Blerd Film Club: Gallowwalkers

I love Tubi TV. That's not an ad, I just love it. The reason is because they have thousands of films and television shows that can't be streamed anywhere else. Many of these are independent films I've never heard of. A lot of them are bad, but a lot are great under the radar films. My favorite section of Tubi is one dedicated to black films. Not just from the same three directors or the same drama, urban fiction and slave flicks that Hollywood loves to push. There's westerns, science fiction, fantasy and all kinds of things. One such film is Gallowwalkers. A 2012 Direct to Video film staring Wesley Snipes. I saw Wesley Snipes in a cowboy hat, I was in, but when it was listed as horror and science fiction, I had to watch right away.

The plot follows Aman as he feuds with a group of Gallowwalkers. The Gallowwalkers are people who died, but were resurrected. They require fresh skin every 1-2 weeks because their flesh rots. They can last longer if they choose something like lizard skin. In the past Amen's wife was raped by the gang. Aman murdered them all but was later killed. His mother made a pact with a demon to bring him back to life. Anyone he kills, will come back as a Gallowwalker; someone who can't die unless their brain is destroyed or their head is removed from their body. Along the way Aman recruits an outlaw named Fabulos to assist him. I would tell you more, but it's a short film. It's a western, so there isn't a ton of plot. A very simple revenge film.

One thing I enjoyed about the film is that they kept things simple. There was no need to give us a scientific breakdown or anything like that. While there isn't a ton of plot, they're heavy on morals. If you get emotionally stuck on something, it can cause you to pay the price. For example, Aman's wife was raped and became pregnant. He couldn't live with that so he went kill her rapist, but during that time she died giving birth. The leader of the Gallowwalkers is obsessed with bringing his son back to life, but doesn't realize nearly all his men are dead. Nor does he stop to figure out why only some people come back to life because of his obsession which is his downfall. Every main character except for a child loses something or someone because of their obsession.

Sometimes I felt as if the film relied too much on flashbacks and monologues for exposition. At one point there's a 15 minute monologue where Snipes gives us the backstory of his character with a few brief thirty second scenes. Don't get me wrong, it was very well done. However, I feel that if a fifteen minute flashback is needed, just start with that instead of the flashback. That is my biggest gripe with the film by far.

Wesley Snipes had some issues with his taxes. According to Wesley, he wrote the check and his accountants didn't cash them. Still, he did his time. He paid the IRS and it actually caused a two year delay on this film. Sometimes it seems as if Hollywood views him as some evil monster. We've seen Wesley portray vampire hunters, drag queens, basketball players, police officers and everything else in between; always going the extra mile for any role. In 2019 Wesley Snipes had one film role in Dolemite is My Name. Roman Polanski directed a single movie in 2019. Perhaps it is just me, but I don't see why these two are on the same level. Part of it could be that Snipes does a lot of science fiction films and that isn't exactly a genre the loves black people.

Gallowwalkers isn't something that I'll beg people to watch. It isn't the best film, but it isn't terrible either. There's a fun cameo from Diamond Dallas Paige if you're into wrestling. A lot of cool cinematic shots and artistic scenes fill out the run time of this film. Just don't come looking for a dynamic plot. You're going to get a lot of Wesley killing white people. The film is listed as a horror film, but there's nothing that is really scary about the film. Still, if you've got an hour and a half to burn and enjoy films that are heavy on style over substance, this one is for you.

You can check out some of my fiction at 12 AM Fiction or follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast.
Blerd Film Club: Gallowwalkers Blerd Film Club: Gallowwalkers Reviewed by Darrell S. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 Rating: 5

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