Yeehaw. The wild, oh so wild west. One of the classic genres with classics such as x and y. It’s no surprise that there are a few black sheep cash grabs that horseback ride off successful films.
One of these infamous, and quite unknown, titles are “Cowboys Vs. Vampires” (2010), or formerly known as “Dead West.” It changed names more than likely to avoid backlash for being a bad film and also to try and sucker people into buying or watching it instead of “Cowboys vs. Aliens” (2011).
It opens with stock footage that actually is blended in really well with filters. Then once the actors pop up the filter changes to an absolutely awful one that looks as if they just slid the contrast bar too low and called it a day.
It’s meant to emulate the western feel, except the actors are actually actors for a failing amusement park. The filter really doesn’t help at all and could be there just to hide problems that could be seen with higher contrast and fewer shadows.
After some gross flirty jokes about a “hot Latino,” the film snaps its viewers’ necks and zooms right into a disgusting blue/black filter to represent the future. The main character is being interviewed and giving cheesy dialogue, including one-liners and one-too-many-liners.
Then it snaps right back to the present, only six minutes into the film. and shows blonde bimbo mom and brunette whiny daughter talking about the dad who’s divorced for some good reasons I suppose. It’s basically just an exposition dump and character development in one go.
What’s odd about this scene is that there’s no eye-straining filter. They certainly could have done that before, especially since the next scene shows the dad in his western getup like before.
Cowboy dad then goes to a diner with a fish-glasses friend and they spout “oh jeez, we need money. Park failing.”
Ironically enough, the writers have the gall to say the phrase “it’s all about the money” when describing a western being filmed in Canada. I could certainly apply to whoever decided to make this movie as well.
Then some sexy, spicy cowboy music plays as one of the brunette actresses appears. Totally not a subtle way to introduce the obvious love interest. Oh right, her name’s Gloria. Not easy to remember it when just about every scene with her in it is horrible.
Fast forward much further into the film, the vampires start to overrun the park and kill people, dragging them off to a cavern. A group of tourists are eventually locked up in the caverns and are oblivious to the danger they face.
Here’s a fun game for viewers who survive this far into the film- count how many times the two kids cross the same bridge. This entire final section of the film has loads of reused areas of the caverns to pad the run time.
Let’s not forget that whoever was choosing what music to put in had also chosen to use the stock violin crescendo that’s used so much that it’s a cliche. It’s even used when a character falls over just a pipe, which surprised me because it’s always used before a jumpscare.
After plenty of repeated scenes of the two kids running over the bridge, one of the kids’ trips and actually has a bone sticking out of his leg. This isn’t much of a criticism, I’m genuinely surprised. Kids get hurt in movies is almost taboo, even in the horror genre. I’m not even sure why the genre is like that either.
After the kid gets hurt, that marks the beginning of the deaths. Nobody is safe, not even the kids.
Teens die, whiny girls die, a little kid gets grabbed, a man’s neck gets snapped, ugly masked men start munching on people’s necks, and well… almost everyone dies. It’s a bit obvious that the masked men are more like zombies than they are vampires, despite the neck-biting. Really does show that the title should have been “Dead West.”
When it comes to my final thoughts on this bizarre and tiresome film… I really can’t summarize them too well. It’s by far not one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, but it never will be a good one either. There really isn’t much fun in picking the bad plot apart either. Any scene is good enough to talk for hours about it.
The actors are a little bad, the extras are the worst, the plot is just… eh, the cinematography is horrid, there’s a ton of stock footage, sound effects are bad, the music is bizarre, and overall it’s horrible. It’s not as bad as “After Last Season” (2009), but it’s certainly less entertaining to watch until the “gory” bits at the end. Either way, I sort of enjoyed wasting an hour and thirty minutes of my life watching it.
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