I’m a big fan of Danny Trejo. I’m also a big fan of Westerns. So when I heard about Dead in Tombstone, a revenge-Western with a supernatural twist starring Danny Trejo, I was excited. Trejo has one of the most recognizable faces in film and TV today, and with over 200 credits it’s no wonder most everyone has seen him in something.
Whether as the lead in the Machete films, bit roles on AMC’s Breaking Bad or FX’s Sons of Anarchy, or even as Uncle Machete in the Spy Kids movies, there’s something about Danny Trejo that audiences just can’t seem to get enough of. In Dead in Tombstone, there’s plenty of Trejo to go around, and plenty of action as well.
The film puts a 21st century twist on the classic Western genre. It’s not just gunfights and bar brawls; Tombstone offers up some grand spectacle and some amazingly well-paced action sequences that keep the movie going at a fever pitch. It’s a visual feast of explosions, blood, fire, and gore. I was very impressed by the cinematography and the overall look at feel of the film.
In a nutshell: Trejo plays Guerrero Hernandez, and outlaw betrayed by his gang. They kill him and he ends up in hell. He makes a deal with the devil to come back and kill all six remaining members of his gang in exchange for his own life. In essence: six souls to spare one. And he had 24 hours to get the job done. Let the challenge begin.
Playing Satan in this violent flick is icon Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler, Iron Man 2), who brings his own style and powerful presence to the dark lord’s world. Trejo and Rourke make for a compelling on-screen duo, and their scenes together are entertaining to say the least. Both actors bring a lot to the table, and watching them work together is a fun to watch.
Anthony Michael Hall (yes, THAT Anthony Michael Hall from National Lampoon’s Vacation, Pretty in Pink, and Weird Science) is Hernandez’s right-hand man, Red. Well, he is until he helps kill him. Hall clearly is enjoying himself in the role of such a ruthless, heartless, villain, and he takes great joy in making it clear that he is one badass you don’t want to mess with.
Like Trejo and Rourke, Hall and Trejo share an electric chemistry together that makes their scenes explode off the screen and really create a sense of danger. The casting of these three actors really helps bring the film to a whole new level.
Loaded with plenty of action, Dead in Tombstone is a fun take on the familiar Western genre. Director Roel Reine does an excellent job delivering plenty of high-octane chases, gunfights, and explosions while keeping scenes of dialogue short, to the point, and story-driven. Make no mistake about it: this is a movie that’s light on dialogue and heavy on action. Just the way a movie like this should be!
I also found it very interesting and pretty cool that while the film’s story is set in Colorado, the film was actually shot in the Carpathian mountains near the border of Transylvania (yes, it is a real country, click here for proof!).
The blu-ray edition is loaded with special features, which include:
Horses, Guns, & Explosions (a look at what went into creating the action sequences); Roel Reine: The Leader of the Gang (a look at the film’s director/director of photography and how he operates); A Town Transformed (how turn a Western town from dark and evil to sunny and peaceful in a matter of days); Creating Hell: The VFX (a look at the wide range of effects shots used in the film); The Making of Dead in Tombstone; Deleted Scenes; a Deleted Shots Montage; and Audio Commentary.
For a fast-paced Western that’s a devil of a good time (har har), I highly recommend Dead in Tombstone!
Dead in Tombstone is available NOW on Blu-ray and DVD.
What’s your favorite Danny Trejo movie or TV appearance? What’s your favorite Western? Leave a comment and let us know!