Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Film Review: Dead in Tombstone

Copyright: Universal Pictures
I must say that I didn’t have very high expectations from this film. One look at the poster is enough for a decent plot summary, which includes a bandit coming back from hell to seek revenge on those who betrayed him.

But, honestly, I must say that I was pleasantly suppressed by the result. The director Roel Reine, who is no stranger to these kinds of films, quickly realized what the strong suits of this movie are: Danny Trejo and Mickey Rourke. First one plays Guerrero De La Cruz, the outlaw who gets killed and meets Lucifer, played by Rourke. With these two in a movie, it’s not possible to have a total flop.

Dead in Tombstone relies primarily on the western part of the story. The horror part, portrayed mainly by Rourke and his depiction of a soul-greedy Satan, staggers behind, and the action is mostly represented by gun, knife and fist fights. The production values of the film very solid for a DVD movie, and it was mostly filmed in Romania. The scenery is very nice, and the good people of Romania even built a little town in the prairie, which gets gradually destroyed in the course of the day which De La Cruz spends back among the living.

Of course, there are several weird decisions, like dubbing Rourke’s voice while he is in hell (no idea why), or using Romanian actors to replace Mexican characters (this was probably due to the budget, but still). I guess in the world of B-action movies, a contemporary Romanian is equal to a 19th century Mexican.

Danny Trejo presents his regular badass guy, this time with a pair of Wild West revolvers instead of knives or machetes. Every time I see this man on the screen I am slightly more impressed by his energy and willingness to work even at his age. In any action scene, Trejo is as good as any other character, and the man should write a book on longevity, because he obviously knows something we don’t.

Dead in Tombstone is a solid film. I believe that Reine could have even made it into a good movie if he decided to put some extra focus on the western mysticism and other horror elements, instead of making it into a regular DVD action flick.