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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Devil's Crossing - Review

Matt Boiselle As I sat down to watch Devil's Crossing, the main concern that kept streaking across my mind was, "How long will it take before I have to shut this movie off ?" Well, to my pleasant surprise, I watched the entire thing and was genuinely entertained at what I had seen.

Welcome to the dusty, rustic styled town of Celestial, where at first glance someone would swear they had been dropped straight into the heart of the Wild west. The only problem is, present times are upon the townsfolk - and the once foreboding zombie apocalypse has come full forward and swallowed this town whole. Not to be derailed, the remaining survivors press on amongst the gloom and doom of the outside world, almost impervious to the dangers that surround themselves.

You see this town is fully functional with all of the amenities and staples that a gold rush settlement could possibly offer. There are surly tough guys drinking at the bar, solemn bartenders pouring stale beer and outdated whiskey, and upstairs you can find the most sultry of prostitutes gladly waiting to assist any man with......... well you get it. This begged the question to myself - " In the midst of an apocalypse, why would a town's remaining survivors decide to rebuild and reorganize their shattered lives via the ways of the old west?" Well I'm fairly sure that I may never get an answer to that, but nonetheless it does provide a nice backdrop to the in-your-face storyline. Hey, if you fancy westerns AND horror movies, than this is a cinematic gift just for you.

The plot will not confuse you by any means, that is a certainty, as we follow our main characters in the saloon in what can be described as "time-consuming" - but it doesn't drag to the point where you need to shotgun a couple of Red Bulls. As we come to familiarize ourselves with the people passing their time in the bar, we get introduced to Shadrach, a steely-eyed outlaw who some 235 years ago made a deal with the devil after he was ruthlessly slaughtered himself. The deal entitled him to rise from the dead and live out the rest of his afterlife as a "soul collector", becoming a slave for the devil.

Shadrach comes to the town of Celestial in one final, ( and EXTREMELY bloody) battle vs. the denizens of the dead in the hopes of regaining his own soul, all the while protecting the townspeople that have now looked to him as some kind of savior.

If you can get through the first hour or so of plot formation, then get ready to to reap the benefits of a great last 20-25 minutes. This is where zombie enthusiasts can really get their slaughter fix - lots of blood, gore and serious barroom brawling action will fill up your TV screen. The movie is well-acted out with some interesting characters in the mix, and the zombies, while not top-notch in appearance, get the job done quite nicely. I just wish that whomever taught the zombie extras how to move, hadn't had them watch Michael Jackson's Thriller video. ( Watch some of their group scenes and you will know what I'm talking about.)

The crew at Left Films did a nice job of giving the town that kind of sleazy, squalid, grubby atmosphere that you see in a lot of the old western films from days gone by. Overall, I did enjoy this film and saw past its few shortcomings and found myself getting immersed in the story, and would gladly rack this on the shelf of movies to watch late-night with the lights off.

2.5 out of 4 stars

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