Two desperadoes stumble upon an unexpected surprise that they would soon learn comes with deadly strings attached.
Written By: Brenda Whitehead,
Directed By: Jason Smolesky
Right off the bat I was looking forward to watching "No Rest For The Wicked" as I am a huge fan of the dying western genre. Making it more important for me to see, was the fact it was an indie film. An Indie western! I remember, when I was a younger lad, trying to explain that just because a film is a western doesn't mean it can't be artistic. I've always said that because a movie is a western, it can be more artistic! As good as "No Rest For The Wicked" actually is, for me, it could have been so much more. Still though... an indie western! Writers Brenda Whitehead and Alex Whitmer manage to take the cliche genre and add a modern spin to it. Ghosts. What begins as a the journey of two despicable desperadoes, shooting their way through the open landscapes, ends up being a story of revenge served up in a less than western style. Or maybe it's more a western style, depending on how you view the climax. Either way, if you can let the movie be just a movie, and not nit-pick it into oblivion, director Jason Smolesky directs a fun ride through a classic wild western setting.
The lensing of a western can be a fun thing. Lots of close ups and a great chance to show off some unusual shots. Western's and B-Horror have a lot in common when composing shots. "No Rest For The Wicked" takes full advantage of the genre, utilizing some nice photography happening within the small time frame that is this film. The editing is genre appropriate, as are the sounds and music in the movie. The post production work adds the western flare and later in the short, provides the atmosphere switch as "No Rest For The Wicked" slightly changes gears. The only thing I noticed, that actually kept bothering me, was that everything looked so new and shiny. Costuming, set design and wardrobe is a big thing in a western; some care was obviously taken here to obtain the pieces and costumes. So why was the same care not taken to make them look used? It looked like every character in the film went out the week before and got their outfits! This really isn't a big deal, just something I kept noticing over and over. In this genre... a little dust can go a long way.
From my point of view, "No Rest For The Wicked" may not be the perfect western, but it's still a damn good one. I could yammer on about this-and-that but at the end of the day I really enjoyed it. It seems to me, that the cast and crew set out not to make a perfect short film, rather an entertaining one. In that respect, "No Rest For The Wicked" has my vote and I was glad to have gotten the chance to write about it.
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