree shortly after all this.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Josiah, after coaxing Sarah into putting down her gun, punches her in the head and then rapes her.