Monday, December 6, 2010

Dead Noon (2007)

You really can't fault shitty independent horror movies based on their budgets. Films like "The Evil Dead" and it's ilk surpassed their low budgets with plenty of innovation, skill and all around awesomeness. Besides, super low budget horror movies can not only be a fine place to cut ones teeth, but also prove to be a chance of showing what you are capable of. Sadly, having a super low budget doesn't mean that your movie will be any good. Case in point: Andrew Wiest's $4,000 Horror Western "Dead Noon", which was distributed by a studio that knows a thing or two about releasing bad low budget horror to DVD-the one and only Lionsgate Studios.

After beating the Devil in a game of chess, a man named Frank (Robert Bear) earns the right to walk the Earth. Once returning to this realm, he gains the ability to raise the dead, and decides to use this power as a means to get payback on the man who killed him by going after his descendant Kane (Tye Nelson.)

I can't really fault the movie too much on it's budget. Director Wiest isn't exactly the worst director, and I have to admit, the skeletal zombie cowboys and walking skeletons do have a certain campy appeal. I can however, fault the movie on numerous other aspects, such as the poor dialogue and acting, not to mention the script. It's clear that Wiest loves westerns and horror movies, so it's only natural for him to mix the two. However, none of this remotely feels like a legitimate western, as everyone delivers their dialogue without much conviction or energy. The various attempts at "artsy" camera angles and film techniques also are at fault, as they clash with the rest of the movie. Then there's all the lapses in logic, including the usual (how on Earth do these people never run out of bullets?) to the more glaring (how is Kane a coward exactly?) It's all written like the writers (three of them, including Wiest) and director had some big ideas, but they didn't know what to do with most of them.

The films biggest cardinal sin though, is the blatant stunt casting and the last few minutes. Kane Hodder is given top billing, but he's only in the movie for a few wrap around segments, as he tells a girl he kidnapped the whole story of the movie. By the time the movies over, I not only wondered why his character was included (he really doesn't serve much of a purpose), but that the actor was cast simply because he's a known name in horror. It all leads to a terrible twist at the end, which feels insulting, and again doesn't really feel like it serves any big purpose. The film can't even capture any sort of atmosphere. Nearly everything that happens just sort of happens.

I can't blame Wiest for trying, as this is a first time effort. I can however, blame him and others for the terrible script and all around uneventful and painfully dull feeling of the movie.

Rating: 1.5/10

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