Sorry, this one is a bit late. My schedule is whacked.
Didn't I just review this flick? Wait, that was Ghost Town, a low-budget horror/western hybrid concerning a dastardly posse of black-clad cowboys from the 19th century. This is 1987's Ghostriders, a low-budget horror/western hybrid concerning a dastardly posse of black-clad cowboys from the 19th century. You could call them companion pieces. I'm going to call them missed opportunities, although Ghostriders is the better of the two horse-drawn heaps. Director Alan Stewart manages to rustle up diversion out of nothing at all, and I mean that sincerely. Don't be fooled by the stylish, minatory poster. There are no special effects, much less coral splashes of gore.
"But how could that be," you might ask. "Those undead cowpokes look awfully spooky!" Yeah, but in the actual movie, they appear as...people. Mere people. They're supposed to be ghosts, mind you, and they don't even have the civility to be crystalline skeletons of their former selves. The prologue is intriguing enough. The conscionable Reverend Thadeous Sutton has taken the law into his own hands. He plans on hanging the leader of an iniquitous gang. And he does. But the gang, being iniquitous and all, returns one hundred years later as chimerical apparitions to terrorize the elder's great grandson.
I've got to be honest with you, compatriot. It's going to be an onerous episode trying to wring four paragraphs out of Ghostriders. Simply put, there isn't much here. Once the basic premise is established, the film devolves into an emblematic stalk scenario bereft of sly, resourceful violence. Not that I would expect grizzled ruffians to be sly or resourceful, but all we get is gunplay. Granted, the bullet wounds are lovely little salvoes of burgundy protoplasm. Kudos to the guy in charge of squibs. Still, Ghostriders is lacking in eye candy. It was shot in the middle of Texas, and it definitely resembles a film that was shot in the middle of Texas. Shockingly, the characters wind up salvaging this tumbleweed.
The cast is full of nobodies, most of whom never acted again. It's a miracle that they turned in serviceable performances. For what it's worth, these are likeable folks. The sole archetype is killed off at the tail end of the first act. No harm, no foul. It takes the central players way too long figure out how to dispatch the disheveled antagonists. The same gimmick is used in Ghost Town. That fertilizer (or "meadow muffin," if you prefer) had special effects, but I prefer Ghostriders. The script is made of stronger stuff. Hmm, I just realized that I gave Ghost Town the same rating. For whatever reason, I don't remember it very fondly. You know what? Don't listen to a word I type. I'm clearly out of my skull.
Robert Z'Dar says, "Hurry up and review the Puppet Master series."