I'm sure I've said this numerous times, but I'll say it again - one of the great things about having a site like this is that people send you all sorts of cool stuff. Granted, nobody's sent me an old Colt revolver yet, but it's still a nice perk. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by one of the producers of the short film, The Price, announcing its premier at the Alemeria Film Festival earlier this month, and if I'd be interested in sharing my thoughts on the film. Unfortunately, I wasn't going to Almeria, but they sent me a review copy.
The Price isn't a "western" in the sense that we know it - it takes place in what appears to be a futuristic version of New York City, after the social order has broken down. We witness a robbery, where a van is stolen, and we learn that it was stolen by a guy named Ceferino (El Mariachi's, Carlos Gallardo) and his buddy, Arrio (Solomon Trimble). Needless to say, a snitchy reporter (Michael May, also a producer) reports this info to the badass bounty hunter, Drake Adder, played by James St. Vincent, who also wrote and co-directed the film. With a price on his head Ceferino wants to go to sunny Florida and Arrio wants to stay, so they have a falling out, which triggers the events that lead to the dramatic conclusion.
The press release describes the film as a "character-driven piece that draws inspiration from John Carpenter and the Three Sergios." That's a pretty appropriate description. In no way does it really feel blatantly derivative; there are many nods the spags, such as in some of the cinematography and editing, yet it is definitely a unique, modern production. The acting is muh beter than that in most spaghettis, and even in its short twenty minutes, there's a lot more character development than we normally see in run-of the-mill spaghettis.
This film is very much a labor of love, and it shows. Almost all of the major players in the film also have a producing/directing or writing role, and using what appears to be the warehouse district of a city, they give it a gritty realism without having a monumental budget.
I have only one complaint about the film - it was so enjoyable, it left me wanting more, much more. Thankfully, as of this writing, St. Vincent is finalizing the script for a feature length version of The Price. If what we've seen here is a foreshadowing of things to come, fans of the genre will have something good to look forward to. It's a winner.
You can find out more about the film at its official site, which you can get to here.
Here's the official trailer: