Thursday, 14 December 2017

High Plains Invaders

"High Plains Invaders" (2009, Richard Beattie, Castel Film Romania, Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Syfy) is a science fiction, made-for-TV film set in the Wild West.

Sam Danville (James Marsters) is a train robber due to be hanged for his crimes in a small Western town. While standing at the hangman's noose, watched by his jilted flame, Abigail (Cindy Sampson), the town is overrun by violent alien creatures and Sam ends up acting as a hero to try to save the town from the monsters.

My hands have to go up in the air here; I'm a huge fan of James Marsters and have been since I was about 16 or so. I'll watch anything that he's in. I listen to his music, I own all the Dresden Files audio books he's narrated and I once met him at a convention and, luckily for him, I was too nervous to say anything coherent at him.

But, I have to make myself clear, here. This is actually a pretty solid made-for-tv Syfy Channel monster/Western mash-up. And I'm not being biased. Yes, it's corny, the dialogue is formulaic and the special effects are low budget so the cast are limited to battling one beastie at a time. But it's well done, sets a good pace and enjoys some pretty nice alien design. The run time is only 87 minutes so the film does not overstay its welcome and, as well as our hero, there is a pretty solid collection of characters.

The film enjoys a "Saturday early evening" feel that is common to most Syfy productions and, although not particularly scary, manages to pull it off as a low-budget monster/cowboy movie without becoming dull.

Also, occasionally, it's nice to see James Marsters play a hero. Even if he's also a wanted criminal at the same time.

[Image: Syfy]