Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gallowwalkers Return from the Dead Again and Again: A Movie Review

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Director: Andrew Goth.

Writers: Andrew Goth and Joanne Reay.

Cast: Wesley Snipes, Kevin Howarth, Riley Smith, Tanit Phoenix, Simona Brhlikova and Steven Elder.

Gallowwalkers is a film, which began production in 2006, in Namibia. This title experienced some stumbling blocks when the principal actor, Wesley Snipes, was arrested for tax evasion. This project was put on hold, until his release. And now, Gallowwalkers will soon be available to western and horror films fans. The film itself is a little convoluted and some of the editing techniques are a little choppy. However, Gallowwalkers offers an interesting take on a familiar genre, the western.

Initially, the film's story is all over the place. Snipes plays Aman, a man seeking revenge. Aman is also cursed by the Devil? And, anyone that he kills will come back to life. So, his revenge does not go smoothly and his sidekick is more trouble than help. Aman hopes to bring several rapists to justice, while another character hopes to resurrect his son. Both intentions collide in a desert landscape.

This is not simply a western film, though; there are elements of horror here too. The world in which Aman lives is some type of netherworld, where normal reality is skewed. Demonic voices boom from above and several characters are without skin. As well, one of the minor antagonists, Buckethead (Dallas Page), is covered in boils. Many of the deaths, onscreen, are macabre and horror fans might enjoy this altered reality. Though, it can be confusing at times.

This title blends genres, but there is a strong western motif, here. Aman is essentially a gunfighter, the quiet type. Also, there are several gunfights in the picture, which bring in an action element. A crooked Sheriff appears early, but he disappears quickly. Many of the backdrops are also western inspired, including an old farmhouse and a small religious community in the desert. These elements and many more create for a very strong western tone, which this viewer enjoyed.

However, Gallowwalkers begins in a very convoluted form. Very little of the story is related early. It is not until the first act is finished that any sense of plot is developed. And, viewers might be confused by the film's supernatural landscape. Rules of life and death do not apply to many of the characters. Characters are killed and killed again, which comes across as strange the first few times. A little more plot development early could have helped ground this film better. As it is, the story seems scattered through the first half of the film.

Gallowwalkers is still an enjoyable film, though. The blend of western with the horror genre has consistently been a favourite of this film fan. And, these two genres suit each other in this title. Snipes brings some of his action experience to this piece and his character can often be a mystery. Though confusing at first, Gallowwalkers is well paced and the many gunfights are a sight to see.

Overall: 7.25 out of 10 (a good blend of genres, characters are often influenced by the supernatural, this title is also a rape revenge thriller).

A trailer for the film is here:

Gallowwalkers Trailer #2 at 28DLA

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