Legend Of The Phantom Rider

  • 2000
  • Movie
  • R
  • Horror, Western

Though this offbeat ghost story/Western hybrid would have benefited from sharper editing and a director with a surer command of suspense set-ups, it's an interesting variation on two sets of familiar themes. According to the legend of Pelgidium, Evil manifests itself itself in the world every few centuries and seeks its Christian inverse. In 1165 A.D.,...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Though this offbeat ghost story/Western hybrid would have benefited from

sharper editing and a director with a surer command of suspense set-ups, it's an interesting variation on two sets of familiar themes. According to the legend of Pelgidium, Evil manifests itself itself in the world every few centuries and seeks its Christian inverse. In 1165 A.D., a satanic entity slaughters a Trigon Indian brave, and that same foul spirit is reincarnated in 1865 to walk the Western frontier in the guise of a Confederate renegade named Blade (Robert McRay). After slaughtering a settler and his son, Blade allows a minion to rape the man's widow, Sarah Jenkins (Denise Crosby). Sarah and her traumatized surviving child, Melanie (Alexis Bond), strike out and seek refuge in an isolated and inhospitable town caulled Saugus. Unfortunately, Blade runs the town, having murdered its sheriff and judge. A shopkeeper (Stefan Gierasch) and his wife finally take Sarah and Melanie in, but Blade dogs Sarah's steps and repeatedly orders her to "bring him to me." Sarah, who's unfamiliar with the Peligidium legend, defies Blade until she realizes she's the vehicle through whom Blade's adversary will be reborn. Meanwhile, Phantom Rider Pelgidium Granger (also McRay) appears and saves the town's preacher (Angus Scrimm). But the Phantom's ability to interfere in human matters is limited; he can't do all the fighting for the sheepish populace. Melanie falls into a coma after being wounded in the crossfire between Blade's gang and the Phantom Rider, and Blade later kidnaps the child in order to coerce Sarah into luring the Phantom into a trap. Can the Phantom Rider end Blade's reign on terror, or will Sarah break the supernatural cycle herself? This extremely brutal, slow-moving Western features a posse that has to saddle up and drive out ghosts — imagine THE OTHERS (2001) crossed with HIGH NOON (1952) and you'll have some idea of central conceit. Though the premise could have developed more effectively, it's nothing if not unusual.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Though this offbeat ghost story/Western hybrid would have benefited from sharper editing and a director with a surer command of suspense set-ups, it's an interesting variation on two sets of familiar themes. According to the legend of Pelgidium, Evil mani… (more)

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