From the man who brought you a Prayer for the Damned comes this quick-paced fun-filled Western that will definitely be Joe Cornet’s trademark.
It’s the year 1888. Dev and Jonas are best friends as well as rogue outlaws that have robbed plenty for years. Both are involved in serious relationships, Dev with Etta and Jonas with Belle. For a long time, they have wanted to get out of being outlaws and live normal lives. Especially Dev, who despite his loyalty to Jonas, can’t seem to shake the fact that Jonas’ actions tend to get him in hot water during every mission.
When the two are asked to meet Mr. McDonald, they decide to hear his proposition. McDonald is a businessman who has been swindled out of a mining prospect and he decides he must get back the money he put into it. He hires Dev and Jonas to go to the payroll office, steal back McDonald’s money, and then he will pay them enough so they can finally retire. However, on their way to Guilt Ridge, Etta learns that the ones responsible have already heard of what’s planned and an ambush is set up. When Dev and Jonas arrive, that’s exactly what happens. A routine robbery becomes a fight for survival.
Earlier this year, I’ve had the pleasure to being introduced to Joe Cornet with his Western, Prayer for the Damned. Between that film and this film, his latest, he is gearing up to be the millennium’s indie Western king. With his love of the genre, it’s clear that with taking the lead, writing, and directing, he’s like Terence Hill and Sergio Leone rolled up in a nifty little package but with more quick pacing.
Where Prayer for the Damned had Cornet as a one-man army, here we have more of a buddy action flick with Cornet as the level-headed Dev and Curt Lambert as the hyper Jonas, who tends to put himself and Dev in compromising situations nearly every time they try to pull off a mission. We get a glimpse of their lives at “home” when we see Dev being loyal to his woman Etta, played by Vitta Quinn (who also sings the film’s theme song, “Wrestling Steel”). Meanwhile, Kelsey Bohlen’s Belle seems like she is in love with Jonas but more in terms of that he can get her what she wants.
However, most of the film is set in the titular Guilt Ridge, where we see our heroes finding themselves ambushed and forced to defend themselves against a band of gunslingers. Along the way, we get to see these two bicker (again this is like a buddy action film) with Dev telling Jonas how he hadn’t completely forgiven him for one of their past missions. Nevertheless, the gunslinging in the film is quick-paced and fun to watch. It is like watching the Western equivalent of a B-movie action film where heroes pack the firepower very fast against their adversaries. And like Prayer of the Damned, there is a nice little twist at the end that brings everything together and has a bit of a well-received (and a bit comical) ending to this wild ride.
Incident at Guilt Ridge is a wild fun Western buddy film that without a doubt, is making Joe Cornet the new king of indie Westerns. Using the buddy formula here as opposed to his previous film, it is clear Cornet loves working with this genre and has executed a fun fast-paced wild ride.
WFG RATING: B
Random Media presents a San Rafael Productions film. Director: Joe Cornet. Producer: C. Erwin. Writer: Joe Cornet. Cinematography: John Gulager. Editing; John Gulager.
Cast: Joe Cornet, Curt Lambert, Vitta Quinn, Kelsey Bohlen, Buddy Clements, Ernie Ventry, Anna Goeser, Nikki Kreuzer, Diane Ayala Goldner.