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Day of the Stranger

UK 2019
produced by
Thomas Lee Rutter for Carnie Features
directed by Thomas Lee Rutter
starring Dale Sheppard, Gary Baxter, Gary Shail, Maryam Forouhandeh, Richard Rowbotham, James Taylor, Bazz Hancher, James Underwood, Jim Heal, Shelley Krasnowski
screenplay by Thomas Lee Rutter, based on the short story The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain, music by Craig Barry

review by
Mike Haberfelner

The Old West: Bounty hunter Farrowood (Dale Sheppard) is still recovering from his last job when he had to drag a body through half the desert after his bounty (James Taylor) shot himself when his boss, the psychotic Loomweather (Gary Shail) gives him his next assignment, to track down and capture/kill a mysterious stranger (Gary Baxter) - and just how mysterious Farrowood only learns when his partner for this job, McGonagal (Richard Rowbotham), who calls himself the stranger's friend, tells him about how they first met, and that the stranger might be more than just human. Arriving at the stranger's, McGonagal is pretty much shot on the spot while Farrowood is sent onto a weird trip that might explain things or question everything, that might be the harsh truth or bitter lies, that might be from this world or the next, and that might suggest that the stranger is really the Devil himself - or not ...


Paying conscious hommage to the acid westerns of the 1970s (with Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo at front and center), Day of the Stranger still is a film that's pretty much unique: Starting out as a rather nihilistic western and staying firmly within genre boundaries, it only very gradually slides into the madness our hero is exposed to, where linear storytelling is replaced with an associative approach with psycho-sexual undercurrents that really draws a receptive audience in and freaks its viewers out. That said, this film is probably not for just everybody, as it's not a crowdpleaser in the traditional sense of the word, and refuses to explain things away just for the sake of maximum approach - but if the weird and trippy is your thing, this movie's pretty much a must-see.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD