Wild Eye Releasing has selected Aug. 30 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Paul Winters’ Walking Dead in the West, a mixed genre thriller that will not only please horror affectionados, but those who enjoy Westerns as well.
The first impression for any indie film is almost certainly related to production values. If you’ve seen you share of indie films — which always means films with limited budgets — did the filmmaker(s) get the technical aspects right? Acting, plot, direction all succeed or fail on their own, but if the film looks like crap (i.e. an ill-conceived student film project) the greatest plot, with Oscar-winning actors and director, no matter their talent, are doomed to failure.
If the technical part is fubar, then you can’t get through 15 minutes before your eyes start to bleed and your all of your senses are screaming, “turn it off, for god’s sakes, turn it off.”
So when you settle in to watch a Western and a zombie flick as an all-in-one experience, it better be technically sound otherwise it is a no-go from the get-go. Paul Winters (Nate and the Colonel, The Homecoming of Jimmy Whitecloud) and his cinematographer Adam R. Cook (his first feature film) absolutely nail it. Walking Dead in the West is gorgeous, so grab the pop corn and enjoy.
It is the famed Arizona Territory of the O.K. Corral, the Earps, Apaches … it’s the Wild West; the untamed frontier. There is just one little thing amiss, the dead are on the prowl — a traditional Western would have cowboys and soldiers fighting off marauding Indians, but they too have to put their differences aside and join in the fight (think: survival) against a common enemy.
U.S. Marshal Frank Wilcox (Paul Winters) has to assemble the survivors of the town of Crumpit into a fighting force to defeat the zombie hoard. It’s all about trust — and, yes, survival — as a Buffalo Soldier, Sergeant Bale (Calion Maston) teams with an Apache Chief (Lee Whitestar), a crazed preacher (Greg Bronson) has to take up a gun, a saloon owner — the lovely Rose Ann (played by Sandy Penny) — and the Marshall’s own prisoner (Jarod Anderson) have to put the things that have set the apart aside. It won’t be easy as trust can be hard to come by!
So mark Aug. 30 on your must-see calendar — Western, zombie, horror — as those are three great reasons to check out Walking Dead in the West.