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A Cold Day in Hell

1.8 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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(Jun 14, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Sierra Nevada Mountains, 1887: William Drayton, once a crack sharpshooter in the Civil War, has lost his wife and home. He has ascended to the high country, wanting never to be heard from again. But someone is trying to find him -- a long-lost daughter, Elizabeth, whom Drayton thought had died long before. Meanwhile, banker-turned-robber baron Horace Scarsdale has mustered an army of cutthroats and guns for hire to help him build his railroad empire. When Drayton returns to “civilization” with his daughter and friends, he decided to make a stand against Scarsdale, his former employer. Against impossible odds, he faces down the vicious band of raiders that Scarsdale calls “The Company Men.”

Special Features

• Director's Commentary
• Stills Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Karyn Belenke, Ronald Bumgardner, Kathryn Campbell, Kimberly Campbell, Debra Carlsen
  • Directors: Christopher Forbes
  • Writers: Jim Hilton, Christopher Forbes
  • Producers: Christopher Forbes, Barry Barnholtz, Diane Healey, Richard Kelly
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: June 14, 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004UA8D14
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,643 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Cold Day in Hell" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is really bad. The acting is so hokey and unconvincing. Madsen does practically nothing and his appearance is almost an after thought. The sound is terrible. Gunshots sound distant as if recorded on a cheap video camera. The special effects, as in dynamite explosions, are so hokey it makes me wonder if they used cartoon animators. This film smells like low,low budget. I can watch almost any crappy film but this was almost too much for me. Its one of the few dvd's that went straight from the dvd player to the trash!
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Format: DVD
The acting and dialouge are so bad, the movie is funny. I was in LOL mode during the first hanging scene as a woman pleads for the life of the boy being hung. "Please, please, he is so young. Take me instead!"

Michael Madsen plays a US marshal on the take. The soundtrack is confusing at times as I expect zombies to appear at any moment. The camera gives a lot of facial close-ups while people are talking, although not always on the person doing the talking.

Scarsdale (Dave Long) has hired thugs to seize land and a town because the RR is coming through. As people get killed, Elizabeth Drayton (newcomer Heather Clark), having been raised by Indians too poor to send her to acting school, looks for her long lost daddy, sharpshooter William Drayton. It isn't hard to figure out how these two subplots come together.

William Drayton (Jim Hilton),who learned acting by watching Sam Elliot movies, has more dramatic pauses than a William Shatner film festival. The film was written, directed, produced, edited, and music written by Christopher Forbes, best known for being the illegitimate son of Ed Wood (just kidding, although if you told me it was true, I would believe it.)

one star sober, four stars with the funny stuff.
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Format: DVD
Review title says it all.

I rated this 1 star out of 5 because they don't give you the option to choose no stars. Don't waste your money on this film. A pre-school class could have made something more entertaining than this. I feel robbed by the people who put this movie out there. If I could go back in time and had the choice between paying for this movie or throwing $100 down a toilet I would've chose the latter just because I wouldn't want to give the film producers 1 cent of my money for this rubbish.
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Format: DVD
This "movie" is so bad that it is actually funny to watch. Terrible dialogue and wooden characterizations abound in this (Sorry, I can't force myself to insult other movies by calling this turkey a movie!) artless waste of time and film. Even the scenery is silly. Picture this: an 1887 western railroad town, with a nice smooth gravel main street! Not a horse hoof print or wagon track to be seen anywhere! The most entertaining thing about this movie was simply watching how unbelievable it was.
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Format: DVD
This movie defines AWFUL. In fact awful is a polite term for this rotten film.

Michael Madsen must have needed money REAL bad to be in this turkey. Despite being listed as the "star" of the film, his character has no real involvement in the film.

The script is atrocious. The "acting" is merely horrible in comparison.

The special effects are neither special nor effective.

I've been better cinematography in an amateur YouTube video. You also have an 1887 library with paperback books and a town that looks way too modern with streets that aren't mud but instead have crushed rock.

Finally the container for this DVD shows an entirely different film by its pictures and descriptions than what you wind up seeing.

Some reviewer named Stuart Alson says this is the best movie Madsen has done since "Reservoir Dogs". My response? Mr. Alson needs to be given a drug test - several in fact. I want to know what he was drinking, snorting, and/or smoking to make that comment.

Even though I got burned by buying this thing, I'm glad I got it second-hand. Some other fool made Lionsgate a few bucks, not me. I concur with other reviewers who say avoid this film at all costs. Wish I had seen those reviews before entering my local Hastings Entertainment outlet. Furthermore, I would think twice before buying ANYTHING from Lionsgate based on the trailers available on this DVD.

This film is without question THE WORST WESTERN EVER MADE. If you have someone you don't really like, give them this turkey of a film as a gift. Their misery will give you the best joy from this indescribably lousy film.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Some nice shots of a steam locomotive but the best part comes a the 1 hr 36 min part when the movie is over.
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Format: Amazon Video
Save your money and time as this is so poor that I had to rate it. A high school play with anyone who would take a part would be better. Casting horrible and acting amateurish at best. Michael Madsen should have retired rather than be included in this movie.
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Format: Amazon Video
I watched this movie last night on Netflix, and it was horrible!

Every aspect of what makes a film enjoyable is rendered terrible in this effort. Right off the mark the cinematography provides several examples of multiple faces in the same frame where all but one face is so out of focus you cannot even see who they are, or other examples where dialog is uttered, but the character speaking has the bottom half of his face below the eyes chopped off. This isn't a case of Sergio Leone brilliance where an ultra close up focuses on a shifting eye, or a bead of sweat, to highlight building drama. No, it is simply sloppy camera work, as none of these photography gimmicks are set to match any particularly dramatic portion of the movie. Worse are the other moments where a wide angle scene reveals a shaky camera! It is the first time in my life I watched a movie where the camera shakes because the producers cannot use a tripod!

This leads to the plot. Is there one? Yes, there is a plot, but best of luck learning anything of merit from it. Yes, the bad guy (Scarsdale) has some association with a railroad. About all we hear to develop this connection is a disjointed scene where a brief mention is made that the train is really fast, able to cross the continent in a week, which of course means it's the same speed as any other train. There is a girl who somehow gets separated from her parents and her mother actually tells her husband to stop looking for her, but the father instead cannot stop looking so he does so by lying about looking for lost cows! Yes, that really was supposedly an important plot line in this work, as it setup the tortured soul of the hero, William Drayton, a man presumed to be a "crack shot" as a "Confederate sharpshooter.
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