14th Jan2012

‘Devil’s Crossing’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Michael Sharpe, Patrick G. Keenan, Kevin L. Johnson, Jenny Gulley | Written and Directed by James Ryan Gary

I found Devil’s Crossing to be a strange film, with a feel of a typical cowboy themed film but set in a modern day feel it surprised me when I read the synopsis and found that it’s set after a nuclear war. This war must have been some time in the close future because there are not many things that look futuristic. If anything they feel like they’ve gone back into the past, which of course may be the whole point, though it was slightly lost on me to a point.

The story is that a drifter moves from town to town killing people on a list. He works for a demon and when he decides one day to just stop, the demon turns up in the form of a human to force the guy back to work. What it then turns into is a fight for survival for the drifter and the unlucky people in the small saloon he’s held up in. It all ends up in a battle of wills between the enigmatic demon and the drifter with the demon using his army of undead to try and force the drifter’s hand.

I will admit that I liked the concept of the story, but sometimes it feels that it’s just not put onto the screen in a way that held my interest. I actually had to watch the film a few times to get my thoughts together for this review because I found it a strange one. To a point it’s entertaining and the acting is not that bad, sure it’s got that low budget feel to it, but it’s not fair to always hold that against films like this. What bugged me though was the character of the drifter. I could not empathise with his situation because he just came across as selfish in his role. We don’t find out enough of his situation other than he’s set up as the nice guy who is tired of innocent people getting killed while he’s killing the evil people who deserve what they get. Fact is though these deaths are his fault, and in most of the actions he does he tends to get people killed. All he has to do really is move on and let the demon follow him, in turn that will save the people around him. That simplistic point to me damaged the concept of them having to be held up in the saloon itself and putting others in danger. The drifter is more of a selfish fool than the big hero he’s obviously meant to be.

It’s arguable that Devil’s Crossing is just not my type of film, which is a surprise to me because I like siege films like this. I’m a fan of Dog SoldiersEvil Dead and the Feast trilogy to name a few siege mentality films and I really enjoyed them and they all have that similar feel that this film obviously wanted. I think my problem was that I could not empathise with the main character which in the end weakens the overall effect. Something he does at the end of the film also annoyed the hell out of me which I of course will not spoil, but I will say that it was probably one of the reasons that I felt confused. Yes, there are positives to this film its well-made for the budget it has and the story is quite strong, I just feel that for myself the main character needs a slight tweaking and we need to be given a reason to like him, not to question just why he causes everything in the first place.

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