Since the turn of the 21st century there have been a plethora of zombie movies released, each seemingly attempting to improve on the storyline and special effects of their predecessors. The word "original" is often used too loosely to describe the majority of these films, when in truth the plots are essentially the same - Zombies plague a specific area and a group of heroes (or anti-heroes) must blast their way through the hordes to survive. Fortunately, Death Valley can be called an "original" take on the zombie genre in that it is the first of its kind to be relevant to the Old West era.
The story centers on the character of real life Confederate raider, William Anderson, who was best known for his slaughtering of innocent men, women and children. Unfortunately for Bloody Bill, karma caught up with him and he was brutally executed in the town of Sunset Valley. Rising from the dead, Bloody Bill places a curse upon the town of Sunset Valley and begins claiming its inhabitants for ranks in his zombie army. The town, soon desolate and forgotten disappears from all maps and records until some unlucky bastard sets foot on the land, at which point the dwelling springs to "life" to claim the poor fool and employ them in Bloody Bill's army.
Sadly, the cast of the film is on the agitating side, often spewing out lines that are borderline ridiculous and uninspired. Granted it may come with the budegtary restraints of an Independent film, the overall lack of chemistry between the living cast and unfunny one liners thrown in most certainly detract from the overall quality and credibility of the film. The saving grace for Death Valley (in addition to the non-traditional take on the zombie genre) is the incredible amounts of special effects poured into this film. Unlike the usual Indie zombie film, Death Valley pulls out all the stops to give the viewer a great deal of quality SFX shots and heavy gore scenes. Even the zombie make-up was, for lack of a better word, "realistic" and more convincing than many mainstream horrors out there. Advising the audience not to eat, say chili or raw pork products, would be a public service announcement beneficial to the film, as I found myself often losing the urge to grab some munchies. Wait... I don't eat raw pork products...
The Asylum provides a copious amount of extras to go with the film including a "making of" featurette where cast member Denise Boutte (pronounced "BOOTY") actually prounounces her last name, so we can all hit the rewind button and laugh and laugh and laugh. Also featured on the disc is a behind the scenes featurette, audio commentary from Byron Werner and a bunch of trailers from the Asylum for their other projects.
A great deal of campy gore and a nice little take on the trite zombie storyline make Death Valley: The Revenge of Bloody Bill a safe venture from the Asylum. If for nothing else, you'll get a kick out of the insane amounts of blood and guts, not to mention the whole "Boutte" debauchery on the extras.