Plot: Billy the Kid (Jason Cash) has become a true legend, but a notorious presence to most folks, who don’t appreciate his crime sprees and gunslinger ways. As such, the bounty on his head has reached epic proportions and as such, all kinds of bounty hunters are always on his trail. He might have keen survival skills, but even he lets his guard down at times and with an army of hunters after him, even one mistake could be his last. But he wants to leave behind his old life and start over, hopefully with a good woman by his side. As he visits his old town to talk with his father and ask his beloved to be his wife, others in the town have their own issues. Tensions run high and guns are bound to be drawn, regardless of what decisions are made. But can Billy survive long enough to escape his past and start a new life?
Entertainment Value: An indie western is an ambitious effort, given all the period elements that need to be at least passable. But Christopher Forbes has carved out a place for himself in the genre and crafted a number of low budget, high ambition indie westerns. This one focuses in on Billy the Kid, but also involves some side threads, most prominent of which is a dispute over the ownership of a saloon. The movie’s limited resources are evident, but I think production values are solid for the most part, with some nice costumes, locations, and such. Some issues arise of course, but even big budget, major studio period movies miss a lot of details. I appreciate the obvious passion involved, but The Last Days of Billy the Kid is held back by the cast, which struggles with a lot of the material. I loved Jezibell Anat and her character was a highlight for me, while Jerry Chesser has a natural presence for westerns, but the rest of the cast was rather bland and forgettable. Jason Cash tries as Billy, but lacks the charisma and presence you’d expect from a dynamic historical figure. A lot of the acting is stilted and wooden, which I enjoyed for unintended reasons, but folks looking for a serious western might not be as pleased with. But if you’re a western aficionado or like accidentally campy indie movies, this one is worth a rental.
No nakedness. No blood. The wild west was infamous for wild saloon girls and rampant violence, but this movie plays down those elements. The focus is on drama, though some action scenes unfold here and there. The gunfights are basic and not staged all that well, but come across better than you might expect. But even direct shots don’t produce any kind of bloodshed, so don’t expect splashy squibs or what not. I am thankful CGI wasn’t used at least, as no blood is better than slapdash CGI effects. The dialogue itself is fine, but the cast seems to have trouble with the material and by turn, the performances are odd at times. I think some post production issues also contribute, but some of the lines are just butchered and I found that to be hilarious, but again, those here for a serious western might not. So while the writing is mostly solid and not that wild, the nature of some of the performances ramps up a point here. No real craziness, but the strange performances once again earn a point.
Overall Insanity: 1/10