Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's On Netflix?: DEAD WEST

Welcome to another installment of WHAT'S ON NETFLIX?, where we pick out a film or series currently playing on Netflix and review it for the fans.  This week's selection is the Jeff Ferrell serial killer drama...DEAD WEST.

I must say I chose Dead West, a Jeff Ferrell film, as my ‘What’s on Netflix.' offering because it had a premise that sounded intriguing. A serial killer, who is supposedly a handsome and charming ‘good ole boy' from Texas, going from town to town searching for the ‘perfect woman’ yet always finds something he considers to be flaws in the ones he meets. Those flaws compel him to kill the women move on to find another target.

The killer (played Brian Sutherland) whose real name is never known, always has a different name every time he meets someone new. One of his victims, a sexually aggressive honky-tonk girl named Charlene (played by Carollani Sandberg), is seen leaving with the killer in full view of her brother, Tony (played by Jeffrey Arrington).  Charlene and her brother both just think she is off to a tryst with the stranger she just picked up in a bar.  However, when the slightly drunk Charlene can’t remember the name he gave, the Ladykiller finds that to be a fatal flaw to kill her for.  Not caring that the girl’s brother had seen his face and could identify him, the killer goes on his merry way. However, when Tony finds out his sister has been murdered, he knows exactly who to go after for some Texas style vigilante justice.

All of which makes Dead West sound like it would be an adrenaline fueled, action filled chase between good guy Tony, out to avenge his sister, and the killer who is leaving a trail of dead women and one man behind him.

Dead West is not that kind of movie at all, though there is an eventual showdown between the two men.  The writer/Director of Dead West, Jeff Ferrell decided to tell the story from the perspective of the very complicated character simply identified as The Ladykiller, who is not your stereotypical, one dimensional serial killer.

Dead West is very slow paced for that reason, as we the audience take a ride down the highway with a man who can be both deadly dangerous and extremely chivalrous with the women he meets along the way. Brian Sutherland gives a mesmerizing turn as The LadyKiller. He plays both sides of this man so convincingly that the audience can find themselves forgetting for a moment that he is deranged in his own way. He hates bullies that beat on woman and children, yet he himself is the ultimate bully; the one that kills women who disappoint him for not being ‘perfect’.

With the exception of Meagan Karimi Naser, who plays Roxy the ‘heart of gold’ stripper looking to go straight, all the rest of the characters in this movie are one dimensional throw-away who are just there to move the plot along.  Roxy is the one woman that The Ladykiller meets that lives up to his standards of perfect and Meagan Karimi Nasar is the only actress in this movie that is given any depth and is given the most screen time of the woman who fall into The Ladykiller’s sights.

Speaking of a waste of a potential good character who needed an equal amount of depth in his story is the vengeful brother, Tony.  Jeffrey Arrington and his character are given scant screen time, not to mention a very anticlimactic showdown scene with The Ladykiller.

If you are looking for an all-out action thriller, Dead West isn’t going to be that movie. If you are looking for a psychological thriller that delves into the mind of a serial killer with a set of his own moral standards, Dead West will suit that need with the added bonus of getting to watch the very talented Brian Sutherland.

Marla's Score: 5/10

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