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 don’t think I’ve 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 Cayatte’s backstory – which goes on far too long – 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 Apache’s but I think you need to go farther than that. Everyone’s 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.

I’ll assume you knew it was written like a shooting script so I won’t 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 didn’t buy the love story though. The narration of Lauren is written like she experience a great love, and I didn’t see that. She lusted after Wil after just meeting him. It seems like you’re 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 Kelly’s 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 couldn’t pinpoint Kelly’s 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.

Other Reviews by jehall 53

  • A review of Pieces
    by jehall on 12/23/2007
    This was a great concept for a short and the music was top-notch for building the tension, although, the sounds seemed to be too loud in places. Despite all this, I feel like there should've been more. The whole doesn't equal the sum of the parts in this case as the cinematography is great. I think you have a creepy idea, but can take it a lot further.
  • A review of Slave
    by jehall on 12/11/2007
    From the first page to the last, you held my attention, which is not an easy thing to do. While the idea of an Amazonian society certainly isn't original, the context to which you've placed it is. Setting this story long ago during the times when women didn't have many rights reminds the reader that this extreme society might not be that different than the 'normal' society... read
  • by jehall on 11/26/2007
    This was definitely a very creative and original script showing that the writer has a knack for writing good dialogue, but somehow this is a case of the whole not being the sum of it's parts. There were a lot of things I liked about this script, but somehow reading it, I always felt a bit out of the story and I'll try to do my best to put my finger on it. The concept that... read
+ more reviews