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Sadly, this seems to be the the purpose of this "K-Mart" version of the tale. I suppose if it wasn't up against the superior History Channel treatment it may look like a much crisper (almost too clear 16:9 production reeks of HD videotape, i.e., no film soft grain) 1970's ABC "Movie of the Week", but since many viewers will be watching this after seeing the far superior Kevin Costner version it pretty much is laughable.
In addition to the bargain basement production values we get a much different story. I know from research that The History Channel deviated somewhat, but here we have a very topical story with seemingly even more deviation. There just ain't any meat on these bones and the bones themselves are broken. In the back of my mind I get the feeling Jeff Fahey might have been quite good if given more to work with...That's about all I can say as the other performances were less than "phoned-in" to coin a phrase.
O.K., it's watchable if somewhat laughable. That's the only reason I give it a 3 (full disclosure: If I had paid to see it the rating would be less). I don't know how much they paid Christian Slater for his meager role here, but seriously are infomercials next?
I wanted to like it, I really did. There was no reason to depart so much from known facts. I should've known better when I saw Jeff Fahey listed as the lead. Has he ever had anything that wasn't straight to video cheese? It's ore a film students project or some kind of attempt to milk tax dollars out of a film incentive program than an honest attempt to make a solid film.
Hatfields die, McCoys die. Not at the right places, not at the right times, and some are killed by the wrong people!
It appears someone tried to capitalize on the resurgence of interest in the feud back in 2011/2012 and slapped this together. Check out Wikipedia if you want to know what really happened.
Better yet, visit southern WV and/or KY and check it out!
As far as the acting went, there were no winners here. A lot of the dialogue seemed forced and it failed to stir the least bit of emotion in me to identify with anything the characters went through. Given the choice between the two, go with the Costner version every day of the week.