Wednesday, 9 November 2011

High Plains Invaders (DVD Review)

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Dir: Kristoffer Tabori
Cast: James Marsters, Cindy Sampson, Sebastian Knapp, Sanny Van Heteren, Dugald Bruce Lockhart, Sorin Cristea
Canada/Romania, 2009

Reason to see: SciFi/Western mash-ups are always a yes for me!

Finally we have a winner! I was just about to get super depressed over some of the DVDs of late that looked promising but fell short (Mothman & Assassins' Code I'm looking at you!), and who knew that this little science fiction/western mash up and Canadian-Romanian co-production would save the day. Before you get all "Isn't that Cowboys & Aliens?" on me, this one is actually from 2009 and hitting DVD now so give it a fair shot (and it's got a more Wild Wild West story but with a dramatic feel), and I'm sure glad I did because I was completely taken in by the film. High Plains Invaders has a traditional western setting with saloons, hangings, the allure of the mines and more men than women tradition, but shakes things up by having a lady bounty, aliens (yes, aliens!) and a sweet romance threaded in. Yep, I was certainly digging it.

One of the pulls to these types of films tends to be the actors and genre fans will be happy with the casting as in the lead we have James Marsters (Spike from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Angel') who does a great job in the inadvertent hero role, and Cindy Sampson (Lisa from 'Supernatural) as the scorned love interest. The players round out with enthusiastic-exploring miner (Sorin Cristea), the aforementioned lady bounty hunter (Sanny Van Heteren) who together serve as most of our band of misfits that need to fend off and fight the good fight against the strange space invaders.

One of the biggest surprizes about High Plains Invaders is that it's beautifully shot. I would seriously re-watch it again just because of that. I also was happy that the effects were pretty solid as well, which is something I can slide on but always appreciate when they have more care, attention and integration into the film. All together it comes out as a way above-average TV/straight to DVD movie that's very entertaining and even quite touching. A very happy surprize.

DVD Extras:
No DVD Extras

High Plains Invaders is available on DVD as of November 1, 2011. Check it out over at Amazon.ca & Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll happily watch it again
I recommend it to fans of western/scifi mash ups

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© Shannon Ridler, 2011

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