It's low budget, but gods above it has got heart...
Ok, well the movie Westender is not your usual sword and sorcery fantasy movie. First, there is no sorcery. There are some trippy hallucinations but they all serve to explain the backstory.
Westender begins with a group of men in a dimly lit tavern wagering on a game played with painted thick sections of what look like pine tree branches. This is not your usual deck of cards. One of the scruffy men out of coin suddenly bets his ring, and from here the movie kicks off. Needless to say, the drunken sot looses and flips out. Like any good tavern keeper, the orders come to beat him up and toss him out.
This man is the Westender. Bereft and wallowing in pity he is raised back to sobriety by some gypsies, one of whom seems infatuated with him. However, this guy really wants his ring back... You tend to believe if he catches the guy he lost it to, he will most likely murder this man. Not your average hero.
From here you follow the man Asbrey of Westender until he relearns what it means to have honor and dignity by freeing some people kidnapped by a band of bandits that robbed the gamer who won the ring. Actually, this movie is pretty darn good.
The swordfighting and costuming leave a little to be desired. The makeup also is pretty low budget. But there are three things that stand out about this movie that raise it above typical low budget strivings.
The scenery is a good one. Damn I did not know places like this still existed in Oregon...
The acting and writing are top notch. The phrasing isn't too middle ages but is enough to do for me. I actually feel for this guy and you watch the change slowly go over him.
The sound. Whoever did the music did a pretty good job on this sucker.
So in the end this turns out to be a pretty good low budget movie that would have made a heck of a yarn with a couple of million dollars and some expensive named stars. It's a go.
For more information check out http://www.westendermovie.com