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Acceptable For What It Is
bucks1313 June 2009
First thing is first here people: If you are a movie viewer who sees any cinematography or filming that is below your average local theater showing, and instantly dislikes the film, you won't like this one!!! Part of the problem with half of these negative reviews is they want this movie to be a major picture and frankly, it is not that. It's a fairly independent style movie with some credible actors. You could do A LOT worse.

Now on to the movie. The story here is, although clichéd, decent. To go along with my previous point about not asking for more than the production can provide, I expect to just generally follow a movie. I don't have to be wowed. I just wanna see a story told with some shed of reality and I am OK. And for that, with this film I am just that, OK. It has its moments and its weaknesses. I don't care to whine or cry about how women were mistreated in the film because it's a movie and I could care less about its political correctness because it's obvious the production crew didn't either. The acting here is livable especially for an independent film. Billy Zane and James Patrick Stuart were the reasons (along with a love of westerns) I chose to check this one out and in their performances, I was happy. But as others have said, the lead was just too old. I am glad they portrayed him as more human than invincible but I just didn't feel like he was the right fit for the part. Along with that, my main annoyance was with the way they filmed many deaths and action scenes. All of them were so choppy and cut up that it was hard to respect them at all. Which is a shame because honestly the rest of the production was pretty high class when you compare it to other independents.

As I said though, as a person who goes into the film not expecting Oscar nods, I didn't feel that I wasted my time. If you are a die-hard western fan or a fan of any of these actors and you can stand to feel like your watching someone accomplish the task of getting their (still very expensive) dream made, and not a major Hollywood production, check this film out.
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Unsettling, but sobering
Johnny_Hing9 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a huge fan of Westerns. I thought this one was unique in that the setting was the deep South, about 10 years after the Civil War and Reconstruction, just after the Bluecoats returned to the North. The racism that existed at that time was just brutal. Apparently, blacks were not even considered human. It was truly amazing to see how the former Confederates at that time actually considered themselves to be civilized, and Christian at that! The blacks went on strike after their request for improved working conditions were refused. (They asked that they not have to work more than 12 hours a day, and have Sundays off.) The whites were outraged, saying "What'll they want next, Christmas in July?" One of the blacks was hung out of spite, and when Reese Paxton asks for justice, the local yokels railroad him instead, sending him off to prison, as he watches his wife and son being murdered and thrown down a well. Their crime? Being "n****r lovers."

This movie is quite violent. Be forewarned. I had to FF through several scenes, as it was a bit too much. Eric Braeden wouldn't have been my first choice to play the role of Reese Paxton, former stealth assassin for the Confederacy, some 10 years removed. But for the most part, it was believable.

I had 2 complaints with his character however. First, he seems to mumble at times, when he speaks, and I can barely hear what he's saying. To say that he's "soft-spoken" would be an understatement. Second, during the inevitable face-off with the vicious Billy Duke near the end, he agrees to a fist-fight, laying down his gun. How could anyone trust Duke after all the unspeakable evil he's engaged in? That just seems implausible to me. And sure enough, when the fight is about to begin, Duke pulls out a whip and begins whipping away. And then he pulls out a derringer and gets a shot off. I was not at all happy with that final scene.

Still, the movie got the point across... it was to be a whopping 70 years before the Blacks ever dared go on strike again, due to the brutal massacre that took place.

This could have been much better, don't get me wrong. But, it's nowhere near as bad as some are saying. The cinematography is decent. I felt a strong sense of realism being depicted about the way of life in that particular era of the deep South. Apparently the setting is intended to be in Louisiana, although I believe most of the filming was done in Texas, according to the closing credits.
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The movie is twice as lame as the title.
buzzbunney23 May 2009
This is an example of welfare for once famous actors. Poorly written, directed, and videotaped, with one dimensional caricatures, instead of characters, who are used as plot pawns to advance a story that is so obvious, you see what is coming from the next county.

I gave it a view, as I do all western type films, because it is a uniquely American genre that I wish would be rediscovered by present day film makers.

A simple story, about a slower pace of time, doesn't have to be obvious and contrived, it can ring true and be compelling, but this effort is simply not up to the task.
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Soap Opera Western
bitten_by_kittens16 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Is there a classification lower than " Straight to Video "?

How about " Straight to the $3.99 bin " ? This one may be several grades below even that one .

Never mind what Armand Assante , Sean Young and George Kennedy are doing in this movie . " Hey , it's a job " I understand that an actor needs to work and this is the equivalent of me working at a fast food joint when times were tough . They probably got 75 thousand each for a few days work .

And it only took a few days to make this " Paint by the Numbers " pseudo - western . I used to say " I never saw a Western I didn't like ". Well , I can't say that any more .

I saw how this movie would evolve in the first few minutes . Good Guy , Bad guy , Post Slavery cruelty , Unjust murder , Righteous Indignation , Good Guy stands up for what's right , Dead family , Jail , Escape and Revenge .

I actually rooted for the bad guys in this one I was so bored .

Don't bother with this one . Save your bucks and rent something else .
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great western
kelhill3 November 2008
this really is a great western, the best i have seen in a while. if your into the classic western revenge movie, then you cant miss this one. set against the back drop of the end of the slave trade, one man makes a stand and pays dearly, he then sets about seeking revenge. i thought the acting, direction and script were really good and would recommend this to anyone that likes westerns. i really felt for the hero in this as he was one of the few of us that try and make a stand against all that is bad in the world, i also liked the judges son, a real nasty piece of work and quite cowardly with it, which is usually the case and makes it all the more believable. as you can tell i loved it and will be watching it again soon no doubt.

ps. this is my first attempt at writing a review so bare with me, lol.
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One of the worst films ever made (really, no kidding).
remittancegirl26 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
It's important to note that Eric Braeden had to pay dearly to star in this film. He's the lead AND executive producer. This proves that you can star in your own terrible film if you have enough money. Braeden is far too old to play the lead in this film. I kept wondering if he was just tired or having an aneurysm.

The actual premise of the story is fine, but the bad guys are just so utterly bad, they're wholly unbelievable. The black cast is there to die as fodder. The women are there to either be raped, brutalized or killed, or to be the prostitute who has explicit fantasies (because you know, abused, overworked prostitutes always spend their free time fantasizing about sex - NOT) about someone who really, really could be her grandfather.

This is written by someone who is so completely ignorant of human nature, that they must trudge through life as an asocial lunatic. To say that the film is full of clichés is a tragic understatement. The only possible way to sell it is as a parody of a 1970's art-house film.

I have to wonder how the vast majority of the cast allowed their names to be put on the credits. They must all be cringing, with the exception of Eric Braeden who obviously felt he needed one more vehicle in which he imagined himself playing the taciturn, sexually potent hero before he kicked the bucket.

If you're an eighty-year old guy who has fantasies about being an action hero with a young. blonde hooker pining for you, you might like this film. Otherwise, give it a miss.
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The Last Western - Hopefully
weme729214 December 2008
On the surface it appears this had the potential to be a good movie. The setting Thibodaux, LA or Lafourche Parish where a large strike took place in the late 1800's. The material available to be successful but was not used (even if the project was to be fictional). However, we end up with the common good cause stands against evil cause scenario. The acting does not support credibility of occurrences (in the movie plot nor the historical strike). The scenes are weak and at times seem to try to portray a point but fail and at times leave the watcher with what does this have to do with anything. The actor's dialogs seem forced with little emotion and the action scenes are walked through with no fluidity or realism. The best acting in the movie is performed by the undertaker - a couple of short scenes. Can we have a refund or exchange?
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Better than it should have been but not as good as it could have been
Poe-171 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Okay ... SPOILERS I don't think any of the spoilers will "spoil" the film but ...

If you don't like westerns ... don't watch. If you don't like revenge movies ... don't watch. The Thibodaux Massacre actually happened. This movie was inspired by that, which means, the film bears no relationship with truth.

Civil War hero re-encounters the slavery issue after the war, intervenes and things go horribly wrong. Horribly. Loses all in the most intense meaning of the word. Way stereotypical sent-to-prison-for-the-wrong-reasons sets it up for escape and revenge (see title).

Mr. Braeden in the title role. My wife is a fan of his soap. I am not. But because of my wife's addiction, I am "by osmosis" exposed to the community. Mr. Braeden has never impressed me except as a writer/illustrator-flyfisher-movie freak (in that order)I have always loved his face. His face and his "main expression" are perfect for this film.

If I wanted to sketch a face and expression that says: "I'm ten times more deadly than you think I am and you underestimate me"; I'd do his face. And ... that's about it for Eric. But he does it so well and that's what his character needs in this film.

This isn't an "time quirk" martial arts film or a typical "revenge hero" film. Reese Paxton (Eric Braeden) is human. He isn't physically superior. He isn't about walking into impossible situations and kicking tail (ala Chuck, Arnold, Jean Claude, etc.); he's about orchestrating his moments. He wasn't a warrior, he was an assassin.

It's cliché riddled, for sure, and there is a soap opera-ish element to the whole tale; even the love of a golden-hearted whore.

But you know what? I love films that reach for something ... even if they miss. I guess I enjoy their "lunge" with them.

Some of the racial stuff is scary (because it thrives into today's undercurrent) and there's a line referring to "What bad can happen when good people do nothing" that is slap-your-face relevant in today's headlines. No, this film didn't address that. A coincidence.

Best line ... "Where is Reese Preston?" And then, from off scene "I'm right here".

Missed the mark ... but only by a little bit.
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Uninspired and lackluster
eklund-par23 January 2013
It looks like one of those movies shot by a college student using his own back yard as location and his friends as actors. You know: dv camera instead of film, cheap props, too few actors etc. The sad thing is that someone probably invested money in this movie. If you are curious of what once great actors like George Kennedy and Sean Young are doing nowadays, here's the answer. They appear in this kind of garbage. Kennedy seems to be intoxicated most of the time, but Young is sober, but almost as embarrassed as I was. The main character (Braeden) is also the producer, so it's fair to assume that he decided to pay up to realize his childhood dream of becoming a western hero. I didn't know this guy from before, but when I saw him act I understood why. A critic once wrote a one-sentence review on a movie: "The acting is bad, the script is bad and the directing is bad." In this case it's on the generous side. Make sure you have a pillow at hand. You will need it.
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Enjoyable Revenge Flick.
vitaleralphlouis16 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I wonder how many of the negative postings were from Liberals disappointed the movie was NOT a historical re-write conforming to 2008 political correctness prejudices. If that's what you want, look elsewhere.

In the post-Civil War South (circa 1877) some horrible injustice befalls a white man who intervenes (without success) when a mob of bad guys lynch a former slave. Unfortunately for the bad guys, they picked the wrong man to abuse -- and they fail to kill him.

The hero is a highly honored Confederate war veteran and a man not only of honor but of great skill, tenacity and endurance. The bad guys, all Southerners, are NOT Confederate veterans, not brave, not heroes; just mean and nasty losers. So the film is all about the South, good vs. bad, and it's a joy to watch one brave man -- with extreme motivation -- reign down like fire on the guilty. There are no Yankees, no carpetbaggers, nothing negative to spoil the action.
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Western With an Edge
ritchey-410 December 2008
I just went to Blockbuster to find a film and came up with this one. The western genre drew me in, so I decided I'd give it a shot. I'd agree with the other post that this is certainly not your regular western, but I tended to like the extra edge it provided. It's not for young children, or for folks who are bothered with scenes presenting violent conflicts, but it left me wondering what would I do it a similar situation. Overall, I thought Eric Braeden did a great job as did George Kennedy. But I thought the real show stealer was Billy Zane. His characterization was worth the price of admission. The female roles were fun to watch too. Carol Alt was great, Sean Young did a good job of presenting a pretty interesting character, but on the female side, I was most impressed with Jennifer O'Dell. I really believe she is up and coming.
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Great western, great movie
jglo011 December 2008
Excellent story about injustice and revenge. Settings, cinematography, wardrobe and characters are excellent. A must-see movie, whether your a western fan or not, because this definitely relates with modern day society. It is set in post civil war years in the south where the town is mostly confederate veterans. It is a lawless town with corrupt officials and hate and prejudice towards the Union army, negro slaves, and anyone who is a decent law-abiding citizen. There is a lot of violence in this movie, but it needs to be there to create the realism of what is happening. This movie reminds me of three Anthony Quinn movies: Revenge with Kevin Costner, Last Train to Gun Hill with Kirk Douglas and The Passage.
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This beats out Plan 9 From Outer Space as the worst film in history
CKohls6 January 2009
I'm embarrassed to admit that I even rented this film, though I could not bear to watch it. As the crappy after effects title revealed itself at about 5 frames per second over the first shot of the film I said to the girl next to me, "Uh oh. That's not a good sign." I am torn with whether or not to dignify this movie with the designation "film," as it appears to have been shot with a 1998 prosumer video camera.

Poor, poor Billy Zane. I feel bad for everyone in this film actually. The acting, from the few scenes that I watched, looked as though it might have been okay. It's hard to tell when the only mic used seemed to be the one that came mounted on the camera.

I really wonder what it cost to produce this movie. I was fooled because the cover art of the DVD looked pretty good. Why does Hollywood video even stock this thing? There should be a warning next to it. "This movie was shot with a video camera!"
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I'm sorry but... awful
missefc12 December 2008
This is a good example of a bad movie happening to decently good actors. I really feel sorry for most of them and they should probably fire their agents. I think the casting was all wrong. I mean you have some good actors just not in the right part. The only thing good about this movie was Billy Zane. Seriously. Not kidding. His character was good and he plays it well. Probably his best since Titanic. This could have been a decent movie, (and I use that phrase lightly)-- but as usual Hollywood has destroyed another "western" type movie with way too much violence and unnecessary sex. Its the same story line, just different characters, you can almost see whats coming before it happens. Just leaves you feeling.... confused and ill. Its no wonder it went strait to DVD.
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Nasty, misogynistic, and unrealistic - not worth watching.
BuddScott14 December 2008
It's very misleading to say, "...this really is a great western". It's anything but. If it is (to quote another reviewer) "the best (they) have seen in a while", then I'd recommend watching a few good ones. There are plenty, but this film doesn't qualify. Nor is it a "classic western revenge movie" (try "Ride Lonesome"). It's an excuse for a lot of quite predictable bloodshed, masquerading as some kind of historical comment, and for some nasty misogyny. The movie strives for political correctness, at least racially, but misses the boat completely where the female characters are concerned. They simply get raped and brutalized. It's unrealistic, too; everyone, including field hands, is far too clean, and there's no feeling of authenticity. The direction's adequate at best; there are far too many lingering shots of the star's face (he's too old for the role anyway).

As for being based on the Thibodeaux Massacre of 1887, as the final comments indicate, it bears little resemblance to that event - but then, it's not actually about injustice to black field hands, it's about the white guys, as usual. The black characters are just there to die on the "hero"'s behalf, as the women are there to be raped. As long as he can stagger to the final showdown, they've played their part in this miserable vehicle for an aging soap opera heartthrob.

Forget it. It might please fans of the soap in question, or kids, but that's all it's good for.
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The Movie That Did Great :-)
CorvetteNutC530 December 2008
K...normally I completely HATE westerns - I mean, I'd go to sleep within the first 5 minutes of them. We got this movie at Blockbuster because my husband loves them.

ANYWAY, this movie had me watching it from beginning to end. I got on amazon and ordered it today. I don't know why it was so good!!! I think it's because of the 2 sexy main actors :-)

But I thought it had a great plot to it and it will tug at your heart in some parts. I consider a HORRIBLE western movie "Dead Man's Bounty" and this was tons better than that - TONS. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes westerns AND to the ones like me who HATE them, because you'll love this.
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Good Movie That Reminds Us Again of a Terrible Time
lomerson28 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Earlier critics of this movie must fall into one of two groups, cowards or racists. While this movie was not state of the art as far as cinematography or technology it tells a story that cannot be retold enough. We are capable of terrible injustice to one another and we would all do well to remember George Santayana's oft quoted words, "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." There were many good performances including those of George Kennedy, Billy Zane, Armand Assante and especially Eric Braeden. I agree that the scene which depicted the murder of Paxton's son and the rape of his wife was brutal, as was the hanging scene, but they were sadly accurate of the brutality that we are capable of.
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Could have been a great movie!
cosmochickita18 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The only reason i couldn't give this movie a zero is because it chose to talk about a very interesting period of time. Usually, we see movies about the civil war, but never about AFTER the civil war. I am a history buff, and while i'm not expecting this movie to replace a documentary on the topic, i think that it brings up an interesting point about how a society deals with the aftermath of a huge event like the civil war.

The concept of the white landowners trying to go back to pre-civil war days, but black people suddenly understanding that they no longer need to take this kind of treatment was interesting. I liked seeing the origins of the KKK, and honestly, while i think what they stand for is despicable, i can understand how it came about. It came about at a period where white men were desperately trying to control a changing social environment they felt they were loosing control over. So we see the origins of the image we have of white guys riding horses with white covers over their faces and an outfit reminiscent of the crusades.

That was the good. Now the bad. Actually, if i had to say what was bad, this would be a never-ending post, so i'll mention the 2 main points.

I think that the poor actors were victims of terrible directing and writing. Every single character was either really bad and despicable with NO redeeming qualities, or was the strong silent type super hero who is chivalrous and considerate and passionate. The comic relief of Billy Zane was the only saving grace, it's like he knew this was an awful movie and figured he'd make the most of it by being utterly comical.

But as a woman, what offended me the most, was that every female character was there only to be raped or abused. It felt like i was watching a really bad porn movie (no not for the sexual content) where every single scene is a direct unrealistic fantasy of its director. The white men walked around like they owned every woman in town, but more than that, the woman are depicted as enjoying how they are treated (thus my comment about being a director's fantasy).

Having said that, it just occurred to me that this was produced by the star of the show, same guy who plays in the Y&R daytime soap opera i believe. and that explains the way this movie is filmed, with the glossy headshots of the star, damsels in distress and white man chauvinism.
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The worst kind of REVENGE movie.
Sailinship7 November 2008
I just watched this and I feel sick. This is one of those movies that tries to make itself appear to be a story of good and evil because the bad guys are so bad that you don't mind what evil the good guys do. It represents the worst that humanity can lower itself to and then brings the "hero" down to that level. It is a movie that fuels the fires of hatred and represents revenge as something that is pleasurable, and worse, desirable. It's my opinion that after watching this movie any normal person will be left with either a sick feeling in their stomach or a craving for violence, depending on various factors such as their mood before watching this, company they are in , their propensity to violence etc. . If what happened to the main character happened to me, I would want justice as well, but that is not what this movie is about. This movie is about killing people one by one in strange ways, like the Friday the 13th movies. I really didn't like it.
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I got two guns cocked now sir.
lastliberal-853-25370817 December 2013
Forget the fact that this film is supposedly based upon historical fact. Several people who know what happened in Louisiana at the time have set straight the fact that nothing in the movie resembles what actually happened.

And, no, it's not High Plains Drifter either, even if they try to make comparisons.

Let's just view this a a good revenge flick that happens to be a cross between a western and a plantation flick.

Now, I have to admit I really like George Kennedy, and would give a film with him in it a higher rating than it probably deserves. I also like Armand Assante, but not as much. I certainly couldn't wait for him to get some justice, along with Billy Duke (James Patrick Stuart).

I'm not familiar with Eric Braeden, the star of this movie. He is, after all, a soap star. He did OK, but I sure would have liked more passion.

Sean Young was certainly a wife that no one would desire. Certainly, no one but maybe Amos (Assante) will miss her.

Justice prevails.
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Pleasantly Surprised
heatherfife3 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I really liked this movie. I wasn't at all sure what to expect from a "revenge western." I have seen director Glen Pitre's other films and I am impressed with his desire to show humanity at it's best and worst in historical-based situations and this film is no different.

If I had a criticism about the film, it would be that I felt the slaves were really brazen and a bit too colloquial in their dialog with the white men. It just struck me that slaves who had spent their whole lives talking up to white men, would probably have taken longer to be comfortable talking back or arguing, even in their own defense, without fear of retaliation.

I thought the character development and the acting was really well-done. I especially enjoyed how cowardly and believable Billy Duke (James Patrick Stuart) was. I liked how unscrupulous Kate was (Sean Young) and how Elena(Jennifer O'Dell)embodied the plight of the widowed woman with no rights and no way to make a living outside of prostitution.

I disagree with the commentator who said this was just a "Friday the 13th killing spree that just made you want to go out and be violent (have you seen "No Country For Old Men?). I felt that it was a film showing many aspects of human nature...the need for some to stand up when they see wrong, and that sometimes those people become targets. It was clear that revenge was not sweet, not glorified, but something...given the situation, that "Reese Paxton" had to do.
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There should be a warning.....
Kongenavkonger27 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The movie was pretty good up till the point where they kill a child in a brutal way.

I wish that all movies where they harm or kill children, should come with a warning. With a warning on the movie cover, parents and people that find this very disturbing, could avoid watching it.

I hope there are other movie lovers out there, that feels the same about this as me.

A little more about the movie.

The actors do a good job, telling the story.

The movie is very realistic. Apart from all the brutal murders in this movie, it was pretty good.
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Expensive and Predictable Movie
KeZhang8 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This move covers many features that could have made a great one. It just went wrong however.

Meanwhile, it is one of the most predictable movies I have ever seen and everything is either black or white in this movie. Therefore, you can never see any comments containing spoiler for this movie.

There are some movies you will appreciate either its plot, setting, acting, lines, or music. I do not see any of those here and I do not understand any more of that history after I have spent over 1 hour on it.

Btw, the prison part is also lousy and looks like it was simply winged.
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Waste of a bunch of great names
BigJohnPilgrim19 March 2013
With some good acting, this movie might have been a B flick. As it is, it fails miserably. The plot isn't too bad - man's wife and son are savaged and killed by local tyrants while he is thrown in prison, he escapes and exacts revenge. This movie has some truly great names - Billy Zane, Carol Alt, Sean Young, George Kennedy, Armand Assante - but the acting is wooden. Worst of all, a soap opera actor, Eric Braeden, is the star, and he couldn't have been more off the mark.

I thought my TV volume was turned down every time Braeden spoke and I reached for the remote to turn it up, but it turned out he was mumbling every time he spoke. He not only mumbled, he barely whispered, and it was nasal to boot. It was so stupid as to be ridiculous, the most annoying and ridiculous voice I've ever heard. Who ever heard of a mumbling hero in a post-Civil War western? I couldn't even tell what he said most of the time.

And it was clearly a deliberately contrived act, the mumbling hero was supposed to be all macho like Clint Eastwood or something. Truly stupid. If it wasn't for the gratuitous nudity, the movie would have been worthless. And if that weren't bad enough, the black slave living in Braeden's home was a mumbler too! They just don't make them like they used to.
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This movie is Awful
laino-212 September 2009
This is the worst western I have ever seen. Braeden's acting in this movie is horrible. He didn't suit the character at all, in fact looked plain stupid trying to be the lethal assassin. The very basic idea wasn't too bad, but the substance story to fill it out was feeble, stupid and too far unbelievable. The editing and scenes were badly put together. The sex was only a grab for something to peak interest and failed at that. The whole thing was awful awful awful. It could possibly be the worst movie I have seen, much less in just the western genre. Unforgiven, Open Range, 3:10 to Yuma, Silverado, Young Guns, Lonesome Dove, Dances with Wolves, Tombstone, are all some of the very best westerns. Acting, editing, filming and story in these are excellent. Even some of Clint Eastwood's old spaghetti westerns as old and tinny as they are, are still a cut above the abysmal The Man Who Came Back.

I am not a Liberal, nor do I pay much attention to who was Confederate or not. I live in Canada. I do not specifically rent movies for the political correctness. I have watched movies that show the incredible horrible depths that humans are capable of and it does bother me... but I can put up with it sometimes and see the story surrounding it, even if I have to close my eyes sometimes.The brutality in this movie is not what makes it bad. Nor did I expect it to be a block buster. I Knew it was going to be bad, but it was my husbands choice. Just because it's not going to be a block buster, doesn't mean it can't be far better than this. Even if a movie were to be predictable and just another version of a tired script, it can still be far better than this movie was.
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