Sunday 2 August 2009

Cowboy Dreams (2009)

Director: Paul DeNigris
Stars: Bill Engvall and Danny Trejo

I first became aware of local Arizona filmmaking talent at the 2007 International Horror and Scifi Festival here in Phoenix, where they screened an intriguing independent feature called Netherbeast Incorporated. This was a Ronalds Brothers production, directed by one of them, Dean Ronalds, and expanded from a successful short called The Netherbeast of Berm-Tech Industries, Inc. Since then I've spent a day or two a week for the last few years at the sadly now-defunct Chandler Cinemas watching, among other things, more local talent. One of the last events there was the premiere screening of The Graves, Brian Pulido's excellent horror film due next year, again produced by the Ronalds Brothers.

Here's another one, a 2009 short called Cowboy Dreams, featuring names like Bill Engvall and Danny Trejo and an opening theme by Sting. OK, he didn't write it for them but it still highlights just how these local boys are moving up in the world. This is only a nine minute short, which isn't long given that the opening credits take two minutes all on their own, but it's enough for Bill to tell his story around the campfire to a bunch of tough looking hombres. I did mention Danny Trejo was in this film, right?

The beauty of this is that it isn't quite what you expect and I'm not going to spoil it for you. You need to see this for yourself. What I will tell you is that it's well made, full of people who know precisely what they're doing, even when they're wearing brightly coloured bandannas. It may also just become my favourite Danny Trejo role of all time. He's called Lobo and he watches and listens, sharpening his knife on a rock, until it's time to open his mouth and steal the show from Bill Engvall. I wonder how many takes he needed.

1 comment:

Paul DeNigris said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Hal. Actually we ended up not using Sting's "This Cowboy Song" because the clearance was too much trouble to secure. But the title sequence was definitely inspired by his tune and now features an amazing orchestra piece by Arizona composer Daniel Baranowsky.