Cast:Corbin Bernsen, Adrian Pasdar, Ray Wise, Cynda Williams, Roger Wilson, Jefferson Mays, Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Dean Cameron, David Arquette, Alexis Arquette, Mark Salzman, Jon Beatty, Matt LeBlanc
This is a forgotten film with a star-studded cast of familiar faces that you wouldn't normally see in a horror flick. You'd expect that with such a cast that the movie would be fairly good, but that's not necessarily the case here and we'd also have to take in account that some of the actors weren't as popular then as they are now. Although it drags on in parts the film does manage to be an interesting and original watch, especially with the backdrop of the Civil War era. Sadly due to its somewhat limited budget and constant post-production changes, director Sebastian Niemann fails to deliver the chills and scares that it was originally promised. The movie has undergone a number of title changes: originally titled "Grey Night" the film ended up with the title "Grey Knight" when it went to film festivals.
This version of the film is supposedly the "director's cut" featuring a different intro, score, and extended scenes. There is also a producer's cut known as "The Killing Box", and apparently this version is also known as "Ghost Brigade" on video; confusing, I know. Regardless of what changes they decided to do to try and make this into a good movie, nothing could have saved it from what it was -- a slow-paced, and low-budgeted period horror film. I use the term "horror" lightly as there is none in this movie, aside from the undead soldiers, but even then they just looked like regular people with a lot of make-up on their face.
The film follows a Union officer a Confederate POW as they team up to investigate the mysterious murders of a number of soldiers around certain areas of the battlefield. What they discover is the likes of a voodoo spell that went wrong, causing deceased soldiers to return to life and fight a war of their own. Had this been a straight-up horror flick we'd see a bunch of zombie soldiers chomping on the living, but sadly, this is not that kind of film. Instead these once-dead soldiers are merely regular soldiers, only stiffer and very pale. If it wasn't for the fact that they can't die, no matter how many times you shoot them, you'd think that they just needed a little sun. In fact, they even use guns and weapons as if they were still living.
The movie pretty much plays out like a Civil War drama with some horror thrown here and there, and it naturally doesn't go fully into horror until towards the end. Despite the movie being pretty slow and there's really nothing scary about it, I have to give credit that it has a nice ensemble of veteran actors that truly make the movie. Had it not been for them it wouldn't be half as "good" as it is now.
A decent Civial War horror flick, which is something you don't see very often. Sadly, it's very slow-paced and doesn't have much in terms of scares. Not recommended.
|Posted on July 6, 2009 - 6:10am | FrighT MasteR|