The Legend Of Hells Gate [DVD]
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By appearances, THE LEGEND OF HELL'S GATE is meant to tell the story of the fabled Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. While it clearly establishes something took place that led up to its name, what the viewer is left with is mostly a mishmash of vignettes strung together by the weakest narrative I've ever seen in a Western - a genre that's usually rich with peoples of immense character and symbolism too vivid to escape detection. Instead, the film delivers a handful of scenes artfully photographed, but these characters seem to have very little basis in reality. Who knows? Maybe they've all been drawn from `legend'! (insert `rimshot' here)
Unfortunately, the main story doesn't begin until 45 minutes into the feature, and therein lies the biggest problem at the heart of HELL'S GATE. In order for anyt audience to appreciate any film, there has to either be (A) characters you can identify with or (B) a very clearly establish narrative with a discernible beginning, middle, and end. For the record, HELL'S GATE has neither until the 45 minute mark, and I'm strongly inclined to believe the writer/director Tanner Beard realized this when all that he shot came into the editing suite.Read more ›
On the other hand, costuming and sets were spot on. Beautifully done and other than the fluffy pillowcases, it was perfect. If it had been in a movie with a plot that could be followed without a road map it would have been magnificent. It may be a great film, where everything comes together in the end and a lot of the mish mash makes sense but I literally could not bring myself to watch the whole thing and that has never happened to me befor.
The story intersects with true historical figures in almost a "Forrest Gump" fashion. These include Doc Holiday, Jesse James, Texas merchant W.H. "Pete" Snyder, Comanche chief Quanah Parker, buffalo hunter J. Wright Mooar, and a Shakespeare quoting bartender who claimed to be John Wilkes Booth.
Decent acting and script. Enjoyable pseudo-history western.
Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Prostitutes, couple (clothed) in bed after presumed sex.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Filmed near my home, and portrayed as part of the history of our town.Published 15 months ago by LoneStarWolverine
I don't know many 25 year olds that write, act, and direct their own films so this movie is pretty fantastic. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Lexie S. Beard
Hated it! It was the most confusing western I had ever seen! Terrible!Published 20 months ago by krze24
I really enjoyed this story as we visit Possum Kingdom frequently and have relatives/friends that live at Possum Kingdom. Very familiar with Hells Gate.Published 22 months ago by sammindy
This DVD was in great condition. Good movie especially since I live in Texas.Published 24 months ago by BUBBLES