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All Hell Broke Loose (DVD Review)

24 Nov, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 12/1/09
North American
$26.98 DVD, Blu-ray/three-DVD promo pack $69.99
Rated ‘PG-13.’
Stars David Carradine, Jim Hilton.

For low-budget direct-to-video productions such as All Hell Broke Loose, the untimely death of David Carradine put an end to casting a venerable character actor whose mere presence helped this perfunctory Western secure this reviewer’s limited interest.

The former “Kung Fu” star plays U.S. Marshall Ian McHenry, who is powerless to stop a band of outlaws from having their way in a small town outside of Sacramento.

Enter one Will Drayton (newbie Jim Hilton, who also wrote the script), a former Civil War sharpshooter who is coerced into dealing with the outlaws in order to pay off a debt.

Shot in video with an unknown cast and limited sets, All Hell Broke Loose breaks no new ground in the Western genre. In fact, many scenes are filmed in such a mechanical fashion the pacing and action almost appear to be in slow motion.

What ultimately saves this film is the screen time occupied by Hilton and Carradine — the latter appearing in his last Western-genre feature film.

Though his role is limited, Carradine’s deliberate country drawl — punctuated periodically with the utmost clarity — sly smile and warm eyes bring a sense of authenticity to an oft-told story involving bad men with guns on horses.

Actor Hilton clearly has a future in filmed entertainment beyond westerns. Hopefully, All Hell  Broke Loose won’t be his first and last entry on IMDb.com.   

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