Thursday, 15 August 2013

Gallowwalkers (2013)

Is Snipes in jail? what's the story with that these days? anyway somewhere along the line he managed to star in this rather nifty sounding western set film. The people behind this have clearly got a franchise in mind, a possible comic book/graphic novel future, toys, videogames, sequels etc...there is a clear aim in the way this has been made. Basically if you take 'Priest' and 'Blade' and mash the two up you kinda get an idea of what they went for.

Really this is more 'Blade' than anything if you ask me, its Snipes as a familiar character accept he's dressed as cowboy and he's taking down undead cowboys. There is lots of blood and gore, the main bad guy is white and has the obligatory sexy evil female sidekick, gunshot action is usually in slow motion and lots of freaky makeup/prosthetic work on some bad guys making them look like mutants. The final end credits are done in a neat animated fashion very similar to the beginning credits in 'Priest', virtually copied.

The plot is nonsensical and never really explains itself at all. I think Snipes character is suppose to be cursed because his mother was a whore and thief. She was gonna be hung for her crimes but the Sisters of San Diablo (?) find her and teach her the secrets of the dead? all this while pregnant with Snipes character. So this some how curses Aman (Snipes) and every person he kills comes back from the dead, odd curse, what if he became a banker and never killed anyone?

The rest of the plot is the standard western guff about Snipes love being raped by a gang of bad guys, but not killed, she's actually fine accept she has a kid. He then sets out to kill them all, does this, but they all come back to life so he's gotta do it again. Its not much of a big deal because these undead guys are still easy to kill and Snipes has no problem doing it. Not sure how they managed to stretch this into a film really as he kills the main bad guys easy, could of done it in five mins, nothing holding him back at all.

So many weird plot holes and unexplained ideas though, its really poor. Unsure if this may have been because of Snipes tax issue during the making. Snipes main sidekick in this film is completely unexplained. He frees him by killing a posse of lawmen for no reason at all! isn't Snipes a good guy here? aren't the lawmen good guys? won't they now come back to live and try to kill Snipes? and why free this one guy?

There is so much more that makes no sense here. Why do the bad guys comes back with no skin? why are lots of people in this film blonde? (wearing ridiculously bad blonde wigs), when Snipes character kills the living bad guys in a flashback why is he all painted up like an African warrior? why does one bad guy have a huge misshapen head like an orc from LotR? why does one bad guy have two lizard tails sticking out the back of his head and how the hell does he skin a lizard to use as his own skin?? (scale difference much?), what exactly is the bad guys main intention here apart from bringing his son back to life? and why does one of the bad guys come back all dressed up as a Cardinal? I mean seriously...that buckethead character and his over sized metal Ned Kelly helmet? utterly stupid, looked like it was gonna fall off at any moment. A bit Mad Max-ish too.

I guess on the plus the film looks good, twas filmed in Namibia and there are some glorious landscapes on show. The location really works well as an American wild west setting, sprawling and barren. The director also has an artistic eye for sure, some nice shots in places, lots of sweaty facial close ups like all westerns tend to have. Admittedly they do (at times) give a really nice glossy professional look, they almost make the film better. One shot in particular sees a lone gunman standing on some rail tracks, he looks to the horizon to see the shimmering faint silhouette of a hand rail car and its passengers slowly approaching. Very 'Lawrence of Arabia', very atmospheric and beautifully shot using the Namibian heat.

So this film has been in limbo for along time, we've all heard its crap and is! The visuals are slick, the blood n gore do add some fun here and there (very good makeup on the skinless villain at the start) and Snipes does look quite natty in his cowboy getup with that nice stylish white goatee. Problem is its completely dumb, messy, unexplained and evidently trying to jump on the undead bandwagon AND the popular comic book adaptation visual style bandwagon. It just comes across as a poorly crafted rip off of some other films.


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