one night after the world had enjoyed the astronomical spectacle of a real
Blood Moon, Cinema Retro were invited to attend the cast and crew screening of
a new British-made western about the mythical Skinwalkers, native Americans
with the power to shape-shift during this rare lunar activity. A stagecoach
full of passengers, a mysterious gunslinger and two outlaw brothers find
themselves trapped in a ghost town and under attack from an eight feet tall
werewolf. The screening, held at the glorious Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel,
was packed out and everyone was having a great time. It was, of course, the
first time this writer has seen an entire audience stay in their seats until
the end of the credits.
Blood Moon is set in Colorado, but was
actually shot in the "real" western town of Laredo, built by western
enthusiasts in a field in Kent, England, and has the muddy, lived-in look of
spaghetti-westerns like Django (1966). This is the director Jeremy
Wooding's third feature film, and he has years of experience in television
comedy and drama. The screenplay was written by Alan Wightman, who we've been told is a regular Cinema Retro reader, which explains his affection for classic film genres. His affection for Hammer horror and
westerns is very clear, with the lead character Calhoun, played brilliantly by
Shaun Dooley, coming across as a hybrid of Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name
and Horst Janson's Captain Kronos.
film has now been released on DVD and digital download by Studio Canal, and is
available in the United States and the UK with loads of extra features. Blood
Moon is a loud and joyous celebration of the western genre, and one can
only hope that we get to see the further adventures of Calhoun as he heads west
in search of demons, vampires and other beasts to vanquish.