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on October 16, 2010
Every so often, a director takes a genre and rips it inside and out to create a vision which is totally his own but has respect for the works which already preceded it. Jodorowsky did it with 'EL TOPO', David Lynch with 'BLUE VELVET' , Quentin Tarantino with 'RESERVOIR DOGS' all come to mind. What director/screenwriter Tiller Russell has done is a variation on the revenge western but with touches of Salvador Dali and Sam Peckinpah. A lone woman gunslinger goes to Mexico to claim the body of her dead lover who was involved with a shooting of a priest who was the brother of a powerful shamanistic witch who runs the town and has a bone to pick with the lone woman. If it seems complicated , wait till you experience the other story which co-mingles with it. Add a pair of killer siamese twins and a gun toting midget and you have the genesis of a cult classic in the midst. A great cast which includes Kris Kristopherson, the brilliant Dwight Yoakam, and creepy Cote De Pablo (Ziva from the TV series NCIS)in an extraordinary performance as an ageless Mexican Bruja round out the mix but the scene stealer is Lizzy Caplan as Juliette Flowers, the gunslinger girlfriend. Recommended to lovers of bizarre cinema and those wishing to have a fresh view of the western genre, "THE LAST RITES OF RANSOM PRIDE' is a true masterpiece and probably will not be truly appreciated for many years to come.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 29, 2012
That is a recurring quote from Mr Pride (deceased - but you probably got that from the title). This is a violent western from director Tillen Russell, who has been more famous for his TV and documentary work. He has gone for a full throttle action fest that starts as it means to go on, with a bad gun deal going wrong. The perpetrator is Ransom Pride, and in the subsequent shootout he kills a Priest, and this is Mexico which takes a dim view of that sort of behaviour; even though he has been shot and killed, the sister of the Priest who comes across as a Shaman / Witch, won't let the body be buried. Not sure if the Catholic Church would agree with her, but I guess she is not up for a theological debate.

Enter Juliette Flowers (Lizzy Caplan) who was Ransom's love interest and she has promised to bury him with his momma. But she will have to deal with Pappa, the Rev Early Pride, (Dwight Yokam) who is an ex gunfighter who has seen the Lord, become a preacher and developed a dysfunctional alcohol dependency along the way. Ms Flowers strikes a deal with the grieving sister but it involves Ransoms brother Champ (Jon Foster -`Terminator 3'). So the intrepid pair set off to reclaim the body. Meanwhile Rev Pride takes out a bounty on Flowers' head as he considers her to be nuthin betta than a whore!

Thus the scene is set for a blood infused western that is shot and framed with great care, it oozes style like a Vogue Special and that goes for the costumes too. The music is spot on in that it adds to the mod instead of creating it as is the sad case for many a film. There are even stylised sub titles when it goes all Mexican. We have a plethora of characters and stars of yesteryear including Jason Priestly and Kris Kristofferson - who I would have liked to have seen more of. We have frontier gallows humour, iconic shots including more than one church without walls and characters from the less mundane side of life including a gun toting dwarf. The one off thing is the deliberate insertion of subliminal shots that get longer air time the further into the film we go. They act as add on's to the on screen action and like mono sodium glutamate in food are really not that necessary here too.

All of that said I really enjoyed it, this has been compared to Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy which is a book I love; whilst this is nowhere near as visceral it kept my interest at full tilt for the whole ride. As ever there are some plot twists that stretch credulity a tad and the ending will leave some feeling short changed. Despite all of that it is still a slick, well made and acted western in the modern genre and as such I will gladly like to see more of Mr Russell's work.
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on July 19, 2011
After 1/2 hour of this I gave up. It tries hard to be stylish, with a barely there story. Choppy editing, and just too many shots of sky, rocks, skulls...over and over. Move on, I say, pilgrim.
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on April 7, 2015
Ransom Pride (Scott Speedman) is not the most honest person in the world and gets shot and killed in the first scene. His girlfriend Juliette (Lizzy Caplan) who looks like a post apocalyptic Sgt. Pepper Band member, wants the body to return to his home for a proper burial. For some idiotic reason, the body is being held for ransom. Juliette, known as the wh*** to most, get Ransom's brother to come with her. Champ (Jon Foster) is an expert shot, but is a bit on the shy side. The film incorporates a group of grindhouse characters which include a midget, Siamese twins, a pervert stutterer, and a woman with markings on her face.

Guide: F-bomb. Sex. Nudity.
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on July 19, 2011
It was full of eye-candy, and fun to watch... but that's about where it stopped for me. Then again, I wasn't expecting any Academy Awards either. Worth a watch if you like movies that blend a little Tarantino with equal measures of steam punk and spaghetti western added in. Not a bad combo IMO
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on October 25, 2010
Truth be told, I bought this movie because Jason Priestly is in it and when he's in little stuff like this..he usually knocks it out the park. .I wish his brilliant portrayal of a killer in the flick Cold Blooded would be released on DVD, but as it is this is the only thing new I've found him The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride joined the numbers in my DVD collection. The DVD cover art is cool and classically designed. The content is sparce..a real bare bones low budget affair. But who needs bells and whistles when the product is so good.
If I could just say "WOW" and leave it at that, and trust that the greatness of the film is understood I would. Tiller Russell is someone I've never heard of but will be sure to keep an eye out for his next project. The direction was nothing short of brilliant for the budget. Though Jason Priestly is not the star of this movie, he does as I expected and puts in a brilliant performance. Lizzy Caplan plays Juliette Flowers, a knife wielding gun toting lover and partner in crime of Ransom Pride. Ransom Pride played coyly by Scott Speedman. Juliette Flowers has to keep her word to Ransom Pride and make sure he is buried next to his mother, that is the crux of the story. But this story is deliciously woven western tapestry from the strands of many well written and developed characters,each of whom are important in it's telling. Dwight Yokum as Ransom's father puts in another great performance. I would be remiss though if I didn't especially mention Cote de Pablo, who played the Bruja (spanish for witch). The make up was great and disfiguring but could not hide her beauty and radiance. She was creepy and sexy...ugly and hot..go figure. In fact there is not one slightly poor performance in this sleek well casted re-imaging of the west. The cuts are fast and violent, and the make up and costuming just drown you in the story. There are tons of subtle and not so subtle visual and written religious subtexts in the story. And overall it is about religious fear, sin, forgiveness, retribution, and death. To say that I was blown away by this movie is an understatement. The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is so completely original, well acted, well written..directed..lit...edited...sound..just tremendously good job!
A must buy for movie fans.
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on November 20, 2014
First off I must admit to being a huge Lizzy Caplan fan so I might be biased but I actually liked this film. It was a little strange at times and the cuts were hard to follow sometimes but for what it was I liked it. The cast is fantastic and I liked seeing Lizzy Caplan in this role in particular. I would recommend it for someone not expecting a normal western.
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on January 3, 2015
Such a derivative movie. Ridiculous dramatic choices. Stupid copycat script. Even the colors in the movie make no sense at all... and do not add to the storyline. But it did do one thing well. It started the movie career of Cote De Pablo, and we're all grateful for that. But what a complete waste of production money.
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on August 2, 2013
It was actually pretty good and held my interest. It was a little dark and sometimes hard to understand but for the most part a good western. Also, I wanted to see Cote de Pablo in another role besides NCIS and was impressed. She was actually one of the more interesting characters in the film.
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VINE VOICEon January 2, 2012
The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is a piece of modern-day western film-making which seems out of the Something Weird catalog.

The Film's cast seem familiar to TV and Movie watchers everywhere.... Blade's Kris Krissofferson, Classic 90210's Jason Priestly, NCIS's Cote de Pablo, Game of Thrones's Peter Dinklage, True Blood's Lizzy Caplan, and Dwight Yoakam. With a cast like this you expect good things, what you get is a disjointed darken mess. Don;t blame the cast, blame the script they had to work with

It takes place in 1901, however the look of the film seems early 1940's. This film is shot in a dark hues and shadows that you cannot see who is who unless they speak. Even the sub titles for the Spanish that is spoken seem written over stylish in a font almost like Chinese.

The story is as most simple western's genre is. Juliette Flowers (Caplan) is trying to bring her lover's body home from Mexico for burial. His body is held prisoner by a disfigured Mexican voodoo priestess Bruja (Spanish for witch) played in too much make-up by Cote de Pablo, whose father was killed by Ranson Pride. In this odd trek of a Journey, Juliette and Ranson's brother Champ (Jon Foster) encounters Pride's bereaved father (Yoakam), a bitterly articulate dwarf (Dinklage), and Pride's uncle who is a scripture-quoting killer (Krissoffeson)

Director Tiller Russell, who is know for his documentary filmmking, has shot this film too dark and in shadows. That does not transfer were to a blue-ray or DVD watching. The performances of his actors seem over staged and over done, rather than coming from a real place. When a film seems real, it works..thar is why this does not work at all.

If you like star vehicles, watch this. However if you like westerns, miss this at all costs.

Bennet Pomerantz
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