The Dead and the Damned aka Cowboys & Zombies – USA, 2010

‘The legend of the living dead’

The Dead and the Damned – aka Cowboys & Zombies – is a 2010 American Western horror feature film edited and directed by Rene Perez (It Hungers; From Hell to the Wild West; Playing with Dolls trilogy; The Obsidian Curse; et al) from a screenplay co-written with Barry Massoni. The movie stars David Lockhart, Camille Montgomery, Rick Mora and Robert Amstler.

Plot:

1849: During the California Gold Rush, Mortimer receives a bounty for Brother Wolf, a Native American accused of carnal crimes. Mortimer ostensibly buys a young woman, Rhiannon, as a wife but in reality as bait to lure out Wolf. However, once he meets Wolf, Mortimer becomes dubious about the charges against him.

Meanwhile, a group of prospectors unleash a zombie virus when they attempt to mine a meteorite. Mortimer, Rhiannon, and Wolf must band together to stop the zombies…

Reviews:

“With a small principal cast of solid actors, effective use of a standing frontier town set, and skilful direction that manages to be clever without pretentious, plus a well-honed script that doesn’t waste a word, Cowboys and Zombies is great viewing. Exciting, sometimes scary, never silly or self-indulgent and a commendably taught 82 minutes.” MJ Simpson, Cult films and the people who make them

“With too little plot and too little visual imagination to justify a feature runtime, we’re left with plodding scenes of predictable exposition, poorly executed action and lingering gazes at bare breasts peppered with occasional minutes of something approaching genuine entertainment.” Gareth Jones, Dread Central

” …The Dead and the Damned must get kudos for trying. The Old West town set is a bit questionable, but everything else — the horses, the gunfights, Brother Wolf — is definitely above the standard “Hey, let’s put on a show!” feel which some low-budget indies have. The acting is pretty good, most notably Lockhart, although there are some moments where I felt as if the actors were waiting for their cues.” Mike Long, DVD Sleuth

“The film’s low budget is obvious but not too much of an impediment. The sets are on par with those of a western theme park. The costumes, although far from historically accurate, serve their purpose. The dialogue is obviously not chronically correct, exacerbated further by inexperienced actors. The score is all over the place…” Alex DiVincenzo, Horror News

“Another problem with this film is the pacing and quick habit of advancing the story by way of montage or music video […] The Dead and the Damned had a lot of potential, on both sides of the camera, and it could have succeeded with a bit more experience.” Horror Talk

“Soundtrack and the usual lower budget film jitters aside, there is a certain level of fun to be had with the mix-up of genres. The western aspect supersedes the horror tangent, but it’s a nice character driven change of pace that seems iffy at first but proves to be a winning idea come climax.” Brett H., Oh, the Horror!

Cowboys & Zombies – it has a few cowboys and it has zombies, boobies, a lot of bad CGI blood and some old-school body parts and an occasional unintentional belly laugh. In other words, it is a perfectly acceptable way to waste your life, if you like. If that sounds good enough to make you happy, then go for it… but we can’t give you our copy of the film, ’cause we already tossed it out.” A Wasted Life

Filming locations:

Near Yosemite National Park, Central California

Release:

The Dead and the Damned premiered at the Another Hole In the Head film festival on July 17, 2010. It was released on DVD in the US on July 26, 2011, and in the UK on August 1, 2011.

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