The Place For The Latest Movie Reviews

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cast: Jon Gries (Independent Spirit Nomination as Best Supporting Actor for Napoleon Dynamite), Edward Herrmann (EMMY Winner), Margot Kidder (The original Lois Lane in the Superman films), Barry Corbin (3 time EMMY nominee), Rance Howard (EMMY nominee)

Director: Thomas Russell

Genre: Western/Drama

Year: 2012

Rating: PG

Henry Heath, a grieving lawman whose daughter has recently died, is assigned custody of the ghoulish Jean Baptiste, a notorious robber of 300 graves. Against the perilous Utah desert terrain, the contempt of an entire community, and his own prejudice, Heath must somehow keep a marked man alive.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This could possibly be the most unique western you have ever seen. The movie tells the true story of grave digger Jean Baptiste, who worked at the Salt Lake City cemetery in 1862. Salt Lake City police Officer Henry Heath, whose daughter was buried in the cemetery, discovered that Baptiste had robbed several hundred graves. Many of the burial garments were discovered in the small home the grave digger shared with his wife. Officials tattooed words on Baptiste’s forehead to mark him as a grave robber. The tattoo read "For robbing the dead," Baptiste was banished first to Antelope Island because he couldn't swim, but the water there was too shallow and it made his escape easy so he was later moved to Fremont Island.

Henry Heath, a lawman who recently lost his daughter is assigned to make sure Baptiste stays put but as time goes on and as Heath begins to bring the prisoner food and gets to know him a little his feelings towards the man begins to change. Of course the town's people have hatred beyond repair for Baptiste and can you blame them? No one would want their loved ones dug up and their personal belongings stolen.

To go on about the plot would only ruin the experience but I can tell you the film is a sober look at forgiveness for those you know do not deserve it. Like I said before, this is certainly different as far as westerns go but Writer/Director, Thomas Russell does a terrific job with the characters, the story and the look of the film. You swear you are back in 1862 and that's a big accomplishment considering this had to be done on a small budget. There's a few action scenes in the film but mostly it's a character-driven drama about moving on from your past and forgiving someone regardless of their crimes.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The characters are a big reason the film succeeds and the cast is incredible. John Freeman who reminded me a lot of Patrick Bergin is terrific as Heath and David Stevens who played Baptiste is also amazing, together they have terrific chemistry together. The film also has a wonderful supporting cast which includes, Margot Kidder, Barry Corbin, Edward Hermann, Rance Howard and Larry Thomas. Each and everyone in the film has an important role and they all really help in making this a piece of cinema that shines.

"Redemption: For Robbing the Dead" is slow moving at first but once the characters are all introduced and the film's plot revealed it becomes a film that lovers of cinema dream of. I can't say that this is going to be for everyone but I can tell you it's a thinking man's western that engages and captivates with it's terrific cast, amazing story-line and beautiful cinematography. They don't make many movies like this one anymore so I highly recommend checking it out when it comes to DVD on July 31st.

You can order the DVD HERE.

"Redemption: For Robbing the Dead" offers a little piece of history many are sure to find interesting and new plus it's without a lot of violence and contains no nudity so teens can enjoy the story as well. A film that leaves a lasting impression, don't miss this gem.

Released by Monterey Media

***** Out Of *****