Bad Blood: The Hatfields and McCoys Reviews
The B-Western is officially back as a genre. I can say this with certainty now that Fred Olen Ray has gotten on board. For those who don't know, Ray is the supreme exploitation hack of the past thirty years. If there's a chance to cash in on a movement Ray will be at the head of the queue, most likely with a large breasted "actress" on his arm. His resume includes such films as "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers", "Attack Of The 60 Foot Centrefolds" and "Super Ninja Bikini Babes". Now he's decided to work his dubious magic on the western genre in a cheap cash in on the History Channel's Hatfield and McCoys mini-series starring Kevin Costner. As a massive fan of both westerns and Costner I'm looking forward to checking that out and I suspect most people who stumble across this piece of video trash will do so mistakenly. This of course is Ray's objective. The Asylum studio exists because uninformed mothers rent their a copy of "Transmorphers" when it was actually "Transformers" which little Johnny had requested for his slumber party.
I've always said it's impossible to make a truly bad western but Ray does his best to prove me wrong. The opening civil war battle is so poorly staged it's unintentionally hilarious, resembling a drunken brawl in a car park rather than a decisive battle in American history. The whole movie looks like one of those civil war reenactments that take place so bored husbands can escape their wives for the weekend. I kept expecting the PBS logo to appear in the corner of the screen.
Jeff Fahey is quite good as the head of the Hatfields but the rest of the cast are awful. Slater seems to be exploiting his past as a Young Gun lately but while he was enjoyable in "Dawn Rider" he's awful here, frightfully miscast as the state governer. The lesser actors are uniformly amateurish, adding to the PBS vibe.
I didn't know a whole lot about the feud before and I know just as little despite sitting through this. If you want a good B-Western check out Terry Miles' "Dawn Rider" instead.