"Cowboys & Vampires"(2010)

 

 

 

Written & Directed by: Douglas Myers

Principal Cast:

Johnny Dust-Jasen Wade

Gloria-Angelica Celaya

Sarah-Shannon Whirry

Kim-Ariel Myers

Stanburg-Armen Dirtadian

 

 

        A genre "mash-up" of sorts, "Cowboys & Vampires" opens with a re-enactment of a gun battle in the western attraction of Old Tucson. Johnny Dust, a once famous western actor, is the lead actor at the park, and we soon find out leads a very complicated life. On again/off again girlfriend (and co-star) Gloria is jealous of his relationship with his daughter Kim and bitter ex-wife Sarah, he's living in the shadow of his former co-star "the Kid" and his job is under new management. Old Tucson is preparing to shift gears into a horror-themed attraction for Halloween, under the supervision of new honcho Stanburg. But, as with any genre film, nothing is as it seems--the thrill ride attraction in the old mine has uncovered some ancient indian artifacts, and the new owners may or may not have nefarious deeds in mind...

 

        Featuring lush exterior shots, and a young, able cast, "C&V" sets the "western feel" early on with sepia toned, and earthy colors, just like an old John Ford film. While the end result might not be as lofty, the film manages to pack: camp, heart, and more than a little creepiness into it's 90+ minute run time. Wade, Celaya, and Whirry deliver excellent performances that really lend a palpable life to their love/hate triangle. Dirtadian also really seems to relish the role of the slick, evil businessman and his performance comes off as both over-the-top and believable. Great dialogue, even sound, stellar camera-work and a sharp transfer puts "C&V" levels above most indie features and make it very "watchable".

 

        "Cowboys & Vampires" is an ambitious, entertaining film that delivers everything it promises! It's a fun, fanged, bloody, romp covered in the dust, gunsmoke and leather of the classic Western film. Watch it with some friends, popcorn, and low lighting.

 

8/10

 

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