Monday, May 21, 2012

Deadwood Park (2007)

Thanks to Njuta Films we have an excellent box with six movies from Wicked Pixel Cinema, with director/writer Eric Stanze as their main talent and spokesman. Now, the whole team is extremely talented but Eric is THE director and it's understandable. The man has a lot of talent and after watching Deadwood Park today I'm considering him as the best indie-filmmaker in the United States right now. Big words, yeah, but watch this one and Ratline and try to have an opposite opinion (and if you have, you're an asshole - no, just kidding!). So, what is Deadwood Park? Let me tell you...

William Clifton is Jake Richardson, a young businessman coming back to his hometown after being away for most of his life. In 1979 his twin brother, Francis, was kidnapped and killed by an unknown assailant. He was the last of twenty-six children being brutally murdered during a span of more than twenty years. Now when Jake starts to ask questions about the killings he understands quickly that no one in town wants to talk about it. Instead everyone is blaming it on the former, now dead, amusement park employee Harold. Too easy for Jake, but before he can starts to investigate even closer he starts seeing things. Ghosts, ghosts of small children. And they want contact with him, show him something...

That's the story, but believe me: it has a lot more to offer. I'm not that a big fan of comparing artists work with other creative persons, but to give you a clue here: it reminds me of Stephen King, the good King - who enthralled my summer vacations as a kid reading about small town mysteries and bloody deaths. That and the old mini-series Chiefs, about a serial killer casting his shadow over a small town during three generations of cops. Deadwood Park is slow and filled with tension, with the Stanze's trademarked portray of backwoods-America. Very few directors has been able to show white trash, small cities who lost hope and desolate streets like Stanze - without falling to the stereotypical trap of hicks and rednecks.

The bulk of the movie, at least the exteriors was shot during the fall of 2006 and continued to may the next year. So prepare to see a lot of orange leaves, rainy roads and cold clouds over you when watching this. The story evolves almost entirely around Jake, and Clifton carries the movie on his shoulders without problems. His co-actors are also good, especially Bryan Lane as Sheriff Robert Cooper. It runs for almost two hours and I can promise you that you will sit there watching without any breaks. The script is excellent, there's not unnecessary scenes, nothing stupid at all. What's there is there for a reason. Another thing with Deadwood Park is how ambitious it is for such a low budget movie. We have very important flashbacks for example, to the seventies, fifties and forties - including a damn WW2 battle scene!

Don't expect much gore, at least not until the last half hour which has some very bloody and well-made stuff for gorehounds. But it's the story, the tension, everything in this movie that's even more important. It's not about the gore, it's about one of the tightest indie-scripts I've seen.

Puh, hyping yeah? Probably. But when something is brilliant you should say its brilliant also. Not try to be low-key or... afraid of recommend something you really think its good. Deadwood Park is fucking good, a sensational thriller/drama. Gah, I have no idea I could be more stunned over a movie than Ratline but here it is... what can I do?

See it.


Anonymous said...

"it reminds me of Stephen King" does really sound like King...especially Dead Zone.

Creepy smalltown with secrets....freaks me out!

Say Ninja....any post apocalyptic film reviews soon?

CiNEZiLLA said...

God Damned Awesome Review.

Really. It makes me wanna pack that 6pack for this summer's rewatching batch.



Ninja Dixon said...

Mr J, thank you! I was really hypnotized by this flick! Have you seen it? If not, you need to!

No, not any post-apocalyptic movies planned right now - but I have something in the pile that might fit. We'll see ;)

Anonymous said...

Ninja: Cool...looking forward to it.

Eric Cotenas said...

The same park location was used later to lesser effect in the horror film CLOSED FOR THE SEASON.