Devil’s Crossing, directed by James Ryan Gary does appear at first to be your typical Western movie. I was expecting to see a tumbleweed spinning past a deserted town and cattle manically rushing through the town square.
I was of course puzzled as I had been led to believe that this was a horror movie, but this wasn’t the impression I was getting. 20 minutes into the film and I’m still watching a Cowboy & Western movie. What’s going on? Was I sent the wrong DVD?
We’re introduced to the town of Celestial and its town bully ‘McDermitt’, whose sole purpose in life appears to be terrorising the townsfolk and banging the whores in the local tavern. McDermitt seems to rule the roost in Celestial, even lording it over the sheriff. He thinks he has it made until a mysterious stranger named William Shadrach Badcock comes to town and flips his world upside down.
Shadrach (for short) is a “collector” which roughly translates to mean that he collects the souls of the living. It turns out that he’s working for the Devil (or a minion of the Devil), who before long turns up in human form intending to collect Shadrach’s takings. Problem is, the town is also being overrun by zombies (talk about bad luck) who are only interested in the taste of human flesh.
Shadrach has no choice but to face off with the zombies in order to protect the people holed up in the tavern. Will the townsfolk join forces with Shad or will they allow him to take on the hordes of zombies by himself?
The plot involving McDermitt’s terrorising of the townsfolk seems to go on for what is like an eternity. It’s true that a film needs some level of character development, but sometimes too much is indeed too much. Even with the minor character development of the other characters, I never felt myself become attached to any of them, nor felt any affinity with them.
It’s expected in a film to become attached to at least one character, but unfortunately this was not the case for me whilst watching Devil’s Crossing.
Most disappointingly, I found the character of Shadrach to be quite flat and felt there should have been ample opportunity to open up the character, allowing a few cracks to appear. This never happened.
I would struggle to even name any of the other characters in Devil’s Crossing because their roles were so insignificant and uninspiring. It’s a shame as this could have been an amazing film, but I honestly believe it would have made a better Cowboy movie, rather than starting off as such and then drifting off into zombie territory.
The idea behind Devil’s Crossing was decent enough: ‘Let’s make a western and zombie hybrid’. Unfortunately what may have looked amazing on paper did not translate when captured on film.
On the positive side, the zombie make-up is pretty good -though it’s nothing I haven’t seen in a hundred other zombie movies (and I have seen hundreds of them!).
I would also commend Alex Mauldin’s soundtrack as it adds atmosphere to scenes which in all honesty would have no atmosphere otherwise. Alex makes use of electronica and blends this in with classical orchestral stylings, which make for a very good blend.
It’s obvious that he must have felt something for the film.
On the special features front you get an interview with the writer and director James Ryan Gary, the trailer and a short film called Monomaniacal.
There is talk of a Devil’s Crossing 2. Let’s hope that it will be an improvement on the first episode. Let’s wait and see.