Hey gang, Valkor here. This next film up on the TOV chopping block has been sitting on my shelf for some time now; I’m talking long after new shit has come and gone, I've always overlooked it with the words “next time”. Well next time is finally here as “Deep Dark Canyon” DVD finally gets the Val-treatment. And after stewing for all that time, is it ultimately worth the watch? Let’s find out, but beware dem spoilers yo!
Deep Dark Canyon centers on brothers Nate (Spencer Treat Clark) and Skylar (Nick Eversman), who are out on a hunting expedition in celebration of Skylar's birthday. Nate fires at what he believes to be the buck they were tracking, but it ends up being the mayor, whose seeds are deeply rooted in their town of Guerneville. The two boys are taken to jail, but it’s Skylar who is ultimately arrested and will be charged for the crime. Nate, not wanting to see his brother take the fall, attempts to break out Skylar, whilst he is being transported. However in doing so he ends up killing two cops. Now they’re in some serious shit. One cop who arrives on the scene, Lloyd (Martin Starr), who is also related to the fallen mayor, is able to cuff the boys before their escape. But a quick shot to the mouth allows the brothers to make a hasty retreat – though they’re still cuffed to one another. And now the chase is on as the local police along with a handful of rednecks seek the two boys and will dispense their own brand of justice – kill them on sight! The boy’s father, Bloom (Ted Levine), is also tracking them down, but will he find them before it’s too late? Also secrets are revealed as Nate’s true intentions for taking Skylar on that hunting trip unfolds.
Before moving on, I will say one thing about Deep Dark Canyon, these country boys are the worst shots ever seen on screen. So they can hit a target off of a truck or someone’s head, but when a large person is dead in their aim, they hit everything but their target.
While it took some time for me to get around to reviewing Deep Dark Canyon, ultimately it was worth checking out. The box art makes it look like a horror, but actually It’s a pretty decent thriller with a nice reveal mid way that really turns this film on its heels. The hunt for the two brothers is what will make you sit around for this one as they do their best to stay one step ahead of those who want them dead. And when the law finally catches up to them, the two boys and their father go out in a blaze of glory. The plot is solid and straightforward, with no real crazy twist save for the one reveal and the ending is one that’s open and you’ll either like it or hate it. I thought it was a fitting end. The acting all around was pretty decent, but both Spencer and Nick deserve much praise for their work as they’re the ones who mainly carry the film. In the end, I rather enjoyed Deep Dark Canyon, but I also don’t feel too bad that I skipped over it so many times.
Ted Levine would be the first strike I'd give to this film; I thought maybe I was going deaf because I could barely hear the guy. Everyone else seem to project well, but this guy? Sheesh! He mostly grumbles and mumbles through the entire film. Then there’s the choice of music – not dramatic enough. In fact it was way to mellow for this type of film. Who chooses folksy music as the backdrop to two dudes handcuffed together, trying their best to stay alive? Finally, I mentioned above how bad of a shot these rednecks were, but the two brothers also have too much luck on their side to get out of some of their situations. Case in point, they were able to hold up behind an old tree trunk, when the rednecks show up to take a break under said trunk they were hiding under. And it just so happens one of them drops a bagel that lands right where the brothers were. And not only do they get the bagel, but they were also able to escape the rednecks with ease. Really?
Deep Dark Canyon is available now and while it’s not the greatest film in existence, it has enough thrills to keep one interested until that explosive ending that you’ll either love or hate. Although I wasn’t expecting much, I’m glad this film turned out to be more than meets the eye. And out of TOV 5 stars, I’m giving Deep Dark Canyon a 3.