Review Date: 3/27/14
Cast: Danny Trejo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dina Meyer, Mickey Rourke
Notorious criminal Red Cavanaugh (chunky Anthony Michael Hall) is about to be hung for his crimes when his buddy Guerrero (grizzled Danny Trejo) comes to his rescue. Reunited with his gang, Red decides to steal a bunch of gold from a small Colorado mining town, and then decides to take over the whole town. Guerrero is a good natured crook and opposes the sadistic Cavanaugh, only to end up riddled with bullets and buried in the local cemetery. But it'll take more than that to keep him down, as he strikes a deal with Lucifer (creepy Mickey Rourke) to deliver the other six members of his treacherous gang within 24 hours in exchange for his soul. Lucifer is amused by Guerrero's ludicrous proposition and sends him back to the mortal realm to wreak his vengeance. From here it plays out by the numbers as Guerrero hunts down each of his former friends and murders them in various grisly ways. But will he stay alive long enough to get Red before his time runs out? And will Lucifer really hold up his end of the bargain?
While it's a good looking and well filmed production, the pacing is excruciatingly slow, and the film is heavily padded with lingering slow motion shots and unnecessary beauty shots of the rather unattractive cast. Danny Trejo is always a hoot to watch, but he has trouble keeping up with the action. He also has extreme difficulty mounting and dismounting horses, which is awkward to watch and unintentionally funny. Anthony Michael Hall is a mostly uninteresting villain, and you sadly spend more time trying to reconcile the fact that he is the same Anthony Michael Hall from "Weird Science" (1985) than you do on his performance. Mickey Rourke is completely ridiculous as Lucifer, and between his mush-mouth mumbling and Trejo's accent, it's hard to understand what either of them are talking about. The other gang members are unconvincing, miscast, and way too young. The one bright spot in the film is the lovely Dina Meyer. Her sexuality is uncomfortably forced at the beginning of the film, but once she picks up a gun, she's a force to be reckoned with. (very reminiscent of Sharon Stone in "The Quick And The Dead" (1995) ) She looks fantastic, and I swear she hasn't aged one bit in the last 15 years. Either that, or her makeup artist is INCREDIBLE.
The production values are good, and the Romanian sets and locations look quite impressive. The cinematography and visual effects are quite good, but boring and emotionally flat. Unfortunately, the whole thing comes across as a bit silly and it lacks any serious punch. It has some amusing bits here and there, but it's horribly tedious and predictable. While formulaic entertainment isn't necessarily a bad thing, the actors and characters aren't strong enough to breathe life into the tired plot. It's not a terrible film, but it's not a good film, either.