Val Kilmer stars as an aging Earp in this low budget old school western.
Back in the days before flying saucers made out of paper plates and men in dodgy rubber monster outfits, the Western was the genre of choice for low budget film-makers. California was full of locations that could easily double for Tombstone, Dodge City etc. Well known characters could be used without fear of breaching copyright. All you needed were some checked shirts, cowboy hats, prop guns, a couple of horses and you could knock out a mini epic over a weekend. This movie is very much a return to that spirit.
Thanks to a company by the name of Caravan West, Feifer is able to give this movie a lot of extra production value. They give film-makers a package deal, supplying everything you need to make a western, from locations and sets to props and wardrobe. They'll even meet your livestock needs. It gives me a warm glow knowing that a company like this exists. Maybe someday a director with real talent will use their services and give us something special. Sadly Feifer doesn't make the most of their gift. The biggest hindrance is the low quality video format he shoots on. When you're making any kind of period piece you really need a high spec format otherwise it ends up looking like a bunch of people playing dress-up. It's a shame because thanks to Caravan West and the generally decent acting this isn't all that bad.
The narrative revolves around Kilmer relating the tale of how he avenged a lover who was shot by Spike Kennedy, a ruthless varmint if ever there was one. His entire performance is given from the comfort of a chair, probably because Kilmer is so rotund now he has trouble standing up. It's as if he's emulating Brando, turning up unexpectedly in roles which require little effort. All mocking aside though he is very good here, all choked up grunts and quivering whiskers. Booko is impressive too, suitably menacing as Kennedy, although his role is blatantly ripped off from Javier Bardem's character in "No Country For Old Men."
This is an old fashioned movie made by a director who belongs to a lost breed, the shoot 'em quick and shoot 'em cheap school. His IMDB page lists him as director of no less than seven feature films this year, quite a few involving dogs for some reason.
I've always maintained that it's almost impossible to make a bad Western and I'm sticking by that. If it's a genre that leaves you cold then avoid this like the plague but if like me you're a sucker for spurs 'n Stetsons this will kill ninety minutes adequately for you.