Death Valley: The Revenge of Blood Bill Release Date: 26 October 2004 (USA) Genre: Drama | Horror | Thriller Director: Byron Werner (Starstruck, Starkweather) Writers: John Yuan & Matt Yuan Staring: Chelsea Jean, Gregory Bastien, Denise Boutte Impressive in-house production from distributor The Asylum is a western slasher-zombie picture propped up above the norm thanks […]

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Death Valley: The Revenge of Blood Bill
Release Date: 26 October 2004 (USA)
Genre: Drama | Horror | Thriller
Director: Byron Werner (Starstruck, Starkweather)
Writers: John Yuan & Matt Yuan
Staring: Chelsea Jean, Gregory Bastien, Denise Boutte

Impressive in-house production from distributor The Asylum is a western slasher-zombie picture propped up above the norm thanks to the excellent directing by Byron Werner, who provided the visual stylings that I loved in movies like The Source and Scarecrow in the past as a cinematographer.

What’s admirable about Death Valley: The Revenge of Blood Bill is that it manages to be mucho entertaining despite bad acting and, of course, the fact that it sticks to a same old, same old routine that all of us slasher fans love. What we’ve got is a group of college kids off to a debate when they’re essentially taken hostage by a drug dealer who resembles Tracy Morgan in both look and mannerisms. On the hunt for his partner who stole his drugs, they make their way into what appears to be a ghost town, only to discover that there are herds of the undead waiting for them.

Their leader? Bloody Bill, aka William Anderson, a Civil War criminal whose presence is helped immensely by excellent make-up effects. The other zombies look pretty weak, but nonetheless, blood, gore, and mayhem occur as we’ve all come to expect. There are a few nice touches along the way, like the town’s population sign increasing as main characters are killed, and director Werner keeps the film visually interesting for its entire 82 minutes.

It’s not the paramount slasher flick, though. The acting, especially by the lead female, is horrendous. And this is coming from someone who rarely notices acting lapses, so you know it’s bad. In addition, while I loved the score that was filled with heavy house tracks, I could’ve done without the awesome “Bloody Bill” theme song being played twice. It loses impact when you hear it again, as it just seems like a cheap move to avoid buying up another song. And the ending, which is a homage to Friday the 13th Part 2? Meh.

Asylum releases a lot of fanboy stroking pics like Corpses Are Forever and Vampires vs. Zombies that fail to deliver, but Bloody Bill actually does.
Slasher fans should no doubt see this one.

DVD: There’s a behind the scenes feature and a lively commentary that includes the always fun Asylum-partner David Michael Latt.

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