Cowboys & Zombies (UK - DVD R2)
Cowboys + Zombies + No Budget = Marcus wishing it was Aliens instead...
Prospecting for gold in Whiskeytown a couple of diggers happen upon a strange glowing green rock and after cracking it open in front of the townsfolk, end up infecting everyone. Meanwhile travelling cowboy, Mortimer (David Lockhart) finds himself heading back to the town only to discover the town isn’t how he left it.
It begins. With Cowboys & Aliens about to hit the big screen we are now going to get a whole truck load of straight to DVD titles with combinations of unlikely match ups. Vampires & Cheerleaders, Cats & Rabbits or Robots & Elephants, they’re all bound to be on the horizon, but our first adventure is Cowboys & Zombies and it’s just about as dead on arrival as you’d imagine.
Outside of the simple joys of seeing cowboys shooting low budget zombies and the contractual agreement that all the actresses in the movie must show their boobs wherever possible this is about as dross as could be expected. Bad sets, TV movie visuals and acting that is just plain cringe worthy. The story takes seemingly ages to get going (like we don’t know what’s going to happen?) and when it does its small bursts of zombie action before the paper thin characters ham scenes up again.
This is TV movie territory in regards to looks but with an even smaller budget. Bad unconvincing sets highlight the cheapness of the production and while the film has obviously been shot digitally and looks clean enough it does nothing to sell this as being anything other than a low budget film.
Colours are actually quite good, with green grass looking surprisingly great and the odd red bit of clothing often looking strikingly strong. That said the softness of the image kills the textures and all the good work is dragged back to basics.
The ten minute rock guitar scored opening shoot out with pistols sounds thin and lousy. Dialogue is way lower than it should be and the zombie snarls and gargles are so tinny it’s often a temptation to turn the volume down. Another oddity is how stupidly strong the bass gets during a fight between and cowboy and indian (keeping it old school). It’s a bad track but it was sort of to be expected given the production values of everything else.
Other than the disc opening with trailers for Alien Undead, Umbrage: The First Vampire and Ninjas vs Vampires (there’s another unlikely combo already) which all look more of the same low budget bad-but-might-be-good straight to DVD stuff we’re only offered a forty five second trailer for the film and a gallery of seven stills.
Cowboys and Zombies doesn’t take advantage of combining two genres like it could have and the budget is too low to try anything outside of the basics (and it barely even delivers on those either). The disc is pretty much bare bones and with a weak A/V presentation there’s not a lot of positives here, so let’s hope Cowboys & Aliens winds up a much better experiences shall we?
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 1st August 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Extras: Trailer, Gallery
Easter Egg: No
Director: Rene Perez
Cast: David Lockhart, Camille Montgomery
Genre: Horror and Western
Length: 81 minutes
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