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  • lewiskendell27 October 2010
    "The body of Ransom Pride belongs to me."

    It didn't take me very long to realize that I wasn't going to enjoy The Last Rites of Ransom Pride. Ten minutes, at most. The whole vibe of the movie just turns me off. I like Lizzy Caplan, but putting one appealing actress in the middle of a disaster doesn't do much good. I disliked the way it was filmed, the dialogue, and the absurd, meandering, nonsensical narrative that served as the story.

    Basically, Ransom Pride (the man) is a recently dead acquaintance of Juliette Flower (Caplan), and she made a promise to retrieve his body and bury it near his mother. In order to get his body, she has to deliver Ransom's still living younger brother to some seedy folks. Lots of people hate her, lots of people want her dead, and lots of people try to stop her. That's the story. There are lots of unlikeable characters that were utterly ridiculous in their seriousness, the frequent action scenes are terrible, and the entire movie makes little sense. Sounds like a real winner, right?

    It's rare for me to truly hate a movie, but The Last Rites of Ransom Pride reached that dubious achievement. This is probably in the bottom two or three movies that I've seen this entire year. The only good news is that I (hopefully) don't have to ever watch it again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It cost me a dollar to rent this and I have to say it's the worst use I've ever put a dollar to. To think I could have put that as a down payment on a pack of gum or just turned Washington's head into a mushroom. But no, I had to rent the interminable Last Rites of Ransom Pride.

    It begins with a voice-over telling us of Juliette's(Lizzy Kaplan)sad childhood and how she had to kill an evil general in his sleep. It's not a terribly long opening narration, and then we're hit with the oddly fonted subtitles telling us it's 11 years later, 11 years after she told us the voice-over or the actual events, we can only guess. By the way, the subtitles are very hard to read, which is unfortunate because they're used quite often.

    Other than the little bit of back story we get, the characters aren't particularly deep. Lizzy Kaplan pretty much keeps one expression on her face for the entire flick and Dwight Yokam calls her whore a lot, but that might not have been in the script. Peter Dinklage does as well as he can with the material, but despite this contribution, his character is simply named "Dwarf" in the credits. Don't seem right.

    A lot of what follows is intermittently plastered with instant replays of previous scenes and "artsy" shaky cam shots of animal skulls and birds that jerk like they're in a Tool video. These don't really add anything to the film and only serve to prolong the misery of watching it. It's not a terribly complicated story either, but Tiller sure takes the scenic route getting us there. It's like he's slowly winding a broken jack in the box. You want the weasel to pop, but you know it never will.

    If you like westerns I wouldn't suggest seeing this, and if you don't like westerns, I still wouldn't.
  • The people who gave this a bad review clearly do not understand the B rate movie genre. I stumbled upon this little gem by accident and really liked from the start. By 10 minutes in I was on the edge of my seat wondering what the director was going to do next. I'm not going to spoil this by providing plot clues and tidbits about exciting scenes. I'm just going to give my impression and let you decide for yourselves. This movie is well casted. The script isn't awful. The cinematography is gripping. The story line is fitting of the genre. The acting is OK. Suspend disbelief for a few moments, just remember that it's B Rate, and enjoy it for what it is.
  • elmoworx4 July 2011
    Another in a long line of pretentious Canadian films. Too often, I see Canadian film makers who think they have to display all manner of pseudo-intellectual, artsy nonsense in order to convince the viewer that the Canadian movie experience is more cerebral and enlightening than those gauche, low-brow US movies. Harumph!

    And yet they borrow every US-based visual trick to make their films. The result is a lurching Frankenstein monster that sends me running for my torch light and pointed stick.

    This movie is visually ugly, with jerky cutaway shots that make me think they are trying to do a style job a la Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula." Coppola shows us how it's done when done well; sorry guys, but you show us what it looks like when done badly.

    This could have been a beautiful, interesting Western if they'd have stuck to some of the more traditional elements of the genre. I'm thinking something along the lines of "The Assassination of Jesse James..." Obviously, they didn't have a Brad Pitt budget, but my opinion is that they wasted too much cash on the unnecessary visual junk.

    And speaking of cash, I imagine the constraints of Canadian government funding also put the strangle-hold on their efforts. There is little funding to be had for Canadian art unless it screams pretentiousness and faked intellectualism.

    You want to know something? When I watched this one on Netflix, I never knew it was Canadian by its description. It was listed as a Western and I love Westerns, so I picked it out. Two minutes into it, I had it pegged as a Canadian film. Go figure.

    And in case you're wondering, I am Canadian, myself, and I do like some Canadian flicks. "The Saddest Music in the World" is one of my faves. It shows that you can be quirky without being a snob about it. That is a FUN movie, filmed (in an old warehouse in Winnipeg) with Vaseline smeared on the camera lenses. Nothing high-brow or snooty, here, folks! HA HA HA!!

    Ahem...back to the review.

    The characters in this one are unpleasant. Dwight Yoakam is fun to watch, but he can't carry such a heavy load on his shoulders alone. I'm not going to lay out the details of bad characters - suffice to say there was no character that I could root for, or get behind, or cheer for!

    In the long run, I guess it's all about personal taste, so I would never tell a person to pass this one by. The fact that people made this movie (presumably with some enthusiasm) is testimony that SOMEONE out there is interested in this type of thing. But it ain't me, Babe. No, no, ain't--

    Well, you get the idea.

    Be forewarned, is all. It's called a Western, but doesn't feel like one. Not by a long shot. It feels like you're standing in an allegedly upscale museum, where people are expected to praise every splatter and smear simply because they've been told that it's art.

    I don't consider my tastes to be low-brow. I am fully capable of appreciating cerebral works. Actually, I enjoy movies of all genres. The only thing I ask is that it entertains me. Entertains my eyes, my ears, my imagination. This one did none of those things.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Well, that was a first. I was tired of watching this movie before the opening credits were over. Out of all the torturous, infuriating, depressing and defective cinema I have seen, nothing ever sucked so fast, so hard as The Last Rites of Ransom Pride. Fortunately, the rest of the film wasn't any worse that the very beginning or I would have had to garrote myself with a strand of dental floss. What the remaining inept mess did make me feel like doing is weeping for the future. There have always been terrible motion pictures but it used to be that the folks who made them knew what they were doing, they were just really bad at it. Now we get rubbish like this where the people who made it don't even know how to tell a story. They don't know how to construct a character. The don't know how to structure a plot. They don't know how to craft dialog. All they know how to do is copy what they've seen others do on screen without understanding any of it. It's like a chimp imitating a human…except the chimp is really, really stupid.

    Let's start with those opening credits. Imagine every excessively edited montage you've ever seen, the worst bits of every horrendous music video to ever see the light of day, and multiply that by 2. Then you'll have some idea of how irritating these opening credits are. They'll make you want to physically assault the person who put them together for being so insultingly clichéd.

    As for the story, a guy you won't care about (Scott Speedman) gets killed in Mexico in 1911. A girl you won't care about (Lizzy Caplan) agrees to buy back his body in exchange for the guy's brother (Jon Foster), who you also won't care about. The father of the two guys you won't care about (Dwight Yoakum) is kind of interesting, but only because he's played by Dwight Yoakum. As the girl and the brother you won't care about ride down South, the father and two others guys you won't care about (W. Earl Brown and Jason Priestly) follow. Not together, of course, because that might make some sense. No, the father and the two other guys travel separately, though they seem to take the same route. Maybe Yoakum insisted he share as little screen time as possible with Priestly.

    The girl and the brother you won't care about run into some other people you won't care about (Peter Dinklage, Blu Mankuma and the Quijada brothers) and eventually hatch a scheme to steal back the corpse of that first guy you didn't care about. That plot is foiled when the father shows up and that leads to the girl and the brother having a final showdown with him. Now, since the father is built up as the main villain through the entire film up to that point, you'd think such a battle would signal the end of the movie.

    Wrong! The Last Rites of Ransom Pride keeps going after killing its only interesting character and, instead, brings in yet another guy you don't care about (Kris Kristofferson) to have yet another showdown with the girl and the brother you won't care about. And that's the worst example in this whole pitiful production of how these filmmakers don't even know to tell a story. How can you not save the final battle with the father for the ending climax of the movie? How can you think bringing in a replacement at the end is going to work? I'm not even going to get into the laughable way they try to tie the final battle of the girl you won't care about with some other chick you won't care about together with this film's backstory prologue.

    And while all of that nonsense in going on, you're visually battered by cutaways, flashbacks, flash forwards and other editing/narrative digressions that you've seen a jillion times before, but which are apparently supposed to be improved here through sheer mass tonnage.

    From Lizzy Caplan using a grand total of one expression and one inflection for the entire flick, to wondering how much Scott Speedman wishes he'd been in the 3rd Underworld sequel instead of this thing, to realizing that even someone as talented at Peter Dinklage has to probably take every part he's offered because there just aren't that many roles for a little person, The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is a parade of discouraging failure. A stubbed toe is more entertaining than this thing because at least the pain doesn't last for over 80 minutes. Don't just skip it. Vault over it.
  • It felt like a guilty pleasure watching the undeniably charismatic lead shoot her sultry and sexy way through assorted scuzzy reprobates, in this stylised take on the Western genre. The story involves an entertaining romp along the Mexican American border just after the turn of the last Century, in which early forms of mechanised transport duel with the traditional horsebacked cowboy depiction, and help to capture a changing age. The characters we are introduced to along the way (such as the dwarf/dying Siamese combo) help add to the slightly exotic, almost burlesque feel of the film. There is nothing particularly original here, and it felt like a definite case of 'style over substance'; I thought the final product was slightly let down by some hard-to-hear dialogue, and I couldn't decide if the jarring 'electric shock' flashbacks (or forwards) were too fast for me to keep up with, or just unnecessary. The casting department appeared to have raided the strange world of professional David Beckham lookalikes to fill the supporting role, and his transition from obedient daddy's boy to moody, seasoned side-kick shooter was too sudden and implausible....but then these are minor gripes about a film that doesn't profess much of a basis in historical reality, and is all the better for it. 7/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Tiller Russell writes and directs this strange, but somewhat interesting western. Ransom Pride(Scott Speedman)in many ways is a man's man, in spite of being a criminal and gunfighter. This realistic and rather raw drama finds Ransom gunned down in Mexico and his partner Juliette Flowers(Lizzy Caplan)vows to keep the promise to her lover and take him back home to Glory, Texas to be buried next to his mother. One major problem is that Ransom's body is being held ransom by a mysterious woman, Bruja(Cote de Pablo); she wants Flowers dead. The Reverend Early Pride(Dwight Yoakam)wants his son's body brought back from Mexico as much as he too wants Miss Flowers dead. Flowers, not shy to stab, slice or shoot, decides to deceive Ransom's little brother, Champ(Jon Foster), in helping her bring back his brother's body. All along Flowers knows that she is actually trading Champ for Ransom; a live brother for a very dead one. Between Glory and Mexico there will be hell to pay.

    How in the world they got Calgary, Alberta, Canada to look like Texas and Mexico is one of those magical things we go to the movies for...I guess. This flick does not go easy on the bloodshed and brutal violence. My main reason for viewing this movie is Miss Cote de Pablo, who you really have to look twice to recognize. Her character looks nothing like the beautiful NCIS agent she played on TV.

    Others in the cast: Kris Kristofferson, W. Earl Brown, Jason Priestley, Peter Dinklage and Blu Mankuma.
  • The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride is definitely one weird western where the central character takes a step down from Sharon Stone in terms of social standing. Her boyfriend is the title character played at the beginning and in flashbacks by Scott Speedman and he's gunned down by someone he did not suspect at the beginning. But she promises him as the life oozes out of him on the town street to get his body back across the border for burial.

    Speedman comes from a large clan named Pride. Speedman's dad is Reverend Dwight Yoakum who wears the title loosely and his uncle is Kris Kristofferson. They're not the greatest specimens of humanity ever, but they resent their son taking up with a prostitute. And one that shoot and fight like Lizzy Caplan. At least Sharon Stone in The Quick And The Dead was a good girl in an infinitely better film.

    Not only do they hold Speedman against Caplan, but now she's involved with another Pride played by Jon Foster. And all the poor girl wants to do is the right thing by her dead boyfriend.

    The Last Rites Of Ransom Pride is one terrible waste of good actors and good country singers.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is an old west run and gun action film, with touches of the dramatic, and excellent unintrusive comic relief. The intro belies a highly entertaining film, as the opening credits honestly look like they were made with Windows movie maker, but this is quickly set aside with a sterling intro to the story.

    Frankly, the casting in this film is beyond genius. There are few large names to guide it, but all of the actors are perfect for their roles. From Lizzy Caplan as the exceptionally attractive lead femme fatale, to Peter Dinklage as the token midget. Blu Mankuma also plays an outstanding character, complete with snappy dialogue and possibly one of the best scenes of dialogue in the film, paired with Peter Dinklage. For some reason he isn't featured in the IMDb cast list, but he plays a prominent role, and is definitely one to watch the film for.

    But no film can be perfect, and the flaw with this film is purely narrative. Even into the final scene of the film, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at the old favourite, the "pre-kill monologue". Almost every kill in this film seems to occur as a result of the person you think will win taking his/her sweet bloody time about it. Now using this once in a film is forgivable, but I lost count after a while. It just seemed no one in this world (despite being hardened killers) could end someone's life without telling them a little about themselves, why they were killing the target, and how they were going to do it. And of course as a result, almost all expected results were reversed.

    But truth be told, however annoying this came to be, the characters were great, and the overall story arc had a great hook to it. Certainly should you be given the chance to watch this film, take it.
  • So you want to make a western, but not just a western. Nooooo. This is gonna be a Work of art too. So we add some weird color scheme and a lot of fixed camera settings on plants and desolate landscapes. Some strange music on top and let the plot unfurl really slooow. Now this takes the western up to art level, right? WRONG!! This is the recipe for a bad movie. Same thing happened for the french adaption of the comic Blueberry. What you get is a pretentious nothing. There have been several westerns deserving the art stamp. (The Searchers, The good bad & ugly, The unforgiven, to name a few), but these always worked within the boundaries of how a western should be, namely entertaining. This one definitely doesn't fit the bill.
  • Edinburgh Film Festival By Martin Hoyle Published: June 25 2010 22:08 | Last updated: June 25 2010 22:08

    The Last Rites of Ransom Pride, with its individuality, boldness and bizarre blend of mythic yarn-spinning, is an extraordinary debut feature. Tiller Russell's Western is set in 1912, which explains a bereaved father transporting his son's corpse across the desert in the back of a car. Add a richly caparisoned tent in the middle of nowhere housing tragic Siamese twins, one of whom is dying (which means they both are), and a bitterly articulate dwarf. There is also a disfigured Mexican voodoo priestess, a scripture-quoting killer, a code of honour, and in Lizzy Caplan (True Blood) a believably tough woman who fights, swears, beds and kills on a par with the men. Totally riveting, with a weird poetry all its own. What will Russell do next?
  • Seriously, too many arty farty reviews here. Sure it's not High Plains Drifter or A Fistfull of Dollars but it's a steady Western. Enough action to keep you watching, a plot which while not being outstanding is simple to follow and a bit of sex appeal in the form of Lizzy Caplan. A large proportion of big(ish) name character actors bring life to what could have been pretty bland characters. All in all an enjoyable flick which really doesn't need over analyzing. View it for what it is. A fun western. If I had to be critical though, I'm not a fan of the single frame cut scenes which seem to be there to flesh out what would be a short story.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    this movie sucks really bad. why anyone would anyone would want to see this again would be a stupid idiot. I rented it because i thought a western movie would be good but its horrible. i the begging when a old women shoots the lover(male) its good but as the movie progresses throughout the movie the only good points are when the small dude and the Siamese twins got into a gun battle with a bunch of hire for gun. they both died. the dad, and the lover both die. its so boring that i fell asleep. Cote De Pablo play a bad job in this. the only good actor that played in this movie was Lizzy Caplan because she just is a good actor. She also acted in hot tub time Machine as April. Dwight Yoakam played a drunk Reverend.
  • andyp33529 November 2017
    Pseudo-voodoo/mock-shamanic mextern. Vapid females of reproductive age, moronic male models, fourth-rate actors, celebrity sellouts, cynical producers, lazy writers, inebriate (?) directors and journeymen technicians - this film has it all. Utter crap from beginning to end. What was anyone thinking of ? Surely not the money.
  • A plus for Canadian westerns over Italian westerns is no lip-synch. That pretty much sums it up. There isn't a lot a film crew can do with $8MUSD, and this crew was no exception. Despite a rock solid performance by Dwight Yoakum and good walk-on by Kris Kristofferson, they were the only ones taking their roles seriously. Everyone else involved in the film, most especially the writers, knew this stinker was headed straight to Netflix on demand and exerted themselves accordingly. It's too bad, because if they hadn't been going for bizarre there were elements here of a worthwhile story. Over-the-top performances really kill any character development that begins to rise up, and the indiscriminate use of flashbacks is done just to re-use film and extend run-time without doing anything for the story. I can't believe they actually bothered to bring this dog to Blu- Ray. If you can watch it for free on Popcorm using your Roku and have nothing else to do, have at it. Otherwise, get out and mow the lawn, weed the garden. It's a better use of your time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    More a short film than an actual film, "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride" tries to distinguish itself as a Western that seems to challenge just about every convention that Westerns used to stand for.

    The question is, is that really a good idea? The plot, in a nutshell, is as follows: a woman (Juliette Flowers) is trying to recover the body of her deceased lover (Ransom Pride) from a malformed mystic, who will turn the body over, as long as she gets in return the brother (Champ Pride) of the deceased lover.

    We really don't know why Champ is important to the mystic...or even why she's holding the body of Ransom Pride in the first place...although we are given a rather difficult to follow explanation in the end if you make it that far. If anything, the explanation makes events that happen in the film seem even more unusual!

    Just as unusual is the idea that Champ's Father Early (Dwight Yoakam) hates Champ for what happened to his wife, who died when Champ was born. In fact, he makes a pilgrimage to recover both Champ AND Ransom's body from the mystic...after he discovered that Juliette was planning on trading Champ for Ransom's body.

    Naturally he holds a grudge against Juliette, who he blames for Ransom's death, and suckering Champ into servitude, so he plans to kill her...until he is shot Champ!

    This film is plagued by several factors, among them:

    • Unusual action edits which, after an action scene takes place, are for some reason reversed and choppy.

    • A strange assortment of characters, including the mystic (who looks more like a Voodoo practitioner than a Native American or Mexican priestess), a little person, a drunken black veteran of the Civil War (I think) and pot smoking siamese twins.

    • Other scenes, which don't seem to make any sense at all, except if you consider them in the film to expand on the running time.

    I'd put the running time of the film officially at around 80 minutes...but if you were to trim out the scenes that make no sense and those strange rewinding segments, I suspect you'd cut that down to between 50-60 minutes!

    Jon Foster is absolutely gorgeous in the film...and Scott Speedman and Lizzy Caplan aren't terrible to look at. It's just a little eye candy, but it's no where near enough to save THIS film!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Another reviewer states that no reason was given why the body of Ransom Pride (Scott Speedman) was being held captive by the disfigured bruja (Cote de Pablo). Actually there was. In the narrative, it was mentioned that Ransom killed a priest who was her brother, so she was keeping his corpse in recompense until Ransom's brother could be brought to her for revenge. By the way, 'bruja' means 'witch in Spanish, which goes a long way to explain why de Pablo's character seemed to be mystically inclined.

    The contrarian in me wants to completely disagree with virtually all the other reviewers here who slam the film as miserably bad. Although I can't go all the way on that, the picture is hampered by a film making style that wants to be stylistically clever, but winds up getting in it's own way very much of the time. The vertigo inducing jump cuts tend to confuse more than clarify, and add no coherence to the story. And when the story introduces characters like the Dwarf (Peter Dinklage) and the drug addled Siamese twins, it feels more like a Western episode of 'Carnivale' than anything else.

    I think I mentioned it in another review that there must be some unwritten rule somewhere that states that every Country singing star has to appear in at least one Western movie. This time it was Dwight Yoakam's turn, and even though he's fairly competent as the vengeful preacher of the Pride Clan, I can't say that it was an auspicious role. Kris Kristofferson of course has been in more than his share, and I get the feeling that he's offered these roles because he just naturally looks the part of a grizzled old cowboy.

    It goes without saying, even though almost all the other reviewers said it, that this film won't appeal to everyone. I didn't think it was terrible, but for those of a short attention span, enduring it might invite The Preacher's admonition of knowing the torment of hell.
  • Honestly, What's with all the bad reviews? This movie is like a comic brought to life; properly. No, it doesn't have a $250 Mil budget; nor is it an Oscar winner. But man, does it entertain. Lizzy Caplan is awesomely sexy, as a take-no-prisoners gun-slinging widow, enduring being victimized and targeted by a lunatic father in law, his murderous friend and his insane nephew, a whole bunch of very barbaric men and at least one bloodthirsty voodoo witch... all while trying to keep a promise to her deceased husband. Seriously, I was very pleasantly surprised how satisfying this movie was. Ignore the haters. Just go watch it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Scrappy prostitute Juliette Flowers (well played with hard-bitten conviction by Lizzy Caplan) has the difficult task of retrieving the body of her slain outlaw lover Ransom Pride (a solid Scott Speedman) so she can transport said body from Mexico to Texas. Standing in Juliette's way are the vengeful Bruja (a memorably venomous portrayal by Cote de Pablo) and Ransom's hell'n'brimstone preacher dad Reverend Early Pride (an excellent enraged performance by Dwight Yoakam).

    Director/co-writer Tiller Russell relates the absorbing story at a steady pace, maintains an appropriately grim'n'gritty tone throughout, presents a colorful array of grotesque characters, and brings a wonky editing style, a quirky sensibility, and a galvanizing flashy visual aesthetic that all add plenty of hopped-up energy and eccentric entertainment value to the overall oddball proceedings. The bang-up cast helps a lot: Jon Foster as Ransom's decent brother Champ, Jason Priestley as the unhinged John, W. Earl Brown as the no-nonsense Matthew, Peter Dinkage as a self-aware dwarf, Kris Kristofferson as the grizzled Shepherd Graves, and Blu Mankuma as the laid-back Sergeant. Juliette's determination to honor her promise to Ransom gives this film some real depth and poignancy. Recommended viewing for those looking for something different.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ransom Pride (Scott Speedman) is not the most honest person in the world and gets shot and killed in the first scene. His girlfriend Juliette (Lizzy Caplan) who looks like a post apocalyptic Sgt. Pepper Band member, wants the body to return to his home for a proper burial. For some idiotic reason, the body is being held for ransom. Juliette, known as the wh*** to most, get Ransom's brother to come with her. Champ (Jon Foster) is an expert shot, but is a bit on the shy side. The film incorporates a group of grindhouse characters which include a midget, Siamese twins, a pervert stutterer, and a woman with markings on her face.

    Guide: F-bomb. Sex. Nudity.
  • I love the western genre enough that often I can accept a lesser entry of the genre despite its shortcomings. However, in the case of "The Last Rites of Ransom Pride", there are far more shortcomings than good elements. Actually, I can't recall any good elements at all! Though higher budgeted than most other Canadian films, it seems that they blew most of the money on rounding up that cast, since the visual look of the movie is horrible. The movie looks really cheap, due to a combination of threadbare production values and the always unwise decision to wash out any vibrant colors. But what is worse is the direction and the script. The story plays out in a very muddled way, so that despite the core story (sort of) making sense, there are details that are so badly explained (if explained at all) that you'll be scratching your head. And despite a running length of only 82 minutes, the movie plods on at a really slow pace, mainly due to there not being a heck of a lot of plot. Though there are a lot of annoying arty and self conscious moments It's evident that the filmmakers were trying for something different, but ironically they almost certainly would have made a better movie had they tried to be more conventional.