Wednesday, September 2, 2009
A Spaghetti Western....with Ghosts!
Directed by Albert Pyun, Left for Dead is the story of Revenge as a dish served cold.
This is what IMDB has to say about it:
MEAN GUNS director Albert Pyun teams with producer Michael Najjar for the second installment of the explosive mayhem trilogy, this time concerning a desperate man and a merciless posse who become trapped in a remote Mexican ghost town in 1895 by a vengeful demon. The beleaguered man must fend off a trio of bounty hunters, his estranged wife, and his nine-months pregnant lover (not to mention the vicious madame "Lord Mary" who is his lover's mother, leading a pack of a dozen former whores). As if all this was not enough to worry about, the man risks cancer by sharing cigarettes with a former preacher's spirit who has made a pact with the devil to stay around as a corporeal ghost within the limits of the slaughtered Amnesty gold mining town cemetery. In the 15 years since the "Massacre by the Whores," the preacher has rubbed out enough fortune-seeking passers-by to plant corpses all over town, leaving him free to hunt his prey anywhere except inside his former church. Throw in a whore intent on extracting any gram of gold--including dental fillings--from the dead, even as they are breathing their last, and the stage is set for a classic western ghost story drenched in buckets of blood.
If you go onto IMDB, you won't find very many good reviews for this film, and while not perfect, it wasn't as bad as I expected....in fact I actually enjoyed myself quite a bit and even.....GASP....didn't want it to end! Yes I enjoyed it, I was even rooting for the main characters to survive! Was it made on a budget? Yes...Did it look like it was shot on Digital Video? Definitely yes....But the difference between this and Uninvited or Legend of the Phantom Rider (Two of the worst Weird Westerns I've ever seen) is that Left for Dead may have felt like it was made on a budget, but it felt competent....it felt like there was definite skill behind the camera.
It isn't perfect, some of it is down right silly...in fact one of the "stylish" devices that I found somewhat annoying was, every once in a while, a shot would freeze frame, and then the scene would continue. I thought it would only last until the opening credits were over....but it continued throughout the entire film....To be fair though, it DID became part of the films language, and stopped being annoying fairly quickly.
Left for Dead was shot entirely in Argentina, with an entire Argentinian cast. One of the stand outs, Victoria Maurette...who has the lead role of Clementine Templeton does a Southern Accent so well, I thought she was an American actress.
I do want to make a comment about the town they shot in, I don't remember the name (It was mentioned in the commentary), but it was great looking. Its a real place....if memory serves me correctly, it was built by one man, and it was a life long passion project for him.....now it is used for movies and as a filming location...Basically the town looks like it was made up of a combination of spare doors, and wagon wheels, and plaster, and found objects....very art colony-esque....but also a perfect Spaghetti Western like location....which is what this movie is trying to channel.
This film isn't for everyone though, I should warn you....Like I said above, IMDB hasn't been kind to it. Some people will like it, others will LOATHE it. This is a definite renter.
4 out of 5 Bloody Spurs