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Author Topic: Red Hill (2010)  (Read 109 times)
Spikeopath
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« on: August 28, 2017, 07:43:54 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1530983/reference

The Panther of the Prairie.

Red Hill is written and directed by Patrick Hughes. It stars Ryan Kwanten, Steve Bisley, Tom E. Lewis and Claire van der Boom. Music is by Dmitri Golovko and cinematography by Tim Hudson.

Young city cop Shane Cooper (Kwanten) gets a transfer to Red Hill, a place he hopes is a quiet enough town for himself and his pregnant wife to successfully raise a family. But his arrival at work coincides with the escape from prison of aborigine Jimmy Conway (Lewis), who is heading into town with revenge firmly on his mind.

Jimmy Conway has escaped and he's bringing hell into town.

Utterly splendid Neo-Western out of Australia. For his feature film debut, Patrick Hughes has crafted a loving homage to the Western genre whilst also imbuing his film with its own suspenseful blood. Blending Ozploitaton thriller values with Western genre staples of the past, Red Hill unspools on narrative terms as a gritty and rugged revenge piece.

Red Hill the town is fronted by gruff sheriff Old Bill (Bisley), he leads a pack of scuzzy characters who consider it their town and god help anyone who stands in their way. Into this maelstrom comes fresh faced Shane Cooper (yes the name is Alan Ladd and High Noon purposely spliced together), a genuine and honest copper harnessing a tragedy as well as a moral code that's not for shaking.

After quickly finding out that Old Bill is lacking in human graces, Shane finds himself coming face to face with Conway, who is all the horsemen of the apocalypse rolled into one. Face badly scarred and adorned with weapons and duster, Conway seems to have supernatural resources to go with his expert tracking skills and knowledge of the surrounding outback terrain (so think High Plains Drifter & Chato's Land then).

How come, though, that as he callously goes about killing off members of the scuzzy crew, each time he meets up with Shane, who is in full tilt survival mode, Conway refuses to kill Shane? And just what is that symbolic Panther doing stalking the edges of the landscape? One and the same, perhaps? It will of course all be revealed, and in truth it's no great surprise, the beauty is in how Hughes has toyed with our perceptions about Conway, this in turn makes for a cracker-jack finale.

Performances are superbly in tune with the material, Cooper, Lewis and Bisley really manage to steer their respective characters away from being histrionic or cartoonish. Musically it features stabs of delightful grungy rock blending in with Golovko's mournfully ironic score. The widescreen photography is most interesting, in that there's often smart shifting between a washed out palette to emphasise the remoteness of the setting, to opened up capturing of the beautiful vistas (filmed on location in Omeo, Victoria). The Blu-ray is a must for anyone interested in the film.

The sparse location is matched by sparse dialogue, there is no need for extraneous conversations or pointless filler, Hughes knows what he is doing. It's made with love and respect to one of the finest of film genres, and hooray to that! 8/10

Region B Blu-ray.

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