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The Righteous and the Wicked August 7, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in movies, nostalgia, westerns, writing.
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Saw the 2PM showing since I couldn’t make the high noon premier at the Guild Theater (showings  tomorrow 8/8/10 at noon and 2PM).  This is a new feature length film by Craig Butler and is an audacious one, to say the least.  Doing zombies lumbering around questing for “more brains” or mad slasher movies provide easy targets for indie film makers.  The reason is simple.  Easy makeup, not much acting required to shamble and grope (fill in your own punchline there) and the sets can be pretty much anywhere.  Craig chose to do a traditional western.  Meaning he had to have horses, actors who could ride as well as act, sets that looked like the 1880s and a plot that went somewhere.

Revenge is at the heart of R&W but the major screen time is spent with a band of six outlaws putting together the perfect caper.  As with all caper movies, the action truly begins after the heist–and that’s what happens here.  The really bad guys get theirs and even some of the nice bad guys, too.  Vengeance is had and all wrapped up in a Sergio Leone-esque soundtrack.  The actors are good and the ending is, for today’s films, probably controversial.

Craig said it was filmed for $14k, which is a lot for an indie in Abq ($5 is closer to the usual budget) but it’s on screen with the horses and costumes.  A movie set near Santa Fe was used and the filming is topnotch.  Too many modern westerns feel claustrophobic, which is the opposite of what real westerns should convey.  R&W gives vast vistas, scenery unlike what you Easterners are used to and a sense that things are so wide-open anything can happen.  And, of course, it does.

No idea how it will be distributed.  It doesn’t look like a $10m movie because it isn’t, but it looks a damn sight better than $14k.

If you get the chance to pick this one up at a film festival, do so.  Western fans will appreciate the tiny touches throughout.

And as I was leaving had a talk with Ollie Reed, the PR guy for the Western Writers of America.  I hope the WWA takes notice of this fine movie.

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