WorldFilmGeek Hall of Famer Alexander Nevsky delves into the Western genre with this collaboration with the millennium’s new “Western king”, Joe Cornet.

Ivan Turchin is a Russian-born businessman who settles in the small town of Blind Chapel, Texas in 1873. He is well-respected among the townsfolk, including Sheriff Vernon Kelly. When French-born Marshall Austin Carter and his deputy come to town as a resting spot, they have with them a wanted criminal, Ethan Crowley. Crowley, the leader of the Hellhound Gang, has been captured and is to go to San Antonio on trial for mass murder.

When two of the Hellhounds disguise as Pinkerton agents, a shootout occurs and both the “agents” and deputy die as a result. Crowley warns Sheriff Kelly and Marshall Carter that the Hellhounds know he’s in town and they are coming to bust him out. Crowley soon recognizes Ivan, who is revealed to be a man with a past: a former Civil War general who nearly was court martialed for an incident in Georgia. Ivan leads a showdown in town with the help of Marshall Carter and Sheriff Kelly when the Hellhounds arrive.

Russian action star and WorldFilmGeek Hall of Famer Alexander Nevsky joins forces with Joe Cornet, who as of the last few years has become the millennium Western king for this old school genre flick. With quite an ensemble cast of two action veterans with the likes of Nevsky and Cornet, the film makes excellent use of its 80-munute runtime.

Nevsky does quite well in the role of Ivan, a man who is on a constant road to redemption. It is not until nearly halfway through we learn about his past. However, in the first two minutes of the film, we see what kind of man Ivan is when he’s confronted by two bandits en route to Blind Chapel. As for Cornet, it is clear why he loves this genre. He tends to play the cowboy with a heart of gold, in this case, Sheriff Kelly, who like Ivan has a heart of gold but is also a man with a past. It is their respect for each other than make them the best of allies when the Hellhounds finally arrive to start up the film’s third act.

Matthias Hues has had a penchant for playing villains so it is natural that he would be this film’s main antagonist in Hellhound leader Ethan Crowley. Spending most of the film in a prison cell, he tends to get inside the minds of our heroes, knowing full well what’s at stake. He finally gets in on the action during the film’s third act. As does Olivier Gruner, who plays Marshall Carter. He seems very likable and when it is time for him to amp up the action, he’s ready and thanks to fight choreographer Art Camacho, gets to unleash a few kicks against a Hellhound member.

One staple of Westerns are the women, usually seen in brothels or saloons. In this case, the three main women of the film are respected and not really stereotypical. When the script calls for it, they become part of the action against the Hellhounds. What is interesting is that while it may look like Natalie Denise Sperl’s Nora may look to have some sort of feelings for Ivan, it is more of a brother-sister relationship with saloon owner Arlene, played by newcomer Anna Oris, who has the feelings for Ivan. Meanwhile, Kerry Goodwin, as Arlene’s sister Jenny, clearly has a thing for Sheriff Kelly when she brings him food from the saloon while he’s watching Crowley.

There will be a sequel, Taken from Rio Bravo, out later this year featuring the likes of Cynthia Rothrock and Don “The Dragon” Wilson among the cast. As for Gunfight in Rio Bravo, it brings something fresh into the genre and who would’ve imagined that Nevsky’s central character would be based on a real-life person. This does bring something new for Nevsky, and at 80 minutes, is a welcome change for the actor/producer.


Shout! Studios presents a Hollywood Storm/San Rafael/ETA Films production. Director: Joe Cornet. Producers: Alexander Nevsky and Ruslan Vitryanyuk. Writers: Craig Hamann and Alexander Nevsky. Cinematography: Sam Wilkerson. Editing: Cody Miller.

Cast: Alexander Nevsky, Joe Cornet, Matthias Hues, Olivier Gruner, Natalie Denise Sperl, Kerry Goodwin, Anna Oris.