Don't let the name of Eric Roberts at the top of the credits list have any bearing on your watching the movie. His appearances as 'The Devil' in the story are limited, and even though his impact on the story line should have maximum sway, he's not around enough to make it seem so. Funny, but that's The Devil's quote in my summary line, so for any die-hard anti-Roberts readers, I guess you'll be vindicated.
I saw the film last night as it debuted at the Hoboken International Film Festival (HIFF), held oddly enough, at the Paramount Theater in Middletown, New York. The original home of the festival was impacted by Hurricane Sandy three years ago, so this venue has been it's home since then, with a possible renewal up for grabs this year. I often get a kick out of reading other reviewers mentioning their attendance at some original screening, so here I have the opportunity to do the same.
The picture is something of a mystical/horror Western, as gunslinger Lane McCrae (Kaleo Griffith) commits his soul to The Devil in exchange for his life and the life of his brother Cody (Adam LeClair), both nearly fatally wounded in separate gunfights. What follows is a meandering and not entirely satisfactory film, and probably a bit longer than it needed to be to tell it's story. In fairness, I have a bit of trouble with movie dialog these days, due in part to tinnitus, so I'm not always certain whether hearing it is my problem or the picture's.
One issue I did have though was story continuity in the manner of ridding already dead gunmen and desperadoes. When Lane McCrae shoots three men, five years after the story's opening scene, he states "I killed those three men before", as each of them disintegrate in an electrified/fiery vapor. Later on in the story, zombie cowboys are dispatched in a hale of black smoke or they simply disappear into the ether. For whatever reason, I like my ghost Westerns to maintain a semblance of continuity in the way demons and zombies are dispatched.
Besides Roberts, the only other veteran actor one is likely to recognize in the film is Martin Kove in the role of The Mentor. Lorraine Ziff portrays an other worldly demoness named Zathera, and it surprised me to learn that in real life, she's the mother of Matthew Ziff who portrays Kyle 'Hawk' Hawkins in the story.
For an independently produced film, the acting was generally adequate and the cinematography was better than expected. Some of the dialog I did hear was embarrassingly clichéd but not enough to be annoying. Action scenes were handled well enough and consistent with the genre. However I don't think there was enough here to compel me to see it again if it gets a general release. I found my attention wandering from time to time, and that's never a good thing, especially when fear and death are your main calling cards.