Mediocre outlaws of the old West
Cole Younger and the Black Train consists of 19th Century legendary old western outlaws in a film genre I would normally pass over. This low-budget film proved to be enjoyable with surprising bits of humor. Michael Madsen is featured as the main star of the film–we only get to see him a couple of times as sheriff; Cody McCarver could be considered the true star of the film–his character is the older Cole Younger.
As a young man, Cole recalls seeing a black train with a mysterious passenger by the name of Emmet Black (Jerry Chesser). Emmet seems to be a sort of reaper, taking the souls of those who pass away. Over a period of many years, Cole and his brother Jim (John Hudson) have become famous outlaws consisting of a gang where Jesse James (Tripp Courtney) and his brother Frank (Braxton Williams) are members. No bank is safe from the outlaws, and lawmen and good citizen across the Wild West are on the edge. Two detectives from the Pinkerton Detective Agency (Mitch Mitchell, Mike Baxter) are sent to find and capture the bandits, while additional men travel along as their line of defense.
The overall plot for the film is decent, and Chaser’s character “Emmet” is easily the coolest character of the film–donned in a snazzy black ensemble and deviously haunting blue-green eyes. In addition to Shotgun (Ronald Bumgardner), was an amusing fellow obsessed with his mini-shotgun and declared on two occasions he planned a special method of revealing to disbelievers that his gun was indeed real. McCarver made for a likeable outlaw for this debut film.
Cody McCarver as Cole Younger
There are obvious low-budget special effects depicted during the actions scenes; when someone was hit or injured– “action noises” were absent, and the blood is obviously fake. During the gun fights, some of the characters were shot, and the “agony” expressed was delayed or tremendously over the top. The panning in on the actors close up during the film’s pivotal scenes were just a little too close. Regardless, these B-movie elements add to the charm of the film.
Overall, Cole Younger and the Black Train as a historical drama wasn’t much for the specifics of the legendary ‘Black Train,’ however, the film does offer an entertaining peek into the adult life of Cole Younger, and his partnership with Jesse James to create a band of the most feared outlaws in US history.
Cole Younger and the Black Train’s special features include:
- Trailers for The Legend of Hell’s Gate, A Cold Day in Hell and Hatfield and McCoys: Bad Blood
- An advertisement for the channel epix, a premium cable channel with online streaming and video on demand services.
- Stills gallery of scenes from the movie.
All three films featured in the string of trailers are low-budget westerns, with a few cast members featured in this film participating. Christian Slater is the main star of Bad Blood, and his acting from what could be identified through the trailer doesn’t seem too bad. Masden also stars in A Cold Day in Hell. Epix appears to be an interesting channel, especially considering the streaming services. There is an option to share the viewing experience on social media by inviting friends to view concert specials and other events to the stream.
Cole Younger And The Black Train was received as a courtesy for review. Roam the wild American frontier with a band of notorious outlaws. This action-packed western filled with gangs and gunfights features Reservoir Dogs star Michael Madsen and introduces National Country Music Recording Artist Cody McCarver. The film follows the life of Cole Younger from his teenage years to his criminal partnership with Jesse James. The DVD special features include a free digital music download of Outlaws and Trains by Cody McCarver and film stills gallery.
Source: Lionsgate Home Entertainment