Monday 15 April 2024

The Bad Shepherd (2024)

"Almost a Horror Western"

It's a bit rough and ready but there's a pleasing sense of doom and gloom that infuses Geo Santini's THE BAD SHEPHERD, now getting a UK digital release from Scatena and Rosner Films.

Four friends on a hunting trip come across the dead body of a woman next to a sackful of money, leading to the inevitable question: should they call the police or give the body 'a proper burial' as one of them calls it and run off with the money?

Guess which they choose.

Off they go to their isolated cabin in the woods where they soon have a visitor in the form of the mysterious Mr Sidney (director Santini), who seems to know everything about them. Should they give him what he claims is his money, or tie him to a chair and descend into spiralling madness and betrayal?

THE BAD SHEPHERD has a contemporary setting but with a bit of rewriting (the opening set up and dialogue is all a bit clunky), and a bit more money it would have made a decent supernatural western. If you can get through the opening 20 minutes the film gets better and by the end it has the feel of a good EC comics story. The locations are excellent and go a long way to giving the film a considerable sense of atmosphere. Certainly worth a look of you're forgiving and especially if you fancy a could-have-been western.

THE BAD SHEPHERD is out on UK Digital on Monday 22nd April 2024

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