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Ghost Town: An American Terror

USA 2023
produced by
Mem Ferda, Robert Conway (executive), Liz Manning (executive), David J. Hohl (executive) for FilmCore, FunHouse Features, HohloGraphic Productions, RCR Media
directed by Owen Conway
starring Owen Conway, Eva Hamilton, Becky Jo Harris, Robert Sprayberry, Charlie E Motley, Nathaniel Burns, Stephen Moran, Brittany Mae, Michael Harrelson, Dan Weisgerber, Santiago Craig, Cameron Kotecki, Kirt Barnes, Liza Davis, Jessica Morgan, Dan Higgins, Rene Barraza jr, Amelia Haberman, Liz Manning, Robert Conway, Leo Jacobus, Mikey Reed, Jacob Lewis, John Marrs, Noah Layne, Daniel Link
written by Owen Conway, music by Jay Martin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The Old West: Solomon (Owen Conway) is a drifter pretty much at the end of his line, his horse has died on him in the middle of nowhere, his money has long run out, and who knows what has happened to his gun. So when he happens upon a godforsaken little village, once a boomtown but now pretty much on the deserted side, he can't afford to be too proud to ask for a job at the town's one rundown bar and whorehouse - and the owner, Hagan (Robert Sprayberry), decides to give him a chance. But it's really more to have somebody else but his girls to bully around than out of actual need, and the pay's bad. Solomon however happily takes what he can get, even if the job also involves bathroom duties and the like - and chasing old drunk Zeke (Nathaniel Burns) out of the outhouse - Zeke's favourite place to sleep - every other day. However, there's something odd about the town, as every now and again Solomon has visions of death and decay, and every now and again, people appear and disappear quite ghostlike. And of course, when on his first day, a customer (Daniel Link) is shot right next to him by a person unknown, that's not too reassuring, either. However, there are upsides to the job as well, like when Solomon kills three thugs trying to rob the saloon and is celebrated as the hero of the day, so much so that one of the prostitutes (Becky Jo Harris) spends the night with him and shows real feelings for him. However, her colleague (Eva Hamilton) shows nothing but contempt and tries to get Solomon out of the place, even though he has literally saved her life. That, and Hagan's constant harrassing soon drive Solomon over the edge - to a violent outcome. However, there's something much more sinister going on in town, something that starts to test Solomon's sanity ...

 

Over the years, blends of western and horror cinema have become, well, not exactly a staple, but not all that uncommon, with the results varying vastly - and this is one of the more unusual films of that subgenre, because it keeps one guessing throughout, and instead of going on-the-nose with the horror aspects of its story, it works its terror in through allusions, teasers, sudden deviations from the norm to keep the viewer off balance - just like Solomon really - and make the creepiness of the situation all the more palpable as a process, thanks to a genre savvy directorial effort and also a cleverly build-up script with an extremely macabre punchline. And of course, a small but solid ensemble cast only helps to make this one cool piece of western horror indeed.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
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special appearances by
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directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
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produced by
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