Tag Archives: Wild West

Barely Scratching the Surface on the “Skinwalker”

18 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

October Coast
Now Available on VOD & DVD

It’s rare to get a movie about the Weird West these days. When it concerns Skinwalkers, also the title, I couldn’t help but want to look at Robert Conway’s film. His take in what the Indian legends of these shapeshifters are about is easier to understand, but it has nothing to do with recent investigations of a certain highly secure ranch. I secretly wanted his work to connect to the latest folklore, but alas no signs of aliens from Mars are spotted here.

Instead, we have a very traditional horror tale set in the yesteryears of American colonization. Two cowboys disturb a grave and the chaos that erupts is true to form. The items they stole are haunted, and are a beacon for the spirit to follow. This director also tosses in a few moments in how locals treat the indigenous tribes. And when the dead want justice, there’s certainly hell to pay. If only a voice for the tribal children lost in the residential schools in Canada also existed….

The film begins by showing two cowboys (Nathaniel Burns and Conway) not knowing any better about the stuff they found. Instead of a creature completely ethereal trying to be reasonable with these grave-robbers, it’s simply out for blood. Real-life interpretations of the Skinwalker say it can take on the shape of anyone. So why couldn’t it become someone these robbers know and try to be reasonable? Ghosts are rarely that in entertainment, but when considering the human mind can’t comprehend the paranormal, their flight instead of fight response is normal.

I like the setup and there’s an air of trying to be authentic, but there are times the dialogue doesn’t always measure up. In what is basically a zombie film, anything that’s authentically characteristic about the folklore of the Skinwalkers is not there. Maybe this filmmaker should’ve spent more time reading Louis L’amour than going for a Wild Wild West (the TV series) meets Evil Dead.

3 Stars out of 5

PIXAR’s Onward and Upwards Ho!

16 Mar

Image result for onward posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Spoiler Alert

Fans of TSR’s Dungeons and Dragons will certainly get a kick out of Disney*PIXAR’S Onward. Not only are all the references straight out of the monster manual, I acknowledge the acquisition from Wizards of the Coast–but they are not the true creators of this role playing game system. After saving this property from TSR’s failing infrastructure, they simply fixed it up. That being said, the world building and revolution that creators Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin crafted up is one I’d love to revisit!

Once upon a time, in a world far, far away was a world of magic. Sadly, it disappeared in favour of technological progress. Apparently it took place faster than anyone can realize–perhaps the only failing of this film–and pretty soon fairies, dwarves, elves, centaurs and many more had to embrace change. If they don’t stay progressive, any species I have not mentioned will be left behind. Onward is hardly subtle in this theme of forgetting the fast, and it establishes how this realm has become much like human society, dependent on technology to get by.

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When Boot Hill Wouldn’t Do … Eminence Hill VOD Review

4 Nov

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Uncork’d Entertainment

VOD & DVD Release Date:
November 5, 2019

Robert Conway’s skill in the horror genre is served well in Eminence Hill. This film title sounds like it should be a video game but instead, it’s a feature film that got limited theatrical screenings before coming out on VOD (Google Play and iTunes) and DVD tomorrow. Unlike Silent Hill, the horror elements are very light. It’s subdued enough to a degree where Rod Serling would approve–if made into a Twilight Zone episode. When considering a format, a lot would have to be cut to fit into the time slot and that would help with this film’s pacing.

When Royce’s (Clint James) gang finds themselves in a self-serving community trying to recapture Ruth (Anna Harr), a girl they kidnapped, life isn’t going to be easy for the outlaws in a tale set in the wild west. She finds herself at a hidden community, and these homesteaders seem innocent enough. Their ‘pious’ life hides something else.

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Ruby Roundup! An Organic Card Game on Kickstarter!

12 Aug

null4.pngBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Dan Spiller is a name in the Downtown Victoria gaming and nerd scene. He has high hopes Ruby Roundup! a game he made will set a new standard for what card games can offer to gamers and it is on Kickstarter for those who want to help bring it to a larger market. He’s the creative mind behind the newly minted, Always Gold Games. It’s one part board game and two parts random draw. It’s been in development for a few years, and the goal is to accumulate treasure to win. It’s kind of like the days of hunting for gold; stake your claim and dig up as much mineral as you can to get a lot of money. This product had been getting test demos at local events, and according to this game designer, it is not like other card games currently in the market.

His experience in development stems from not only his passion for this subculture but also in being a lifelong enthusiast. He is one of the principal operators of Yellowjacket Games and Comics here in this city. This store is one of five hubs in the capital region to host Magic the Gathering events. When the staff is just as enthusiastic playing these games as they are in making them, it’s a good sign anything they like to create will have that passion behind it too!

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Heading West with Red Dead Redemption

22 Feb

MarstonBy Shawn Trommeshauser
(Dreaming in Digital)

I don’t always get into shows and games while they’re current. A perfect example is how I’m finally watching HBO’s Westworld. I remember how the original trailer really caught my interest, but in the never-ending flood of media the modern world provides, I didn’t actually start watching until a few weeks ago. It’s FANTASTIC. No spoilers here. Just go see it if you have any interest in westerns and the nature of reality.

I would have been perfectly happy with how it ended, but there is a second season in the works, due to arrive April 22nd. In the meantime, however, it did leave me in the mood for more entertainment in a western setting. Then I remembered a game that, like Westworld, was extremely popular and while I enjoyed it for a few hours when it was new, never seriously sat down and gave it the attention it deserved.

Red Dead Redemption (available for purchase on Amazon) was created as a spiritual sequel to Red Dead Revolver (also on Amazon), a straightforward action game for the PlayStation 2, and was released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010. It was developed by the legendary Rockstar Games who created many other world-famous titles over the years from the addictive Lemmings to the industry changing Grand Theft Auto series. Not directly tied to its predecessor other than its name, Redemption took much more inspiration from the scale and open world of the Grand Theft Auto games and shares many of the same conventions.

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