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Come Hell or High Water

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Cast: Mark Redfield, Jennifer Rouse, Michael Hagan, Kelly Potchak

Director: Wayne Shipley


Year: 2008


Hadley, Missouri 1887. Justin Gatewood has recently been released from prison for attempting to kill an old adversary, William Curry. Twenty-five years earlier, Gatewood and his brother were Confederate prisoners-of-war, and the death of Gatewood's brother under the watch of (then) Union Officer Curry has consumed Gatewood and fueled his desire for revenge. Free from jail, Gatewood discovers that Hadley and his world is changed, and that a "new order" of law and prosperity is now the battle cry of the people. His beautiful daughter, Helen has grown his business into a thriving concern and she makes her father promise that he'll forget his past vendetta. Curry has a successful business and willful daughter of his own, and his main concern is for her safety, once it becomes known that Gatewood still wants him dead. As Justin Gatewood methodically hatches his plan for Curry's utter destruction, the entire town is caught in the crossfire, but most tragically, so are the daughters of both men.

Do you ever wish someone would make a good old fashion western again? While if so your wait it forever, first time Writer/Director, Wayne Shipley has taken a cast of unknowns and on little resources he has created a western that will take you back to when going to the movies was fun. Come Hell or High Water has all the elements a good western should have,you have the revenge,two men with a past looking to get even, if there is such a thing. You also have the gunfights and there is also that little bit of romance to even out all that macho stuff out. This being a Independent film shot on video and having a very small budget I wasn't expected a lot from it besides just some shooting to move to next scene of pretty much the same shooting but as this film unfolded I could not of been more wrong. The story of revenge unfolds as if these two men are playing a game of chess, each trying to figure out the others next move and then countering with a move of their own. The story is simple in terms of it being a one of revenge but the way it is written and carried out makes it both complex and clever and it keeps you glued to your seat wondering what will happen next. The cast are excellent and make their characters very believable. Writer/Director, Wayne Shipley even gets in on the act and takes one for the team if you know what I mean. This is a great example of the kind of film-making that can be done when it becomes a labor of love for the cast and crew. Everything from the story to the cast,settings and the awesome cinematography are all an example of hard work and a vision to make something that ends up being much bigger and better than it should of been. This is a classic western but it is so much more as well, the psychological thriller placed into the old west is nothing short of brilliant. If you are a fan of the genre then I have to say that seeing this film is a must. The film had changes made to it for its video release both in name(One-Eyed Horse being the original) and its run time as well was cut but the editing here was fantastic and if you didn't know there was a longer version used for its theatrical release you would never be able to tell by watching this. Some day I hope to be able to take a look at the original version and if I do I will edit this review to reflect on the differences, But until then I highly recommend picking this DVD up today and enjoy a film that just might have a small place among some of those classic westerns. Released by North American Motion Pictures. **** Out Of *****