THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE (2013) Short Film Review

Directed by: Josh Heisie
Starring: Dave Roberts, Johnny Quinn, Robert Nolan

Around about a year ago is when I first heard about THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE and I have to admit I was looking forward to it quite a lot because aside from horror movies I also have a particular love for westerns, both the American John Ford kind and the spaghetti type. So a western themed horror flick would seem right up my alley.

A murderous yet feeble-minded oaf by the name of Tubby (Roberts) has paired up with smooth talking snake-oil salesman Jack (Quinn), leaving the angry cries of cheated townsfolk in their wake. Along their travels they come across an old, dying prospector (Nolan) clutching a bag of gold in one hand and a map in the other.
With his dying breath he asks the pair to deliver the gold to his family and to give him a proper Christian burial when he passes on. He seems particularly vehement about that last bit because the ground he is lying on is an old Indian burial ground. But when Jack takes a look inside the bag he gets gold fever and despite Tubby's initial objections they both head off to mine the prospector's claim while they still have time.
But as we all know an Indian burial ground is nothing to joke about and the failure to honor the prospector's final wish might just come back to haunt them.

In all honesty when I sit down to watch a short film I don't really expect a whole lot, although by now I've certainly seen enough to know that they can be just as enjoyable and effective as a feature length film. THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE is an impressive combination of western, comedy and horror which easily entertains throughout its 15 minute running time. Another thing that caught me by surprise is just how professional and well crafted this short was. Everything from the lighting, the locations, the period props and costumes and the gore and make-up effects are all top notch. I should also mention that the make-up and effects are all practical which automatically scores bonus points from me. The acting was great also from Roberts, Quinn and Nolan (Robert Nolan being a favourite of mine ever since seeing him in WORM and FAMILIAR).

Also worth mentioning is that THE PROSPECTOR'S CURSE is the first part in what will eventually become and anthology a la CREEPSHOW or TALES FROM THE CRYPT, with each part focusing on a different aspect of horror such as slasher films and creature features. It just so happens that I'm a pretty big fan of anthologies and if the other parts are as enjoyable as this one then I'm most definitely looking forward to it.

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