Review

Review

FEARNET Movie Review: 'Dead in Tombstone'

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dead in tombstoneIt's tough to approach a low-budget, made-for-DVD horror/western mash-up called Dead in Tombstone with any degree of seriousness these days (anyone seen GallowWalkers?!?) but when the b-movie at hand stars Danny Trejo as a gunslinger brought back from the dead to wreak vengeance on Anthony Michael Hall (with a little help from Dina Meyer), it's only fair to give the flick a fair shake.

 
Also Mickey Rourke plays Lucifer. That's probably worth mentioning.
 
The visually amusing but narratively arid Dead in Tombstone comes from the folks at Universal Home Video and director Roel Reine, who have taken some time off from sequels to 12 Rounds, Death Race, and The Scorpion King to grace the DVD shelves with an original offering. But therein lies the problem: very little about Dead in Tombstone is very original.
 
By this point Mr. Reine is rather accomplished at getting nice shots, tight edits, and some pretty decent stunts into his movies, and Dead in Tombstone is no exception. In addition to the colorful cast and some solid technical merits, the movie is content to be a broad, obvious, and slightly bad-ass combination of horror movie and western story, which is fine. But in this case a bit more wackiness might have been very welcome indeed.
 
Aside from Mr. Rourke's stunningly bizarre turn as Lucifer, pretty much everything in Dead in Tombstone is generic, rote, and predictable from the word go. Trejo is betrayed by his own gang of thieves, travels to hell after being shot to death, convinces the devil to let him go back "up" to exact some furious revenge, befriends a pretty lady and a priest, and then kills all of his enemies in very simple and pedestrian fashion. Once in a while, seemingly at random, Rourke pops up again to harass / harangue Trejo, but then it's back to a very simple story about unholy vengeance among sleazy criminals.
 
That's not to say that Dead in Tombstone would be a better film if they threw in a whole bunch of silly stuff, but given the cast, the premise, and the slyly bad-ass tone of the action, it's sort of a shame that the "plot stuff" is so basic and uninspired. If you're itching for a semi-homage to The Crow that takes place in the Wild West and delivers some appealing genre fun (and some wackiness) without ever coming close to being original, you could probably do worse than Dead in Tombstone -- although one can't help but think that a happy medium between this movie and the resoundingly stupid GallowWalkers would prove to be a lot more fun.
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