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Night of the Tommyknockers

USA 2022
produced by
Michael Mahal, Sonny Mahal, Richard Grieco (executive), BJ Mezek (executive), Michael Beran (executive), Bill Victor Arucan (executive) for Mahal Empire, Mezek Films, Wildlife Command Center, Alien Donut Films
directed by Michael Su
starring Richard Grieco, Tom Sizemore, Robert LaSardo, Jessica Morris, Angela Cole, BJ Mezek, Robert Donavan, Michael Beran, Denny Nolan, Dave Shecter, Charles Solomon jr, Wesley Cannon, Bill Victor Arucan, Dane Bingenheimer, Kyosuke Mukai, Julie Grace, Sheri Davis, Mercedes Peterson, Brenda Daly, Michael Della Pia, Michelle Hill, Lisa Hinds, Greg Tally, Cicley Alexander, John Petty, Ron McAdams, Kyrillos Saber, James Dormuth, Victor V Gelsomino, Eric Spudic, Joseph Murphy, William 'Bill' Connor, Allen Woodman, Nicholas George, Zach Muhs, Timothy Skyler Dunigan, Elissa Dowling, Jean Heathen, Crystal J. Huang, Robert Anderson, Bron Theron, Hans Hernke, Kevin Hager, Lance Caver, Cody Brehmeyer, Olive Divranos, Stan Divranos, Emily Eruraviel, Andre Carbonell, Mark Pereira, Shawn C. Phillips, Shawnn Morris Slaughter, Jeffrey Bele, Kyus Wright, Brian Wright, Jim Heffel, Jeff Felcoski, Evan Cannon, Rose Cannon, Tony Parham, Niko El Santo Zavero, Rudy Ledbetter, Scott Cassin, Nick Ford, Elizabeth Noelle Japhet, Dee Cutrone, Sam Prescott, Rick Trip, Stef Trip, Thomas Rivas, Eliana Rivas, Evelynn Rivas, Kristin Sutherland, Andrew Brown, Joseph Kelly, Tej Limlas Ly, Ben Stobber
story by Michael Mahal, Sonny Mahal, screenplay by Rolfe Kanefsky, revisions by Adrian Milnes, music by Scott Glasgow, creatures by Vincent J. Guastini, stunt coordinator: Allen Woodman

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Deer Creek, Nevada, the 1870s: A bunch of miners have just blasted their way to a rich gold vein - when they're attacked by zombie-like creatures, the titular Tommyknockers, and according to legend the gold's guardians, and all but Zeke (Kyrillos Saber) are killed. Zeke makes it back to town, which is soon enough put under siege by the Tommyknockers who randomly kill all locals who don't get to safety quickly enough. In the meantime, the notorious Dirt Gang led by Dirk (Richard Grieco) has just pulled off another bank heist in Utah, and quite brutally so, but with the law on their heels they decide to skip state for neighbouring Nevada, where gang member Betsy has heard about Deer Creek and the town's gold. But they find the town pretty much deserted, including the bank, and soon another gangmember, Lucky (Robert LaSardo) is taken by the Tommyknockers. The rest of the gang make it to the local saloon and upstairs brothel, where they find a handful of survivors, and suddenly find themselves forced to collaborate with the local sheriff (Tom Sizemore) to find the best defense strategy. But before long, all the best plans are blown into the wind with the Tommyknockers attack in full force, and what's worse, there's also a bounty hunter (Michael Beran) on the Dirt Gang's trail, and he'll stop at nothing to get his prey, even if that means collateral damage aplenty ...

 

A rather successful blend of horror and western, this film works quite as well as it takes neither its zombie plot not its Old West backdrop as mere seasoning for the other but understands and successfully employs genre tropes of both. And a script and direction that are largely devoid of post-modernist reinterpretation and instead concentrate on bringing its story across with a maximum of action and excitement (without going bland spectacle) really help making this into a very entertaining romp, as does a first rate cast clearly enjoying themselves.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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