Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Last Rites of Ransom Pride

The Last Rites of Ransom Pride (2010)
Dir.Tiller Russell
Starring: Lizzy Caplan, Dwight Yoakam, Jon Foster, Jason Priestley, W. Earl Brown, Peter Dinklage, Scott Speedman, Kris Kristofferson, Cote de Pablo

Juliet Flowers (Caplan) is trying to retrieve the body of her outlaw lover Ransom Pride (Speedman) from a Bruja (de Pablo), who demands one of his relatives in exchange. She lures his brother Champ (Foster) but is pursued by his father Early (Yoakam)

This is an odd find. I happened to be in a FYE looking for something used and cheap, and stumbled across the blu-ray for this. They were doing one of their constant used promotions, where you buy 2 used items and you get another for $1. I had already grabbed something to flip on ebay and copy of the Steve McQueen/Sam Peckinpah film Junior Bonner, so based on the low price and the somewhat impressive cast list I figured "Eh, why not?"

As it is, the movie itself it's too bad. It's kind of dark, but weird in a good way. The story starts with a scene presenting Ransom Pride as kind of jerk, then spends the bulk of the movie with Juliet and Champ talking about how great he was. Early is in pursuit, with his friend Shepherd Graves (Kristofferson) sending two of his men, Matthew (Brown) and John (Priestley) ahead to try and kill Juliet. In their travels Juliet and Champ meet the Sergeant (Blu Mankuma) and later Peter Dinklage's character named Dwarf and his traveling medicine/freak show. At this point you are already on board till the end or the grim and nihilistic tone of the movie has already put you off, with Early constantly refering to Juliet as whore, or with scenes like the one that introduces Jason Priestly's character, ass to the camera and masturbating*.

I will say this, the movie looked a lot better than I expected it to look, given that it is a cheap direct to video production. Most DTV films have a flat, badly lit look to it, but this looked pretty good for the most part. The exterior shots were the high points, where it looked great the interiors looked a bit cheap.From a filmmaking standpoint, the worst thing about the film is the choice to randomly edit quick flashes of shots from the scene you just watched. It feels jarring and out of place and the film would flow better without them.

In terms of the cast, Lizzy Caplan has the bulk of the work as the lead. This isn't a role that lets her be really likable like she was on Party Down, but she's good in the role. Interestingly Cote de Pablo spends the movie with half her face covered by burn makeup. Jon Foster is alright as Champ, but a bit bland. It appears that he's retired from acting to be in a band with his wife, but he has a bland handsome look that would probably get him a role on a CW or ABC Family series if he was still working. Kristofferson and Yoakam are probably the best things about the movie acting wise. Dinklage isn't bad, but I kind of expected more from him after seeing him be so consistently great on Game of Thrones over the last couple of years. But the oddest thing about the movie is the fact that Peter Dinklage's character Dwarf, looks like Rob Zombie.
I don't know, maybe I'm just seeing things.

I liked it, but at the same time I don't know if I'd recommend it to everyone. But it's really cool seeing Peter Dinklage dressed like Rob Zombie shooting people. Overall it was enjoyable but it had some flaws. I guess if you stumble across it it's worth a look, but I wouldn't break my neck trying to track down a copy or watch it in favor of something that is better reviewed.

*this is the strangest thing I think that I will ever type on this blog.

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