Bullet Points: Gallowwalkers
I used to be a huge fan of Wesley Snipes. Passenger 57 was always a personal favorite of mine from the early 90’s. Demolition Man and Drop Zone followed shortly after and then he played the character he is best known for, Blade. It was during filming of the second Blade film when Snipes appears to have started acting very weird on set. He rarely took off his sun glasses and if you watch Blade: Trinity he barely takes them off at all. It pains me to see aging action stars go out the way he has and I had hoped that he was in for a career resurgence the way that JCVD and others have had but if it is going to happen for Snipes, it won’t be because of this film.
The Gist: A mysterious gunslinger finds himself facing off against a gang of murderers and rapists that he already killed. Can he fight off the impending threat and avenge his slain lover?
The Cast: Wesley Snipes plays our hero simply known as Aman. I don’t really remember ever hearing his name mentioned but I guess it was because imdb.com has it listed. Either way, Snipes must have been paid per spoken word cause he doesn’t have many. While he’s probably still able to give a good action packed performance, we aren’t given much from Wesley in those regards as he pretty much shoots guys from a distance and leaves most of the fighting to his co-star Riley Smith. Speaking of Riley Smith, where the hell did this guy come from? He looks about as tough as Justin Bieber and it doesn’t help that they openly talk about how he doesn’t even have facial hair. I thought it was pretty impressive that every single character in the movie appeared to have expertly groomed beards except him. That is something that most zombies in the West simply lack. It’s sad. Two other performances that impressed me were the push-up bras of actresses Tanit Phoenix and Simona Roman. Those babies were doing God’s work.
Self High Five!
The Villain: British actor Kevin Howarth plays evil dude Kansa and while he looks super badass when he first appears on screen he soon changes skin or something and looks really stupid for the rest of the movie. Each of the men that are killed by Wesley Snipes’ character come back from the dead looking weird as hell and I can’t really understand why. One dude has horns and another one is somehow turned into wrestling/yoga superstar “Diamond” Dallas Page. Unfortunately, no one gets a diamond cutter and instead we have to see him lumber around with a giant metal bucket on his head. Snipes had killed all of these random people cause they snuck into his crib and “took” his lady while he was away but the entire crew gets dispatched on multiple occasions and it really made me think of that line from The Dark Knight, “This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.” There was, however, no Heath Ledger to speak of and instead I found myself rooting for DDP as Skullbucket.
Howarth only looks cool for about one minute before he turns into the albino Matrix twin.
The Action: Shootouts shouldn’t be this boring. I don’t know if I have been spoiled by awesome Western shootouts in Open Range and Tombstone but in Gallowwalkers they just stand perpendicular to each other until one person shoots the other in the head with one shot. I guess if you’re trying to get back to your trailer to plan your next career move you just shoot the bad guys in one shot. It saves time and money on blanks. As I said earlier Riley Smith couldn’t possibly fight an 8th grader, let alone DDP. I was hanging in there on the “undead zombie killing Western starring the black guy that nobody even acknowledges is black” but don’t insult my intelligence with DDP getting whooped by a wimp named Riley.
The movie doesn’t suffer from a lack of dismemberment.
Take it Home:
- Favorite Quote: “Dead ain’t what it used to be.”
- Monologues: It’s a good thing this movie had so many monologues or I wouldn’t have had any clue what was going on.
- What might have been: The movie was originally titled “The Wretched”; Chow Yun-Fat, and Paz Vega were attached to star with production to start in 2005 but it never came to fruition.