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Ghost Town (1988)

  Tags: 80's, cheesy, cowboys, ghost town, Richard Governor, undead, western

Your rating: None Average: 8.2 (5 votes)
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Richard Governor
85 minutes
Franc Luz, Catherine Hickland, Jimmie F. Skaggs, Penelope Windust, Bruce Glover, Zitto Kazann, Blake Conway, Laura Schaefer, Michael Alldredge, Ken Kolb, Will Hannah, Henry Max Kendrick, James Oscar Lee, Charles Robert Harden, Edward Gabel

Here's a movie that I remember passing up numerous times while renting flicks growing up. I'm not quite sure why I never rented it. So, now that I've seen it, I can say that I probably wouldn't have appreciated it as much growing up as I do now. The horror and western genres haven't been combined much over the years since it's hard to actually make a decent story come out of the two, but occasionally there's a film that gets it right. Ghost Town is more of a western than anything, since these undead gunslingers use their guns and aren't trying to take a bite out of you. Nope, aside from the fact that they're all dead, this is pretty much a western.

The story basically follows a local police officer, who dreams of becoming a gunslinger, and practices his aim on various items at a junkyard. One day he receives a call about a car being left on the side of the road that turns out to be owned by a woman who recently fled her wedding ceremony. After nearly getting shot up by a mysterious man on horseback, the officer's car is totaled and is forced to walk, where he makes his way to an abandoned town. There, he discovers the badge of the town's deceased sheriff. As he gets a hold of the badge, the sheriff's skeletal remains grabs hold of the man and says that he's the only one to rid the town of evil. The officer (now town sheriff) must rescue the missing girl, who's being held captive by the lead gunmen.

Apparently before the town's sheriff died, he cursed it, saying that as long as the leader of the gunslinging crew was still around that the town and its people would never rest. This of course, is a bit confusing, because all the townspeople look normal and as they did when the sheriff was living, so I'm not quite sure if that meant that only their spirits are trapped in some sort of limbo stage or what, but it doesn't look as though they died at all. I'm probably looking too into it, but I'd consider that a plot-hole. Anyway, the movie was pretty slow-paced for the first half, as the sheriff is mostly just walking the desert and exploring the town for a while, but still kept my interest.

Eventually the place becomes populated by the dead townspeople, who mostly look pretty normal, with the exception of a few. The flick doesn't sport much gore, but it has some decent blood here and there. Since it's a western and all the deaths are caused by guns, you can't expect all that much gore anyway, especially with the budget they were using. I liked the film for the fact that they managed to combine two unusual genres together and actually delivered a decent story. Sure there's not much "horror," but the acting wasn't bad, the characters were interesting, and I personally like westerns anyway.

More of a western than horror flick, this movie delivered the standard damsel in distress premise with some undead gunslingers thrown into the mix. The story was interesting and creative, and the acting and production values were above average for its time. If you're looking for a decent horror-western then give this a check.

Posted on October 19, 2009 - 8:40pm | FrighT MasteR