Doc Holliday’s Revenge Review

Posted: June 23, 2014 in Action, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

2When you get about 15 to 20 minutes into Doc Holliday’s Revenge, you’ll be ready to give up on the movie.

Don’t. It gets worse. Gloriously worse.

Doc Holliday’s Revenge is wake-the-kids, call-the-friends, must-see-it-again terrible. It’s not so bad, it’s good. It’s so bad, it’s great. Supremely bad. Magnificently awful.

It’s March 19, 1882, according to the graphic at the beginning of the film. But wait, the calendar in the house shows it’s September 1884. That’s the same house with an electrical light ceiling fixture, next to an air conditioning vent. Hmmm, no-fault divorce and the modern screw bottle cap, both 20th century inventions, are around as well.

We’re in the Old – or maybe not so Old – West. We know that because people are talking about the OK Corral. Except for the one actor who pronounces “corral” as “coral.” Part of the unintended pleasure of Doc Holliday’s Revenge is that director David DeCoteau never seems to have called for a second take while shooting any of the scenes, so every mistake is incorporated into the final product.

“Revenge is frowned down upon…”

“To track those down responsible…”

“…run buckshot over the entire legal system…”

And, the winner is, “As told to you by a redneck who held a knife to your throat.” The knifeholder was an Indian, and the word the actor was looking for was “redskin” and not “redneck.”

The special effects are truly special. When one character peers through binoculars, the effect is captured by a black construction paper cutout of twin ovals placed over the camera without any change of magnification. A bloody wound in the thigh is represented by a cigarette ash burn in a pair of pants. One actor keeps forgetting he’s been shot in the arm, which is not unimaginable considering there is no blood.

Our story has a newly married couple, Elizabeth and Joseph Cooley traveling from Indiana to Arizona for a family reunion. The problem is that Elizabeth’s long-lost family turns out to be enemies of the Earp Brothers – Wyatt, Virgil, and the now-dead Morgan. When Indian Charlie shows up on the property trailed by accusations of a role in Morgan’s death, you can be sure that Doc Holliday will be along to dispense a little Western justice.

We know this because we have a narrator: Tom Berenger plays Judge Wells. He does not have a single scene with anyone else.  Instead, Berenger is seated in front of a green screen, while images of an old Western town or a courtroom play behind him. The effect is so poorly done (Surprise!) that he has a green aura around his face and shoulders as he looms large in his periodic surreal on-screen appearances. When Berenger is not on camera, he provides the voiceover to stock footage from old westerns that has been heavily marinated in sepia.

Inexplicably, the actor chosen to portray Holliday, William McNamara, actually resembles him, a disturbing element of authenticity that is immediately offset by McNamara’s unredeemingly poor performance, including a hilarious fake coughing fit meant to convey Holliday’s tuberculosis. The one cast member who comes out of the film unscathed is Ashley Hayes, who plays Elizabeth. While not era-appropriate, Hayes has a charm and a presence that would translate well in a more contemporary role.

Randy Jay Burrell (Millard), Bart Voitila (Joseph), and Oliver Rayon (Indian Charlie), on the other hand, have the makings of a modern Marx Brothers, provided they don’t deliberately try comedy. Shakespeare would seem a natural follow up for the trio, with DeCoteau directing, of course, and Holliday screenwriter Rolfe Kanesky penning the adaptation. One can only imagine the hilariously horrible results.

Doc Holliday’s Revenge is four stars for hardcore aficionados of bad film, but zero stars for those with a lower threshhold for cinematic pain.

  1. chris says:

    Thank you for taking the time to review this film. I could not summarize how bad this film is. You sir, are a true endurance hero.

  2. Ken says:

    I loved the post coughing-fit scamper up the hill chasing the hapless Indian Charlie who is running for his life from the ambling Doc.

  3. Gimme A. Goodone says:

    I have never ever seen such bad acting. One horse for the whole show and the entire film taken at a single house. Doc chases Indian Charlie for 10 minutes and they end up behind the house( several times passing the same place). In that time Indian Charlie turned a fired 25 shots at Doc from 2 six shooters. When Doc finally catches him he says “you aren’t good at math are you? I counted and you are out of ammo” No kidding.

  4. Shawn Michaels says:

    A fantastic review!!

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