Review of: Blood & Dust 

reviewed by jehall on 12/23/2007
Credited Review
jehall
Cowboys vs. Vampires! Credited Review
The concept of vampires in a western almost makes me drool with anticipation. I love the two genres and for them to be combined is something I donít think Iíve ever seen, and I was right along with you for most of the way. The problem is once we get to the mythology part where Lauren and Wil learn Cayatteís backstory Ė which goes on far too long Ė the story kind of comes to a halt. I love the set up of the characters meeting and the first encounter in the saloon, but that fun vanishes later on; this was supposed to be a vampire western, yet it seems half of the story takes place in a mine. Why not use the Western setting more. I liked how you included Apacheís but I think you need to go farther than that. Everyoneís in the mine for more than 30 pages. I think this story would work best as focussing on the cowboy against the vampire. You can include some mythology I guess, but try not to have it take center stage as it does in the second half.

Iíll assume you knew it was written like a shooting script so I wonít fault you there, but I think you put a character in caps lock too many times in action slugs. Ie:
LAUREN
pushes her way through the throng and up to the wounded man.

I liked the characters, and rooted for Wil. I didnít buy the love story though. The narration of Lauren is written like she experience a great love, and I didnít see that. She lusted after Wil after just meeting him. It seems like youíre trying to make this epic when I think that it would work best as some campy fun. The dialogue was good for the most part, although, I felt Kellyís tone switched a lot. Sometimes he was saying lines that were fitting with the epic theme, and at other times he seemed like he was saying lines that would work in the campy fun film. Every other character was fine for me, I just couldnít pinpoint Kellyís personality given the switching tone in dialogue.

Like I said, the first half is great; the first confrontation comes right at the perfect point where we know enough about the characters to care. However, I do feel the mine showdown is a bit messy with too much happening, and no explanation for it (How does Lauren appear in the cell without no one seeing?).

The first half is great, and is campy fun. I would recommend trying to think of another set piece, and reduce the time in the mine. Reduce the mythology focus and really make this a cowboy vs. vampire story that the first half promised. Best of luck.

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