From the director of Johnny Gruesome and Slime City Massacre comes this indie action thriller that pays homage to the nostalgic B-movie days of yore.
Megan is a second-generation police officer in her family. Joining the force after serving in the military, Megan is partnered up and becomes good friends with Jeremy. When the duo goes to a convenient store, they confront two robbers and stop them. However, a fellow officer comes in and mistakes Megan for a robber. After Megan accidentally discharges her weapon, she realizes what she has done, and she decides to quit the force and goes through a period of depression.
Jeremy decides to help Megan out of her rut by inviting her to a camping trip. Jeremy also brings along two friends, Gabriella and Blake. When the group heads to the campsite, things go pretty well despite Megan still having feelings of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, things change when they accidentally stumble upon the killing of a drug dealer from the local police, led by Sheriff Preacher. Preacher, who has come in cahoots with an armed group of mercenaries, targets the group to cover their tracks. Now with no other choice, Megan must overcome her demons and attempt to save herself and her friends before it’s too late.
After delving mainly in the horror genre, Gregory Lamberson has decided to come with a passion project of a different kind. Having been a fan of genre films for so long, he decided to make a film that would pay homage to the glory days of B-movie action films, notably the 70s and 80s, when there were strong female leads with a dash of exploitation. Lamberson opted to not go overboard with the exploitation factor and using a Kickstarter to crowdfund the film, the film is a throwback to those glory days where it’s not perfect but may bring back memories of watching something you would find in a video store.
Taking the lead role of Megan is Alexandra Faye Sadeghian, who does quite a good job of this brand of film. We get to see various emotions come out of her, especially because she is a character who finds herself in a sense of expectation. As a former soldier, she felt like she had to follow in her father’s footsteps and also be a cop. She feels a sense of regret despite her friendship with partner Jeremy, played by Peter Johnson. However, when the accidental death of a fellow cop happens, we see Megan find herself in a state of depression and misery because she has felt the sense of letting down herself and her father as well. It is when things kick in with the witnessing of the death of the dealer that Megan finds herself in a forced road to redemption.
Bill Kennedy is great as the villainous Sheriff Preacher, who is not only corrupt but in a state of irony, feeling like he’s going God’s work. His fellow cops are his “followers” as well as the small band of mercenaries who are joining him in his “crusade”. Of course, these mercenaries are your typical B-movie villain types: the tough ones, the buffoons, and the psychotic femme fatales. Nicole Colon and Dominic Luongo play the mild-mannered couple who tag along on the camping trip and are forces to also fight for their lives despite their constant reluctance. In what is an amazing extended cameo, legend indie film actor Lynn Lowry is great to watch as she plays a local townie who will only do what it takes for everyone who crosses her to get off her property without death crossing her path. She shows a sense of motherly love and hate of an angry neighbor towards Megan where it could go either way.
Because of the budget of the film, those expecting the action to be on the caliber of a John Wick or recent A-list action blockbuster will be disappointed. However, those who have a love of the 1970s and 80’s B-movie action film will be pleased. There’s lots of firepower and there’s even a pretty realistic knife fight between Sadeghian and one of the lead mercenaries that is nicely shot from cinematographer Chris Cosgrave. Compared to the more flashy knife fights most are used to, this fight brings a sense of reality and how one would expect to realistically be in a fight. The finale leaves open to a possible sequel and I for one, am hoping it will happen as we need more female action stars these days.
Guns of Eden is not the perfect action film and it doesn’t have to be. It’s a fun popcorn that takes you back to the VHS days of B-movie action with a strong female lead. A breakout performance from lead Alexandra Faye Sadeghian and an open ending may want nostalgic fans craving more.
WFG RATING: B
Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Digital Guerrilla Cinema production in association with Macrocosm Productions. Director: Gregory Lamberson. Producers: Chris Cosgrave, Gregory Lamberson, Tamar Lamberson, and Keith Lukowski. Writer: Gregory Lamberson. Cinematography: Chris Cosgrave. Editing: Phil Gallo.
Cast: Alexandra Faye Sadeghian, Bill Kennedy, Peter Johnson, Nicole Colon, Dominick Luongo, Lynn Lowry, Tim O’Hearn, Kim Piazza, Xander Goldman, Sara Manzella, Brooke Lewis Bellas, Brandon Machajewski.
The film will be released on DVD and Digital on December 6.