dvd reviews

February 3rd, 2011 |
By Jared Curtis


‘Red Hill’

Directed by Patrick Hughes

Rated R, 95 minutes

Australian filmmakers have the advantage of a rugged homeland that adds so much character to their stories. “Red Hill” continues the tradition with its lone gunman scenario that feels like a western due to the desolate small town the film is named after. Heading the advice of his pregnant wife’s doctor, police officer Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) decides to leave the big city and move to the small town of Red Hill. It seems like the perfect beat, but soon everything changes. Convicted murderer Jimmy Conway (Tommy Lewis) has escaped prison and is headed back to his hometown of Red Hill to finish the murderous spree he started. Cooper, along with a handful of men from town, must protect their borders and stop Conway before it’s too late. “Red Hill” mixes genres with ease and delivers plenty of violence, creating a modern day western like no other. CV


‘The Great Silence’

Directed by Sergio Corbucci

1968, Rated R, 105 minutes

The spaghetti western film genre has never been afraid to go where American westerns fear to tread — namely the land of extreme violence with plenty of blood and guts. In “The Great Silence,” Italian director Sergio Corbucci (“DJANGO,” “Navajo Joe”) delivers a movie filled with brutal gunfights, iconic villains (Klaus Kinski is a true badass) and one of the bleakest endings ever seen. The film takes place during the Utah blizzard of 1899 and follows a silent stranger (Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is hired by a widow to kill the bounty hunters who shot her husband. But Kinski and his crew hunt the silent gunman, luring him to a desolated cabin and a massive gunfight follows. Sure, spaghetti westerns offer b-movie quality stories (thanks to the outlandish ideals shared by Italian directors), but if you want to experience the best a genre has to offer, discover “The Great Silence.” CV