- Written and Directed by Andrew Goth
- October 27, 2012 (Film4 FrightFest)
A gunman whose victims come back from the dead recruits a young warrior to help him fight a gang of zombies.
Gallowwalkers is what’s commonly referred to as a Weird western where non-traditional Western elements are tossed into a gunslinging environment. In this case it is mostly zombies and a touch of Satan. I first heard about this via “Suggested For You” (or whatever they call it when they show you something the algorithm thinks you might like) on Facebook. Not sure why I looked deeper into it. Perhaps it was Wesley Snipes as a gunslinger. Whatever it was I was very intrigued.
Gallowwalkers is most definitely a film on the lower budget inside. Somehow though it manages to rise above that. It takes itself seriously enough that the premise is not treated as a joke but not so serious that they believe they were making high art. It is fun and just entertaining.
And the story is actually pretty good. It’s a weird enough concept that gets executed better than one would think. Wesley Snipes stars as the mysterious Aman who has been cursed since before birth that all those he kills will rise and hunt him. Seems like an easy problem to avoid but appears to not be so.
Snipes is cold and steely eyed as Aman. He comes on screen and you know Aman means business. Snipes is matter of fact in his portrayal. Aman eventually recruits a man called Fabulos (Riley Smith) to help in his fight against the undead. Fabulos was a little bland and until I watched the credits, I thought he was portrayed by Chad Michael Murray.
One neat aspect of the film’s mythology is that the zombies regularly need new skin. Cool bit that unfortunately just kinda gets glossed over in the story. I would have liked it played up a bit more. The best we get is a scene where the villain Kansa (Kevin Howarth) looks more than a bit like Uncle Frank from Hellraiser but then nothing much more.
Kansa was absolutely great. He was just pure evil from head to toe. And he was happy to do evil. He was practically giddy with joy. He was seeking revenge on Aman for not only his current situation but the apparent non-resurrection of his son who should have come back. Why that happened was a good twist.
They do manage a consistent mythology within this world and follow it even if the cool stuff does not get shown enough. The only issue I really have is with the finale. During the course of the movie there is this sisterhood that apparently work for the devil and that’s how Aman got his unwanted powers. The ending occurs at their desert sanctuary yet we never see any of them that I can think of. Did I miss something?
Gallowwalkers has style to it. The director and the cinematographer behind this give it a look and feel all its own rather than making it something generic. This is one of those low budget films they put a lot of effort into and they kept in mind what they had to work with and made the most out of it. And it shows.
This is enjoyable from start to finish. It is a story that keeps you involved and doesn’t let go at any point. It’s a short film which certainly aids in its execution. I don’t mind extra but sometimes it’s better just to keep focused on the narrative and chugging and moving towards the end. And that’s what they do here.
Gallowwalkers is a great weird Western. It may be a little hard to find though. The only place I know of that has it is Amazon prime and quite possibly Netflix outside of the United States. If you can find it, then watch it. You will not be disappointed.