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DVD Review: Dead West

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As these first couple of months begin to wane away early into 2017, I've been less than impressed with the glut of "horror" films that promise to lead the pack ahead of the wanna-bes that follow...yep, STILL WAITING. While we're on the topic, let's tackle Jeff Ferrell's Dead West.

Brian Sutherland holds down the lead here as a drifter who we simply know as "The LadyKiller", and with good reason - he drives from town to town, charming the gals, sweeping them off of their feet with his smooth talk and dapper attitude...and kills them. Hey, who said that looking for love was anything but easy? His spree of murders spans quite the stretch of time and distance, and just when the audience believes that he's committed yet another atrocity upon the human kind, he runs into a bit of trouble when one of the victims' brothers turns the table and makes him the hunted one. The LadyKiller's seemingly unstoppable carousel of carnage faces a roadblock, and the disappointing factor here that is for all of his rage that he's managing to unload, there really isn't much of it on display for the paying audience to witness - alright, holier-than-thous...don't make ME out to be the bad guy here cause I want a little bloodshed for my dollar - you're reading this review in the hopes of something new to watch, ya sickos!

In any event, it's the performances that carry this film over the finish line, and aside from one extremely campy performance that tilts the boat in choppy waters, the remainder of the cast pulls the anchor and moves the vessel to more serene straights. For a low-budget flick, the portrayals are convincing and enjoyable to take in, especially from Sutherland and Tony Arrington as the brother on the hunt for revenge - strong, concrete in plausibility, and even managing to reel in a few sympathetic votes as well. The most interesting facet of Sutherland's role is that he initially looks out for the ladies, even rescuing them in some precarious situations (i.e. abusive boyfriends) before his inner demons rise to the surface and make him and unrepentant monster - not a lot of actors could pull this swerve off, but Sutherland nails it exclusively. While the film still has some flaws and a serious lack of on-screen kills, it's definitely worth a one-time watch. It is now available from RLJ Entertainment, so give it a look if it crosses your path.

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