The third arc of the hit series hits stands the same day as the next one begins! From the dark days of the depression, to the middle ages and the old west, these tales of horror and myth and the mystery of the Femme Fatale reveal secrets even our heroine doesn't know about yet. Bold and experimental, this is pulp noir horror at it's finest. Collects FATALE #11-14
The slayers of unbelievers and various heretic hunters of yore have found a new champion in that part of hell where the sun sets, unleashing an intricate hybrid of heavy metal traditionalism and progressivism as only a Canadian/New Zealanders can provide
Yoakum put together this amazing western and plays a decent, upstanding Marshall in the Arizona territory in the early part of the 20th century. South of Heaven, West of Hell is set in 1907, apparently in order to show clips from the Great Train Robbery. In that opening scene a cowboy stands up and shoots back at the screen during the famous shot of a cowboy shooting at the camera. An obvious nod to The Grey Fox and allegedly this incident actually happened, more than once, when moving pictures were new.
Yoakum is Valentine Casey, veteran of the Spanish American war and now Marshall in a small town. His past catches up with him as it happens to many a western hero. The Marshall was raised by a family of outlaws who pay a visit to his small town on Christmas Eve, rob the bank, kill his deputy, very well played by Scott Wilson, and several other people and make good use of a Gatling gun and dynamite, new weapons in the old west.
Yoakum pays his respects to a lot of the old westerns but breaks new ground in some ways. Few westerns for instance make reference to the Texas Chainsaw Massacre but I swear this movie does. The Henry family, which Valentine Casey was once a part of, seems to be made up entirely of men. There is only one Henry sister, called Sissy of course, who still has a major crush on Val.
At the dawn of Reconstruction, a freedman (Tony Todd) boards a night train with eye-for-eye intent toward the daughter of his ex-owner that tortured his own. Plans stifled by a bodyguard (Michael Eklund) and the young woman's shifty acquaintances all bound for Atlanta. But as the locomotive's firebox churns, their dark pasts seemingly lead to damnation. Unevenness sours strong casting and subtext of slavery's sin leaving many unclean in this southbound horror western. Every rider is stained, even Todd's vengeful headhunter and a fellow ex-slave plagued by past inaction. Tensions boil as the group realize Georgia isn't their destination and each is tested along Satan's tracks.
A group of people (including Tony Todd, Michael Eklund, and Jennifer Laporte) board a train.... to hell. Just like the many Amicus Tales from the Crypt variations, our group slowly comes to terms with their damnation - though in less portmanteau fashion. The fact that everyone is intensely unpleasant makes it hard to sympathize with their respective plights, though Tony Todd carries himself with enough dignity to justify his fans getting more out of this than your average weird west enthusiasts.
A group of people board a train that literally ends up in hell where they are challenged by a shapeshifter to face their pasts and learn about the darkness that consumes each and what drives them. It seems to take some cues from classic Amicus anthologies, but this is not an anthology itself. The characters such as a Tony Todd's vengeful ex-slave, an empty feeling mercenary and current slave owning woman are all pretty interesting even if the acting is a bit inconsistent. As is the usual these days Lance Henriksen shows up for just a few minutes and looks nothing like he does on the poster.
I knew going into this one that it wasn't going to be great but the idea of smooth talking Tony Todd in a supernatural western made me smile and I couldn't pass it up. A group of travelers on a train to Atlanta end up in Hell and must face their sins or suffer. Damn, I hate when that situation happens. Also featuring Micahel Eklund (Bobo Del Ray from Wynonna Earp) as a gunslinger which was fun. Overall this film is just ok, it's lacking razzle dazzle charm. The devil/demon dude has a face blur from a camera phone which is distracting. 781b155fdc