Title: A Cold Day In Hell

Directed by: Christopher Forbes

Starring: Michael Madsen, Kimberly Campbell and Tripp Courtney

Running time: 96 minutes, Rated PG-13

In 1887 Sierra Nevada, William Drayton, a once crack sharpshooter holes himself up in the mountains after the loss of his wife and home. His long-lost, presumed dead daughter is reunited with him along with the help of some of his old friends. After coming back to civilization, they run into a band of terrorizing hired guns from Drayton’s former employer, and they all decide to make a stand.

The movie looks like a film school project. The acting is terrible; in one scene a guy actually did a cartwheel when he died during a shootout. The cinematography looks like it was shot by someone going through DTs while holding a camcorder. The editor used transitions and fade-outs ad infinitum. The sets looked as if the scenes were filmed at some western themed tourist stop; too clean and brand new to be convincing.

I honestly appreciate independent films and I understand that with low budget you have to work with what you have, but you would think they would work harder to make it more realistic. ‘Cannibal! The Musical’ was made for less than a quarter of a million dollars, had no celebrities and still was more credible as a western. The filmmaker should have spent more time on the details and worried less about getting a big name for their movie.  Michael Madsen wasn’t even in the entire film; 15 minutes total at best and his character wasn’t even a crucial player in the story.

I could not wait for this film to be over with, so I could get on with my day and forget about it; but then I was annoyed that I had to watch it again for the commentary, which is the only DVD extra besides the production stills. The cast (minus Madsen) and crew sounded like they had a good time and were happy to be involved.  Of course when you hire your friends, they may feel obligated to inflate your ego by giving positive feedback.

I will admit the title is fitting. It will be A Cold Day in Hell when I watch this film ever again.

Total rating: F

Reviewed by JM Willis

A Cold Day In Hell
A Cold Day In Hell

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