Written by: Ralph Cinque | Directed by: Erich Kemp | Genre: Action / Drama
Joe ( Jeff Weber ) is a regular, run of the mill guy who happens to be the sheriff in his small town. He's game for knocking a few back with friends, watching the fights, and just the general things the regular man does with friends. What he doesn't know is that a plot to assassinate a local Senator ( Mike Gassaway ) has taken shape and is about to be implemented. The Senator is very outspoken when it comes to terrorism and Islam, and in an effort to end the conflict they decide his death is a must.
Their weapon/person of choice to carry out this mission is Abdul Hassan, ( Junes Zahdi ) who we're led to believe is the best. Once he accepts the mission, for no more than operating expenses, Abdul then crosses the border with some illegals and he is off to Washington. As you would expect, things in the film don't go exactly as planned and Sheriff Joe and Abdul are destined to square off, for reasons that end up becoming a little more than political. The two men are opposites of the same coin, and may even be considered to hold a lot of the same values. That's part of the appeal of this movie. The good guys have their bad points, and the bad guys have their good points. At times it makes for some excellent drama, a great set piece for the bits of action in the movie.
My stretch Of Texas Ground is a political thriller. There's no way to get around that and I don't think getting around that was ever in the cards. It's a well written piece that perhaps lost a little being a low budget film. The movie is ambitious, and takes place all over the map. What's really cool is that having a small budget almost felt like it didn't matter. The amount of stuff, locations, and overall scope of this film is amazing all things considered. Personally knowing more than a few indie filmmakers, It's a safe bet to say that many would not even touch a film like this without a large budget. Director Erich Kemp not only tackled this project, but excelled. There are moments when this film doesn't look low budget at all, the entire sequence of Abdul slipping into the US comes to mind.
Then there are times that it does. Especially during the ending of the movie. The final sequences, ( I especially got a slight laugh at some of the fighting sound effects at the end ) felt a little rushed or outright batty. It was like My Stretch Of Texas Ground lost its steam somewhat, but never completely. Even at its worst, this film does things so many other indie movies simply couldn't.
The overall message is another area where this film excels. This isn't a cut and dry kind of thing, this person is good and this person is bad. Even the required baddie, Abdul, has a heart. And our perfect Sheriff is not quite so perfect. It all adds to the drama making the characters themselves the set pieces. I will say that this film was a little long feeling, but that may be from a slightly bloated story. The Sheriff's relationship with his son must have felt like a good way to add some depth, but it felt to me like it was an afterthought and honestly, probably wasn't needed to drive the story forward.
This isn't a "perfect" example of amazing indie filmmaking, but it's still pretty impressive; even when considering the size of the film alone. My Stretch Of Texas Ground is a movie that is better than all right, just not good enough to be great. Still, you could do plenty worse with some of the Hollywood drivel that's been coming out lately. Perfect? No. Still worth investing the time? Yes. There's a good story backed up by some mostly good performances. I would rate this movie 3.5 stars. Thank you for reading.
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