On the hunt for a wanted Indian named Brother Wolf (Rick Mora), Bounty hunter Mortimer (David A. Lockhart) takes busty Rhiannon into the wild to entice the Indian into the open. When his plan fails,
Mortimer is forced to team up with Rhiannon and Wolf to fight the flesh eating zombies that have taken over the townsfolk in his absence. While he has been gone, the brown stuff has hit the fan; a meteorite has leaked its deadly gasses and turned the town’s population into the walking dead.
Cowboys & Zombies is proficiently made but although watchable it lacks much of what is needed to make a scary or entertaining movie. I cannot review this film without mention of Lockhart’s voice. This butch cowboy hero opens his mouth and the softly-spoken voice of Shirley Temple is emitted!! It’s a bit off putting and his character simply isn’t believable because of it. Most of the action is shot during daylight hours and hence, lacks tension. The town is so spangly and new it is very difficult to see it as anything but a very nicely built set, and the three protagonists are the most unconvincing drifters in the Wild West, they do nothing to enhance the unspectacular screenplay. Almost slap-stick in places; Cowboys & Zombies could have played more on the comedy element but in the end it took itself far too seriously and suffered because of it.
The make-up is above par though, and had the zombies been under cover of darkness and in larger numbers, the whole cowboy/zombie thing might just have worked. All in all the cinematography is fine; the sound is lacking in places but generally speaking, fits the bill. It’s a shame that our gun-slinger hero is neither nifty with his guns nor throaty of voice – these two qualities would have made a world of difference. Zombie fans are gonna watch anyway, and if they press play with little expectations, will probably be mildly entertained. There is so much that should have, or could have been right, but with such a weak screenplay, a believable hero is a must, and sadly Lockhart doesn’t quite fit the bill.
COWBOYS & ZOMBIES (2010) WRITER/DIRECTOR: RENE PEREZ. CAST: DAVID A. LOCKHART, CAMILLE MONTGOMERY, RICK MORA.
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