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Film / Dead in Tombstone

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Dead in Tombstone is a 2013 American direct-to-video action-horror western film directed by Roel Reiné. The film stars Danny Trejo, Mickey Rourke and Anthony Michael Hall.

A gang overruns a small mining town murdering their own leader Guerrero (Trejo) in a cold-blooded power grab. Sentenced to eternity in hell he finds himself confronted by Satan himself (Rourke), offering a daring proposition: deliver the six souls of his former gang and he will escape damnation. With time running out, he sets out on a brutal rampage to avenge his own death.

The film was followed by a sequel, Dead Again in Tombstone, in 2017.

Dead in Tombstone contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: The film is about a man doing a Deal with the Devil, with the Devil being played by Mickey Rourke. Rourke himself had played a man who was confronted by the Devil before in Angel Heart.
  • Affably Evil: The devil played by Mickey Rourke is a sadistic, torturing and utterly immoral figure...but Mickey Rourke clearly has fun in this role.
  • Arbitrary Gun Power: The power of Guerrero's Hand Cannons varies greatly. Sometimes a shot from them is enough to blast someone backwards through a closed door, and at other times a head shot leaves nothing more than a gentle spray of blood on a window.
  • Asshole Victim: The Blackwater Gang is a murderous, thieving and utterly despicable assortment of wretches. It makes it all the more satisfying when Guerrero gets his hands on them.
  • Badass Longcoat: All of the Blackwater Gang wear long dusters. As does Satan when he appears on Earth. Guerrero's in the most badass.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Guerrero fails to meet his deadline of killing the Blackwater Gang by midnight, thus forfeiting his soul to the Devil. However, the Devil "spares" him for the purpose of hunting down other outlaws in the wild west. It's implied that Guerrero is alright with this deal, however. After all, he did get his revenge.
  • Blown Across the Room: Happens all the time.
  • Bodybag Trick: Guerrero and Calathea sneak past Washington and Snake by hiding at the bottom of a pile of bodies being wheeled past on a mine cart.
  • Bond One-Liner: What pulpy western doesn't have them? There are a couple of good ones in this flick.
    • When the first of the Blackwater Gang sees that the naked man in front of him is a resurrected Guerrero.
    Gang member: What the hell?
    Guerrero: Now you're talking!
    • Perhaps the best one comes at the very end of the film.
    The Devil: They say that man was made in God's image...unfortunately, you were made in mine. Begins to torture Red.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: The film opens with the Blackwater Gang storming a prison to free Red as he is about to be hanged.
  • Buried in a Pile of Corpses: Guerrero and Calthea escape from the mine by concealing themselves in a mine cart underneath a pile of corpses.
  • Cain and Abel: Red and Guerrero are half-brothers. Red has always been jealous of Guerrero, despite the fact that Guerrero has always looked out for him. Red talks the rest of gang into betraying Guerrero and fires the first shot in the fusillade that kills him.
  • The Cavalry: Guerrero uses his last bullet to kill Snake. However, before he and Calthea can be overwhelmed by Red's remaining deputies, they are saved by an armed uprising of the townsfolk.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Judah Clark arrives at the mine with a posse of armed men wearing badges. However, instead of being there to save Guerrero and Calathea, he is there to collect the gold that the Blackwater Gang owes him.
  • Cigar-Fuse Lighting: Washington does this when the Blackwater Gang storms the prison at the start of the film, and Guerrero does as he is escaping from the mine on a wagon.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Judah Clark is the mine owner who happily cuts a deal with Red and the Blackwater Gang to keep the money flowing into his coffers.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: As Guerrero kills each of the gang and places their bodies in coffins outside the church, he pins a page of the bible to their chest with a knife and writes their number on it in blood.
  • Dead Guy on Display: As Guerrero kills each of his gang, he places their bodies in coffins outside the church.
  • Deal with the Devil: The main point of the film. Guerrero literally makes a deal with the devil to get revenge on his former gang. He fails in the end, but un/fortunately for him, the Devil has other plans for him...
  • Death Is Cheap: Guerrero dies at least twice in the film, both for getting a second shot on ridiculously hard job offer as well the Devil's amusement.
  • Devil's Job Offer: Satan releases Guerrero from Hell with a promise to return him to life he can deliver the souls of his six betrayers to Hell within 24 hours. At the end of the film, Guerrero fails to meet his deadline by two minutes. Satan allows him to remain on Earth so long as he continues to send the souls of outlaws to Hell.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Guerrero has no problem with stealing the gold from Edendale's bank. However, he draws the line at seizing control of the mine and the entire town, and raping the sheriff's wife. It gets him killed...the first time.
    • This actually becomes a bit of a plot point: The Devil continually expresses annoyance at Guerrero's insistence on looking out for the sheriff's wife post-resurrection. As far as the Devil is concerned, this is just a waste of time...time that Guerrero should really be using to save his soul.
  • Evil Brit: Corrupt Corporate Executive Judah Clark.
  • Evil Redhead: Red fits the bill.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Courtesy of Mickey Rourke, the devil has a gravelly baritone voice.
  • Expy: Really, the entire story sounds like a particularly out-there version of one of Machete's adventures. (Not that this is a bad thing.)
  • Fingore: Satan bites the tip of Guerrero's finger while torturing him in Hell.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Satan rules over one.
    • Given a rather practical motif in Satan's "job": he's a blacksmith.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: When Guerrero returns from the dead, he rises naked from the grave and does not retrieve his clothes until after he has made his first kill.
  • Gatling Good: Darko uses a gatling gun to try to blast Guerrero out of the saloon.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Though the film justifies it by claiming that he is Guerrero's half-brother, it is still rather weird to hear Anthony Michael Hall pepper his dialogue with bits of Spanish.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Guerrero beats Darko to death with a succession of bottles in the saloon.
  • Hand Cannon: Guerrero carries a pair of massive custom-made three barreled pistols. His ability to reconstruct the guns is what tips off the first of his victims that this is actually Guerrero.
  • Handsome Lech: Snake of the Blackwater Gang. He's always flirting or getting handsy with pretty women. One of the last things he does is take a little too much pleasure in having Calathea at his disposal.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: See Oral Fixation below. It's subtly implied that part of the Devil's torture of his victim is to eat them piece by piece.
  • In the Back: Red very casually shoots the Sheriff of Edendale in the back.
  • It Amused Me: Why does the Devil redirect Guerrero and Red's bullets during the climactic shootout so that neither of them hit each other? Probably because he thought it was funny.
    Guerrero: WHY???
    The Devil: [Evil Laugh]
  • A Lady on Each Arm:
    • When Satan appears on the balcony in the saloon just before Guererro's murder, he has a girl on each arm. When Gurerro looks back, the girls are there but Satan is gone.
    • When Guererro is sent back to Earth, Red is sitting in the saloon with a topless prostitute on each arm.
  • Mad Bomber: Washington. When asked if he has enough dynamite, he replies "There is never enough dynamite".
  • Mark of the Beast: When Guerrero makes his Deal with the Devil, Satan brands his chest with an inverted cross.
    • he also brands Red the same way at the end of the film, at the start of what will be an eternity of suffering.
  • Meaningful Name: Guerrero de la Cruz is Spanish for "Warrior of the Cross". Guerrero is a warrior, and he bears a inverted cross in his chest.
    • Red's choice of renaming "Edendale" to "Tombstone" is another: Tombstone was the name of a famously lawless town in the American West, and this Tombstone quickly falls into decadence after Red takes over.
  • Moe Greene Special: Guerrero kills Snake with a single shot through the eye (allowing Satan to make a 'snake-eyes' pun).
  • Naked on Revival: When Gurerro is returned to life, he wakes up naked in his grave. He later finds his clothes in a cupboard in Ramos' barn, implying that the gang buried him naked.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Guerrero is gunned down by the other members of the Blackwater Gang when he disagrees with Red's plan for seizing control of the town.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: When the Blackwater Gang rides into Edendale, Calathea goes to the sheriff's office to tell her husband that a gang of dangerous looking gunslingers have just ridden into town. He patronizingly tells her to come back when they've broken some kind of law, as he's discussing important business (i.e. mineral rights).
  • One Bullet Left: Guerrero is pinned down and out of ammo during his gunfight with Snake. He finds one bullet left in his ammo belt and uses it to deliver a Moe Greene Special to Snake.
  • Oral Fixation: From ripping off and eating one of Guerrero's fingernails to putting his finger in a stab wound and then sucking the blood off his finger like a candy cane, Mickey Rourke's devil has a rather...weird relationship with his victims.
  • Preacher Man: The preacher of Edendale has turned to drink since the town has become the Wretched Hive that is Tombstone. But he still does his best to tend to the spiritual needs of his flock, and apparently has a vision regarding the coming of Guerrero to cleanse the town.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The five traitors are all colorful criminals with their own shtick.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: It is Red's plan to rape the sheriff's wife that causes the final break between Red and Gurrero.
  • Resurrection Revenge: Guerrero De La Cruz is betrayed and murdered by his gang, and ends up in hell. De La Cruz offers Lucifer a bargain: in return for his freedom, he will, within 24 hours, deliver the rest of the gang: Red, Baptiste, Ramos, Washington, Snake, and Darko. Lucifer agrees, but adds that if De La Cruz fails, his torments will be increased a thousandfold.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Guerrero has to do this when Satan sends him back to Earth. Fortunately it appears that his gang buried him shallow.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Guerrero comes back from Hell to go on one.
  • Sequel Hook: Of sorts. Guerrero kills his old gang, but the Devil sabotages him so he doesn't succeed until past midnight (therefore breaking the deal). Satan changes the deal so Guerrero is forced to act as his bounty hunter for the rest of eternity. The movie ends with Guerrero riding to the sunset to his next target.
  • The Sheriff: Edendale's sheriff is a decent godfearing man who believes in the rule of law. He is gunned down by the Blackwater Gang.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Happens with the first shots fired in the climatic showdown between Guerrero and Red. This is because the Devil is manipulating the bullet's flight path for his own personal amusement.
  • Showdown at High Noon: The climatic showdown between Guerrero and Red takes place at midnight rather than high noon, but otherwise follows the trope.
  • Skyward Scream: What Red does as Satan brands him, marking the beginning of Red's eternity of suffering.
  • Slashed Throat: How Guerrero kills Washington.
  • Take Over the City: Red's plan shifts from stealing the gold being held in the bank to taking over the town so he controls the gold mine. After killing The Sheriff, he appoints himself the new sheriff and the mayor.
  • Taking Over the Town: Red and the Blackwater Gang do this to Edendale, even though it was not the original plan.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Carried by the townsfolk when they turn up to drive Red out of town.
  • Unflinching Walk: Guerrero, Red and Washington perform one as the walk away from the exploding bank.
  • Walking the Earth: In the end, Guerrero fails to kill all of the gang by midnight of his day. But the Devil instead tells him to bring him the souls of every outlaw that is alive before he can die in peace. Guerrero has a lot of work to do...
  • Weird West: A Western in which an outlaw takes a job offer from the Devil to deliver the souls of his enemies.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Satan returns Guerrero to Earth and gives him 24 hours to slay the six gang members who murdered him. He is returned at midnight, so has until the stroke of midnight the next night to complete his mission.
  • Wretched Hive: Red and the Blackwater Gang turn Edendale into one, even changing its name to Tombstone.