Cowardly Capt Boyd (Pearce) receives a promotion after a battle in the Mexican American war in the 1840's – a promotion won despite his total cowardliness. He is posted to Fort Spencer, which is a remote and isolated place in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
It is here with the seven other inhabitants that a stranger Colqhoun (Carlyle) arrives with wild tales of cannibalism after loosing his wagon train. It is only when the majority of Fort Spencer's inhabitants go off to investigate that Boyd realises the truth about Colqhoun and his taste for human flesh.
This for me was a film that had got away from me – I had heard about it, missed it on release and haven't managed to get a copy on DVD – until now. I'm pleased to say it was worth the wait. It's like a western with a macabre twist and it's a lot more psychological than an average horror film with the eerie and dangerous Colqhoun wonderfully portrayed by Carlyle. It is Pearce though and the cowardly and haunted Boyd that provides the film with a human side as he himself needs to find his backbone and prove to himself that he isn't a the coward people think he is.
I was left wondering why its never been re-released or isn't more widely available which is a shame as viewers are missing out – it deserves to be seen to a wider audience.
Watch it – if you can find a copy.
Director – Antonio Bird
Guy Pearce – Capt. John Boyd
Robert Carlyle – Col. Ives / F W Colqhoun
David Arquette – Pvt. Cleaves
Jeremy Davies – Pvt. Toffler
Jeffrey Jones – Col. Hart
Read more at: Nerve Curve