22 March 2013 | Bezenby
Quirky, but dull
A film that has C Thomas Howell (Dead Fire) as a star should raise alarm, and let's face it, to a certain extent you should know what to expect. The thing with Sheperd is that the whole set up is great: A post-apocalyptic underground world where religious factions fight for the mind and souls of the populace? That sounds great, doesn't it?
In the hands of, say, Enzo Castellari or Joe D'Amato, this would have been a great film, and although the film is full of nice quirks and strange characters, the film just seems to meander along and regularly falls into cliché. On the quirky side, you've got Roddy Piper as a messiah type leader (and truth be told, he's good in this), David Carradine as a John Wayne impersonating, crazy ventriloquist (also good), and various scantily clad women, but the action is terribly filmed and the story is just what you would expect.
C Thomas Howell (Nursie) just doesn't cut it for me as an action hero. His beard reminded me a Gary Bushell, of all people. I suppose with more to do he would have been more acceptable, but he just runs from one scene to the other with a chick and her kid in tow.
You see (Thomas Howell), our hero is a Shepherd, who kills other religious leaders on behalf of Piper, but balks at a hit and has some guys sent after him, one of which was his old cop buddy with a secret. His hit turns out to be another Shepherd with a kid, whom our hero takes a fancy to as his wife and kid were murdered by someone or other. Did I mention that Howell does all this so he can watch his past through sunglasses?
If you want to see Carradine acting really strange, or Piper carrying a cross, then this film has that, but if you want a film where you can guess the ending (except for the head scratching motives of the ex-cop buddy), then well I guess this film has that too. It's remarkably unremarkable.