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Revelation Trail (2013)
Zombie Apocalypse in mid 20th century America!
Revelation Trail Review The first question any movie-goer will ask when reading the synopsis of Revelation Trail will inevitably be, "is this seriously ANOTHER zombie movie?" Or perhaps even more poignant, "A zombie western? What are they going to do next, put zombies in space?" Regardless of whether or not you are one of the aforementioned viewers who would ask these questions, Revelation Trail will not disappoint in any way, shape, or form. The reason quite simple if you took the zombie factor out, the movie would be just as good. Just like it's contemporaries; anything from Dead Snow to the Walking Dead series, it's a great story all on it's own and only uses the undead to drive home the point even further and scare the pants off those with a weak stomach! Starting with what we actually see on the screen, this is director John Gibson's first feature length of this magnitude and the production quality is an absolute knock-out. This film could easily stand up against any Hollywood, big budget production, and being that the film was made on a modest budget that's no small feat. Not a single ounce of detail is lost or overlooked in the picture quality, audio, lighting, editing pace, or post-production effects. For anyone familiar with the usual run at Sundance or other Independent films, this is definitely not a movie that excuses either the forgivable quality loss of many documentaries or intentionally amateurish style of many narratives it's a high quality film that used its meager budget for just the essentials and the essentials are more than well-covered. For any movie analyst with a keen eye, there's not a single shot that's out of place.
But of course, there's the story behind the aesthetics that stays on the viewers' minds much longer than the lighting. First off, Revelation Trail what a hell of a name! It's absolutely perfect for a Western movie that conjures up sights and sounds from the classic Spaghetti Western era. Take that foundation and throw a zombie apocalypse into the mix and you've got a post-modern tour de force. The tale follows our two main characters the local preacher and sheriff - and just how these two are reconciling their worldviews with the ensuing events that would rock anyone's core beliefs. On a theoretical/philosophical level, it's a great escalating conflict of the realist battling the idealist; or in this case the sheriff battling the preacher. One is a man of the law he must uphold order to keep the peace and goes home with a clear conscience regardless of what he's done that day. The other is a man of God one not so willing to just senselessly kill at least not without a proper burial. It's a classic character archetype that keeps the film interesting down to the last minute. Director John Gibson (who makes a brief cameo as a zombie himself!) is an avid Star Wars fan, and this character match-up has Luke Skywalker and Obi Wan written all over it. But regardless of the character influence, the end result is the same it works.
In short, Revelation Trail is a solid film that gets high marks on every aspect of the filmmaking process and a great first outing for director John Gibson and Co. For any fans of zombie movies, Western movies, and everything in between and not so in between, Revelation Trail is soon to be a widely recognized outstanding independent film. -Marc Kennedy