Deadwalkers is a short film by Canadian director Spencer Estabrooks. At only 13 minutes long it tries hard to create a cross genre piece, putting together zombies and adding what could be seen as staples (or depending on your view, cliches) of the western.
Bounty hunter and gunman Jack Link has a knack for trouble, but when he stumbles into a town cursed with the undead, he might have bit off more than he can chew.
Opening with Jack Link (Michael Shepherd) trailing a couple of outlaws into town to find the nearest lawman, he voices over a description of the wild west.
When God needed a place to shit he built this part of the world…
Arriving into town it’s clear that not everything is well and soon the townsfolk are hungering for the flesh of Jack and his captives. Escaping into the local bar they meet recent bride and widow Beth (Lisa Digiacinto) and Native American Sepe (Cheryl Hanley) both holed up from the outbreak.
As they attempt to escape the zombie sherriff (Dale Buchanen) they get picked off by the zombies but a ‘new’ hero arises in their darkest hour.
First thing to talk about is the make-up, which was awful. Looking more like the Joker, with white face paint and blackened eyes, these zombies weren’t fooling anyone. Some latex, texturing and blood would have gone a long way to giving a more zombified appearance, even if they were just newly turned. That said, some of the other effects, when blowing the zombies away or a hole in the head for example, were quite well executed.
Short films rarely have time to tell a full story and Deadwalkers is no exception. With sterotypical characters, signposted hints and broad strokes of good and bad used to quickly fill audiences in, there’s not much complexity to the characters or the story.
While the idea was quite good I wasn’t convinced by the zombies or that, apart from the end, there even needed to be zombies in it. A more fleshed out version of Jack Link’s adventures may have potential but I was left more with my thoughts of what this could have been rather than what it was.
For more on Deadwalkers head over to the official site.