The Dead and the Damned (aka Cowboys & Zombies)
Directed by Rene Perez
When a group of gold miners unearth a dangerous meteorite, they unleash an intergalactic plague that ravages their town and turns the population into blood-thirsty mutants. Itâ€™s up to a high plains drifter and his arch-enemy, an Indian warrior, to battle the zombies and save the Old West from the horrors of THE DEAD AND THE DAMNED.
“Clint Eastwood meets George Romero” claims the DVD cover. This could be a fair assessment if you take the worst of each of these halves and mix them together with a steaming pile of feces. Man, this was a bad film. For the most part, I refrain from writing reviews about films that I cannot stand, but this film is gathering some huge publicity from other outlets and it is so not deserved of the praise that it is getting. I have even heard some of these reviewers post comments such as how this film rivals Sam Raimi’s work on Evil Dead. Seriously? How much is the director paying you to spread this crap?
I am sucker for a good zombie flick as much as the next guy, and I have sat through some crap in my day. This is not the worst of the lot, but it is not much better than the bargain bin crap that I have sat through. The acting is horrible and the acting is not bad on purpose and some have claimed. The acting is just bad because of untalented actors. The direction of the film is just there. It is not bad – it is not good. There are no amazing shots (or even above average shots). By the way, if you cannot come up with some nifty camera angles when you are shooting in the great outdoors, you are just not trying hard enough.
I applaud the crew for trying something different mixing the two genres of Western and Zombie films, but in reality, it has been done before and has pretty much failed. That is not to say that it is not possible to mix Westerns with horror. I was a fan of The Burrowers and gave it all the credit in the world for what is was.
And for whatever it is worth, I actually am a fan of Western movies, so this is not me being a horror snob.