Ghost Town released on digital, DVD and On Demand on March 7. It likens itself to horror westerns in the tradition of From Dusk Till Dawn and The Dark Tower. Is that a fair comparison, or a bit of a stretch?
Well, neither of those movies came to my mind while watching. Knowing that, is it still worth saddling up for?
Let’s first take a look at what it’s about, then we’ll get into the review.
Ghost Town synopsis
Set in 1877 Arizona, Ghost Town follows the story of a drifter who takes a job as a barman. After a series of bizarre and horrifying deaths, he finds himself the target of suspicion. Desperate to escape the noose, he is soon at the center of a supernatural mystery that plagues this town.
Ghost Town review
Owen Conway (Eminence Hill) wrote, directed and stars in this movie along with Eva Hamilton (Death Kiss), Becky Jo Harris (Spiked), and Amelia Haberman (The Covenant).
It starts with a man falling to his knees in the desert and being overjoyed when he looks up and realizes there’s a town in front of him. He gets up, grabs his saddle, and stumbles towards it.
Why is he carrying a saddle? Where’s his horse? That’s the first of many questions I had about this movie.
Pretty soon we learn the man’s name is Solomon, but it takes a while before we learn he’s got the saddle, but is saving up for the horse. Maybe he’ll be able to buy one with his earnings as a barkeep, a job he finds thanks to the man who lets him a room.
At least, I think the man sitting on the porch outside his room let it to him. I’m not quite sure about that, or why he’s upset that Solomon is still in bed at 9 in the morning. It becomes clear pretty quickly that they’re strangers to each other.
Hagan, the bar owner, reluctantly hires Solomon, but sets down a few rules. Don’t short him, don’t drink his alcohol, and don’t sleep with the whores. (The bar owner’s word —over and over again— not mine.)
Solomon does his best to mind those rules. Which isn’t hard. He’s too busy emptying piss pots every other second; when he’s not suffering from horrible hallucinations that leave him freaking out and everyone staring at him.
Something else that concerns him is all the people he meets who die. One customer suddenly gets his head blown off. Another group comes in, gets a little too rowdy, and next thing you know Solomon shoots them all dead. Well, most of them. Except for the one that Stella, one of the prostitutes Solomon becomes friendly with, takes care of.
And then there’s the matter of something growling outside his room at night and rattling his door, as well as growling at him from the bushes during the day. What was up with that? Just one more question to add to the pile.
But perhaps the two biggest questions I had as I watched were what did this movie want to be and where was it going. Was it a creature feature? Was everybody dead, including Solomon, and that’s why he had these weird out of focus moments? They were living in a true ghost town?
Pretty much that’s what it ended up being. Overall, Ghost Town wasn’t scary, the dialogue was cliche and repetitive, and the storyline was convoluted. Or as Voices from the Balcony put it, “…while it ends up delivering some wonderfully twisted images any sense of plot and logic goes right out the window.”
At least the acting was pretty okay, but for me, it wasn’t one I’d saddle up for again. However, if bellying up to the bar is your style, Ghost Town presents fabulous drinking game possibilities. Drink every time they say “piss pot” or “whore” and you’ll get good and snockered, pardner.
Ghost Town trailer
What are some of your favorite horror westerns? We’d love to hear about them. Leave us a comment and let us know!