Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Trigon - The Legend of the Phantom Rider|
Actors: Denise Crosby, Robert McRay, Stefan Gierasch, Zen Gesner, Angus Scrimm
Director: Alex Erkiletian
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Mti Productions Release Date: 03/30/2004 Run time: 91 minutes Rating: R
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SUPRISINGLY GOOD HORROR/WESTERN!!!
John D. Seneca | PLAQUEMINE, LOUISIANA | 10/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"AT THE START, I DID NOT EXPECT THIS FILM TO BE ALL THAT GREAT.
IT DID, HOWEVER, TURN OUT TO BE QUITE INTERESTING.
THERE WAS QUITE A BIT OF BLOOD AND VIOLENCE, BUT WHAT WOULD A WESTERN BE WITHOUT IT?
IF YOU'RE INTO OLD-STYLE WESTERNS, THEN DON'T RENT THIS MOVIE.
IF YOU'RE INTO CLINT EASTWOOD STYLE VIOLENT WESTERN THRIILLERS, THEN YOU MIGHT JUST ENJOY THIS.
THERE WERE A FEW RECOGNIZABLE FACES IN THE FILM, BUT NO BIG NAME STARS.
IT IS, HOWEVER, A VERY GOOD WESTERN WITH LOTS OF BLOOD AND A TITLE CHARACTER WITH A COOL BLACK OUTFIT, A DEFORMED FACE AND A QUIET PERSONALITY.
HIS SHOOTING SPEAKS FOR ITSELF!!!
ALL IN ALL, THIS WAS A MOVIE THAT I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IF YOU LIKE NEW WESTERNS WITH ALL THE BLOOD AND GUNSHOTS THAT ONE COULD ASK FOR IN A FEATURE FILM. ENJOY!!!"
"Their leader rode into town this morning...I swear he's the
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the reviews posted I decided to give the western/horror film Legend of the Phantom Rider (2003) a shot (no pun intended)...did it live up to the hype? Well, not really, but I still enjoyed it and was glad I gave it a chance. Written by Robert McRay ("Conan: The Adventurer"), who also appears in two, count `em, two of the main roles, and directed by Alex Erkiletian, the film features Denise Crosby (Eliminators, Pet Sematary), whom many sci-fi fans know better as Lieutenant Tasha Yar from the late 1980s/early 1990s television series "Star Trek: The Next Generation". Also appearing is Stefan Gierasch (Silver Streak), George Murdock (Earthquake), Zen Gesner (Fever Pitch), Irwin Keyes (Intolerable Cruelty), and Angus Scrimm (Phantasm, Chopping Mall, Munchie), probably most familiar to movie viewers as the creepy inter-dimensional corpse stealing, killer sphere wielding character of The Tall Man, from Don Coscarelli's Phantasm films.
As the film begins it's 1165 A.D. and we see two painted, half nekkid Native Americans engaging in a quick battle while a woman with a pair of large, Salma Hayek sized cans looks on...fast forward to 1865...we now see a family of four on the prairie set upon by a band of toughs, led by a bald man named Blade (McRay), who's dressed in a confederate officer's uniform. The old man and the young boy are brutally murderlated, leaving behind the mother, Sarah Jenkins (Crosby), and her young daughter. Sarah manages to make it to a nearby pittance of a town in search of help, only to find Blade and his sadistic cronies are already there, and have taken over, killing anyone who offers the least bit of resistance. It's about this time things get a little confusing as Sarah, who's got now vengeence bug, is identified by Blade as `the one' before being dumped in the desert and hooking up with a Native American medicine man who relates some mumbo jumbo about good and evil, all leading up to the appearance of a silent, long haired, gun toting, facially disfigure man dressed in black named Pelgidium (also played by McRay). As Sarah returns to town, trouble quickly finds her, but Pelgidium (what the hell kind of name is that?), who's got the fast draw, shows up and makes quick work of one of Blade's men. As Sarah gets what's left of the townspeople to screw up their courage to fight back, fear begins to take hold in the hearts of Blade's men as they feel this long haired, freaky deaky stranger isn't human. Blade continues to put the squeeze on the town (and his own men) initiating a decapitation (off screen), some hangings, and a kidnapping Sarah's daughter, all leading up to a confrontation between good and evil, one that plays itself out every couple of hundred years in this very same spot...or something like that...
As I said, I thought this a decent film, but I thought the story a bit more convoluted than it needed to be, especially in terms of the whole supernatural element, which could have been removed completely and not even missed (along with the pointless opening sequence). I know, I know, those who've seen the film will say it's the lynchpin to the story, but really, I think the movie would have come off stronger had it been played straight up sans the notion of warring spirits continually returning to Earth to fight over some prize that was never spelled out (i.e. the existentialist B.S.). And I'm curious, why did the protagonist have to exhibit such an extreme facial disfigurement? Maybe the filmmakers thought it would be cool, but it was most probably because Robert McRay played both roles, so they wanted to make the two seem as different a possible. If Blade and Pelgidium were truly manifestations of good and evil, bent on duking it out, I think it would have more interesting to have them both have the same face, as it would have been more in line with the whole `ying and yang' notion, but then that's just my opinion. As far as the acting, overall it was decent enough. I thought McRay got a little `hammy' in the role of Blade, but he managed to keep it reigned in most of the time. Crosby did okay, but she seemed hampered either by a lack of skill or poor material (I'm leaning towards the latter). Perhaps it was a slight case of miscasting, but her name did add some recognition value to the feature. One aspect I really liked was the setting used for the movie, which was shot in Arizona. The town looked real, thus adding a good deal of creditability to the story. The costumes were decent, but there was one guy, Blade's right hand man named Suicide (Gesner) of all things, who sported a pair of rather modern looking blue jeans. I know they had jeans back in the day, but I doubt the jeans of the time fitted as well as they seemed to on him. This is a minor point, but every time I saw him, I couldn't help focus on it, ultimately drawing me away from the story. As far as the shoot `em up stuff, there is good chunk of gun action spread throughout, and a number of characters get it in the back, which seemed fairly realistic to me as I suspect many individuals who populated the actual west in the early days wouldn't have been adverse to doing such a thing, despite what Hollywood may have you believe. My favorite sequence was when a few of the townspeople were holed up in the church, and Angus Scrimm, who played the preacher, praying for protection, finally picks up a pair of revolvers, encouraged to do so after a stray shot from outside damaged the cross on the wall. The one element of the production I found annoying after awhile was the music. I wouldn't have minded it so much, but it seemed the same, lifeless, low key, downbeat piece was played ad nauseum throughout the entire movie. All in all this isn't a bad little independent feature, one that seemingly includes a lot of effort even if it did come up a little short.
The picture on the DVD, released by MTI Home Video, looks good, and is presented in widescreen format (I'd guess the aspect ratio is about 2.35:1). I'm unsure if it's anamorphic or not, as the case doesn't specify such. The audio format isn't specified either, but I'm guessing it was in Dolby Digital stereo, which came across well enough. As far as extras, there's optional Spanish subtitles, brief cast bios, a trailer for the film, along with previews for the films Cause of Death (2000) and Stricken (1998).
Four's Too Generous, Three's Too Little, I'll Say Three and
Stanley Runk | Camp North Pines | 03/16/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This here's a western/horror hybrid(a subgenre that to this date hasn't really been done very well), and while not too shabby, it's nothing worth running out and purchasing. After a prologue full of supernatural mumbo jumbo that has little to do with the events later on(at least it's never really explained what the significance of it all is. And if there is a deeper meaning, I'm sure as hell not gonna watch this film numerous times to piece it together....it's not worth it), we see Denise Crosby and her family attacked by a gang of vicious thugs led by Blade, a bald mascara wearing psycho in a confederate army uniform. With her husband and son dead(and herself being violated by the sleazy weenie of one of the thugs), she makes it to the next town only to discover that it has been taken over by Blade and his gang. The gang maim, terrorize and kill whoever they please, and the townspeople hold meetings, but really do nothing to stop the gang. Suddenly, through a confusing scene involving Crosby and an old Native American, The Phantom Rider is summoned. With long hair and a scarred right side of his face(obviously a Jonah Hex influence here), he strolls into town and starts offing the gang members. This inspires the townspeople to fight back as well. Blade's not the least bit threatened by this new stranger and continues to kill everyone. Naturally it all ends with The Showcase Showdown(where Blade takes home not only the pool table and the washer and dryer, but the new Hyundai Sonata as well).
I must say that Robert McCray makes for a particularly cold, brutal and loathsome villain. He's a bit hammy, but he's probably the most entertaining thing in the movie, even moreso than the Phantom Rider himself(also played by McCray). The Phantom Rider isn't seen very much, and his motivations are a bit unclear. All we know is that he's supernatural to some degree and he has it in for Blade.
There's one thing in this movie that irritated the hell out of me, and this kind of thing I've seen in movies before. There are numerous opportunities in this movie for a character to simply blast Blade away, but no one ever does it! And it happens at least five times!! After awhile I literally yelled, "AAAAAAAAHHHHH!" because it was so damn frustrating. There's this ongoing theme with Blade about "taking the shot" when the shot is presented, so maybe the film makers did this intentionally, but that definitely doesn't make it less annoying.
But all in all, this wasn't the great horror western that I'm constantly searching for, but I have to admit that the movie has a way of keeping you interested, and that's really what it's all about, right?"
Angela Sipes | 03/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was really surprised that this movie was so good. The story does have holes in it though. I recommend just filling in the blanks yourself. I love a fast draw and Pelgidium (the good guy) is incredible. Blade (the bad guy) is probably just as fast but does not quite have the same flair. The same actor (Robert McRay) plays both parts wonderfully. I also liked the music but in a talking scene or two it was a little too loud. This movie could be placed in the Western section of video stores just as well as the Horror section. Alot of Western lovers don't know what they're missing."