When a group goes after gold, it comes with a deadly price in this horror western from the director of Death Count.
When a band of miners in a small town come across gold, they are worried of a legend of a group of creatures known as the Tommyknockers. The legend soon becomes a reality as the miners are attacked by the monsters within the confines of the cave. Not too long after the incident, a band of outlaws led by Dirk has come to town as they plan to rob the local bank. When they successfully do the job, they learn of the possibility of gold in the area as well and they want a piece of it.
Meanwhile, the townsfolk, including photographer Julia Ann Swift and local Fred Rudolph, find themselves under attack by both the Dirk Gang and the Tommyknockers. Soon enough, the gang realizes about the creatures. Deciding they must collaborate to stop the creatures, the gangs and the locals must find a way to stop them but things are getting complicated. Especially when a bounty hunter comes to town to find and stop the gang as well.
From the makers of Death Count comes this pretty good hybrid of horror and western revolving around creatures invading a small town in the Wild West to get their gold back from a band of miners only to find more victims in the form of a local outlaw gang and the locals as well. There is a nice twist in terms of some beats where the gang may have to ally themselves with some of the locals to find a way to best the creatures. Michael Su does a great job behind the camera as both director and cinematographer, showing both graphic and non-graphic kills showing a balance if you will for genre fans.
There is a great ensemble cast in the film, led by Richard Grieco as Dirk, the leader of the outlaw gang. The characters of Julia and Fred are well played by Jessica Morris and BJ Mezek and interestingly enough, they are based on a real-life couple. The various members of the gang are quite eclectic, with Robert LaSardo’s hyperviolent-loving Lucky and Angela Cole’s female gang moll Betsy alongside others. There is even a scene where even the gang, notably Lucky and Bill Victor Arucan’s Maoma kill some locals, defying Dirk’s direct orders not to do so. The late Tom Sizemore even makes the most of his screen time as Marshall Steed.
The kill scenes, from the Tommyknockers, are well done. Some of the kills are pretty quick with them attacking them swiftly. However, there are others along with the case of a comedic scene, aftermaths, that there are gory deaths as well. There are also some classic western actions, especially with the presence of the bounty hunter who is tasked with stopping the Dirk gang, dead or alive. The finale is quite a shock because it is somewhat unexpected when it comes to the fate of certain characters.
Night of the Tommyknockers is a well-made meshing of western and creature horror. A great ensemble cast and kills that relate to both genres make this one to check out.
WFG RATING: B+
Gravitas Ventures presents a Mahal Empire production. Director: Michael Su. Producers: Sonny Mahal and Michael Mahal. Writers: Rolfe Kanefsky and Adrian Milnes; story by Michael Mahal and Sonny Mahal. Cinematography: Michael Su. Editing: Eric Chase and Gregory Solis.
Cast: Richard Grieco, Tom Sizemore, Jessica Morris, BJ Mezek, Robert LaSardo, Angela Cole, Robert Donovan, Michael Beran, Denny Nolan, Dave Shecter, Charles Solomon Jr.