Review by Jude Felton
It took Danny Trejo longer than most, but he eventually got to the point in his career where he is the star of his films. Whether or not said films are any good is another matter completely; with Machete being probably the highest profile film, and one that wasn’t particularly good. However, the Trejo machine is now in full effect, and this results in us getting films like Dead in Tombstone.
As you might have guessed, Dead in Tombstone is a Western, albeit it one with a supernatural twist, and it’s one that the filmmakers couldn’t really go too far wrong with. You get Trejo as Guerrero, the “good” guy, Anthony Michael Hall as the “bad” guy, and Mickey “Goddamn” Rourke as the Devil. How the hell could you go wrong?
The plot is classic main character gets betrayed and comes back for revenge faire, and follows Trejo’s character, who happens to be a bank robber. His gang, and former right-hand man Red (Anthony Michael Hall), turn on him and send him straight to hell. Whilst there he meets the Devil, and makes a pact in order to get his revenge. From here on in it’s Guerrero hunting down his former gang, with a little added semi-love interest in the shape of Dina Meyer’s Calathea.
Dead in Tombstone isn’t out to re-invent the wheel, not that you would expect it to, and is happy enough to perform as an entertaining slice of violent Western mayhem. The movie is helped considerably by the appearance of Anthony Michael Hall, who’s as watchable as ever, and Rourke hams it up, as you might expect. Trejo, in the lead, pretty much plays Trejo; he scowls a lot, shows his tattoos and generally plays the anti-hero bad-ass.
What does surprise me, is that Universal have once again given this direct to Blu/DVD movie a solid release; as they did with the recent Curse of Chucky. I don’t really see the need to include a rated version, alongside the unrated cut, but there are a decent amount of special features contained over the two discs. Also, Universal once again delivers a fine looking Blu-ray. Seriously, as a company they are truly underrated when it comes to the quality of their Blu-ray transfers. Maybe they aren’t “cool” enough for some? Anyway, the picture is pretty damned good.
As a slice of B movie entertainment, there are far worse movies out there, and Trejo has starred in some of them, but Dead in Tombstone delivers just enough to make it worth the 2 hours you’ll invest in it. It’s not a great film, by any stretch of the imagination; however it is fun and has all the clichés you might expect in this sort of film. Hell, they even set it up for a sequel, should that ever happen.
At the end of the day, if you’re a fan of the main cast of Dead in Tombstone, you’re probably going to enjoy it far more than if you’re not. And, how often do you get to see a supernatural Western that was filmed in Romania? Exactly. Dead in Tombstone is above average, but only just.
Dead in Tombstone hits Blu-ray and DVD on October 22nd from Universal.