Hell to Pay (2005)
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Kevin Kazakoff and William Gregory Lee star here as a pair of brothers who split the family with their differing views on the Civil War. Kazakoff became a war hero in the Union Army while Lee just sat out the war and sharpened his poker hand and his connections with various loose women.
Kazakoff has settled on a new claim and wants to be a farmer. Lee hasn't seen any need to reform, but as we know in these westerns family ties in the end are the strongest of all.
However the real treat is to see a whole slew of people who starred in TV westerns back in the day back for a last hurrah. Several men and one woman Stella Stevens who it is certainly adding something to anything she appears in.
Best in the film of the oldtimers is James Drury as the town sheriff and Peter Brown as the town banker.
Not the greatest of westerns, but nostalgia fans like me will enjoy it.
Stella Stevens, Andrew Prine, Bo Svenson, William Smith, Tim Thomerson and Lee Majors are all good actors that may not be big stars (or big stars anymore) but always made fun movies.
Here, they're all wasted on a picture that looks like it was shot in a wild west tourist trap, with costumes borrowed from the local high school theater department. In fact, most of the acting appears to be on the high school level too, which might not be so bad if it weren't so pretentious.
The name of Ed Wood is invoked way too lightly these days. I think in this case the comparison is warranted. However, I suspect that old Ed would have made a more entertaining western than this.
Where did the guys -Nate & Noah Cryns- who wrote this music come from? They are awesome!! From the moment the music begins, it is by far, better than anything I've heard in years. I think it may be the best I've ever heard! Even though I wasn't thrilled with the action taking place on the film, the music evoked the exact emotion that was needed for each scene. I was transported in time to the old west during the opening credits and really felt like I was re-living those old days through the music.
This movie is definitely worth a purchase and a viewing for the beautiful music and a trip down memory lane to see the old western stars once again.
So the budget was not tremendous. Much of the costumes and set were believable but there were many things that jump out at the viewer to let us know that they couldn't double check or get all of the props to match the period.
I can't think of one aspect of the film that I liked or didn't shake my head. Your time will be better spent burning lint collected from your bellybutton.
I can see a low budget western film that is done with passion and interest on the detail, but using a garage with art deco lettering, pastel colors, actors that seem to be falling sleep because the script is so boring and the boom getting on the way of the camera every two scenes, that is definitely not my definition of "one of the best western movies produced in the new Millennium".
Please if any of you guys had friends in the movie just say it!
Admittedly a portion of the actors were "dated" but then the appeal of this movie is for the same group of folks. No, it ain't John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O'Hara, or Tom Selleck but its an entertaining, straight forward movie intended to have no hidden messages or social commentaries. Which is what truly good movies are.....entertainment. I think this movie has the potential to become a sort of campy, cult classic.
True, a couple of the "Bad Guys" could have been better looking but you gotta go with what you can get!
SO what do you get with "Hell To Pay"? You get 100 minutes of good old entertainment. You get a chance to see some stars from past years, who act pretty much like what they did in their prime but a little older. You get to see some good SASS shooters in major roles and a few SASS hams in the background. It was a lot of fun for me seeing people that I have shot with, visited in their homes and who are my good friends get to do something that a lot of people only ever dream about - they're in a real, live honest to gosh movie. They're doing something a lot of wannabe actors and wannabe shooters will never get the chance to do and I think that alone makes it worth the watch.
Admittedly, not everyone is a SASS member and so I saw lots of fun and humor that others may miss, but it is still good, old-fashioned entertainment, and frankly, there are a LOT of movies in the theatre right now that I wouldn't give a nickel to see, so save the money to go see "Brokeback Mountain" get "Hell to Pay" and watch some real cowboys have some fun.