The Only Genuine Wild West Show is a cowboys and Indians western, set in South New Jersey during the current recession. The film’s landscape is surreal: horses get parked between cars in vast megamart parking lots; men settle their fights with guns in the parking lot of family-style chain restaurants; and women tied to the railroad tracks tell their sad story to anyone who passes by.
Genuine Wild West Show is a full-length feature made up of several stories based on the poetry of Franklin Winslow. Each story reimagines American folk heroes: Wild Bill Hickock, as a recently laid-off food server down on his luck; Annie Oakley, as a wheelchair-bound sharpshooter, too dangerous to live on her own; John Henry, as a singing car mechanic; Billy the Kid, as a video game addict, liar, and thief; and Sitting Bull, as a proud and stubborn man who refuses to be moved by easy money.
The stories are framed by the appearance of a stranger in town — a land man from the natural gas company promising quick cash for the right to drill properties with “little or no risk to the people and their houses above.” The film follows the fate of the town as its residents make hard choices about whether they can go on living in the town they grew up in, or take the money and face the uncertainty of change.