Avenging Angel

 

 

Shooting: April - may be partly May 2007

 

Date of release - 7 July 2007

Presented by RHI Entertainment --- Produced by: Alpine Medien, Larry Levinson Prods.

Genre: Western, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG

 

  Screenwriter: William Sims Myers Preacher -- Kevin Sorbo
 
Director: Davis S. Cass, Sr.
Maggie -- Cynthia Watros
Executive Producers: Larry Levinson, Robert Halmi, Jr. Bob Quinn -- Nick Chinlund
  Filming location -- Simi Valley (California) Colonel Cusack -- Wings Hauser

 

Official pics, press kits, etc.

 

Kevin Sorbo has been tapped to star in the Hallmark Channel original movie "Avenging Angel." Sorbo is set to play a preacher charged with making a life-or-death decision when a ragtag group of families seek refuge in his church on the run from the powerful Col. Cusack and his lawless gang. The preacher begs the outlaws to spare their lives, but the church is destroyed and everyone inside it gets killed. As a result, the preacher turns away from God and vows to avenge the incident as a bounty hunter. <...> (26.03.07 Hollywood Reporter, article "'Angel' with abs: Hallmark casting Sorbo")
 
TV Guide: This sounds like a dark Western.
Kevin Sorbo: Usually Hallmark is sort of along the lines of G movies, but I'd give this more like a PG-13 - I think this is a big step for them. It's "Pale Rider" meets "Death Wish". I play a character who's called the Preacher; you never find out my name, so it's sort of the Clint Eastwood "Man with No Name" kind of movie I grew up loving. I heard rumors that they may want to do a sequel. It's not as dark as "Deadwood", obviously, but I think there's a market out there for it. David Cass, our director, is an old stunt guy who has been around forever - he doubled for Robert Mitchum, John Wayne.
TVG: Does this film depict "Deadwood"-like harshness?
Sorbo: Yeah, I think it does, although you want to keep it somewhat sexy, I guess, for both men and women. We've got Cynthia Watros as my love interest and she's just beautiful to look at - the camera just loves her.
(25.06.07 TV Guide)
 
Sorbo has his first Western coming to the small screen. <...> "It was a hoot working on it - a great cast, stunt guys, horse guys, and it was just fun. With my physicality, I'm kind of surprised I didn't get a Western before now," adds Kevin. There's a chance his The Preacher will be the central character in more films for Hallmark, and Sorbo is game. (27.06.07 U-Entertainment - Los Angeles Newspaper Group)
 
<...> "I've wanted to do a Western all my life," Sorbo says, and he happily traded in his sword and spacesuit for a cowboy hat and a chance to portray a fascinating character, unlike anything he's done before. Sorbo plays "The Preacher," a tortured soul who sees tragedy strike his church and family. "He goes off the deep end and becomes a bounty hunter as a way to deal with the pain," Sorbo explains. "I enjoy playing the good guy, but this is as 'bad' as a good guy can get." (27.06.07 Tolucan Times)
 
<...> "Avenging Angel". Kevin Sorbo may be perfect for a classic cowboy role. Sorbo is best-known as TV's Hercules; a sampling here shows him capturing all the nuances of a strong-and-silent bounty hunter in the Old West, harboring pain and revenge. (07.07.07 Asbury Park Press)
 

Hallmark Channel - the family friendly basic-cable channel, targeting 25-to-54-year-olds - currently televises about 20 of the made-for-TV movies a year, selecting as stars "iconic" performers of classic TV series. <...> The slate for 2008 will include 30 films. They will retain the current level of quality, and the content will remain a family friendly mix of romantic comedies, Westerns and other genres that have proved popular with viewers. The network wants upcoming films to match the success of the recent Western "Avenging Angel", starring Kevin Sorbo (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), which scored a 2.6 rating, making it the third-highest film in the channel's history, according to Hallmark executives. (16.07.07 Animation Artist, CA)

 

Western connoisseurs said that the Preacher's pistol appeared to be a Colt 1872 Open Top.

 

Kevin Sorbo told me (and anyone who asked) that yes, much good character development footage was left on the cutting room floor in "Avenging Angel" and he would love to get his hands on the director's cut with that footage. He spent hours on the horse learning to ride and just wanted to improve - and he did! (01.09.07 DragonCon, report by Themis)

 

 

Synopsis from Hallmark Channel
Caps are of different kind and from different sources, many thanks for DVD-quality caps to my dear Anne

 

In a small western town in Texas Hill Country in 1875, landowner Col. Cusack sends his henchmen, led by Bob Quinn, to run off homesteaders - settlers who've purchased their property from Cusack, only to find he's reneged on the deal and now claims they're violating his land. The bad guys do his dirty work their way - with guns. Some of the unarmed homesteaders fall. Others continue running, trying to outpace their attackers.

Meanwhile, the wife of the local Preacher lovingly helps him prepare for Sunday morning services at their small church. At the service, the Preacher proudly introduces his wife, Sarah, and young daughter, Rachel, to the congregation. As he delivers his sermon, gunshots are heard, as Quinn's men fire on the escaping homesteaders. With nowhere else to go, they take refuge in the church.

Quinn and his men arrive, calling to those inside. The Preacher comes out to address him. Quinn explains that the church's guests have broken Cusack's "law" and have been found guilty. The gunman tells the Preacher to send out the settlers - or else he'll blow up the church and everyone in it. Inside, the parishioners argue with the Preacher over whether to send out the homesteaders, fleeing rather than heed their leader's call to trust in God for their safety. Quinn orders his men to light their explosives and toss them inside, Preacher tries to stop this, but is knocked unconscious. Explosion kill some - the rest are taken care of with bullets.

Some time later, the Preacher awakens in the rubble, only to find his beloved wife and daughter dead. He finds Rachel's rag doll, clutching it as he cries.

Not long after, the Preacher listens as the townspeople of Little Springs argue over what to do with the dead homesteaders' bodies, some suggesting they just be dumped on the Colonel's property. The group wants no words of wisdom from the mourning Preacher, who warns them they have ignored the evil that has beset the town.

At his home, he tucks a photograph of his wife and daughter into his bible, and recalls Sarah consoling him over his pain from having killed so many men in during the recent Civil War. He pulls out his old pistol and places it by the bible: the two worlds are about to collide. The Preacher prays, asking God to forgive him for the road he is about to take...

Three years later, the Preacher, now bounty hunter, chases after a lone fugitive, who tries to talk his way out of his capture. He tries to pull a pistol on his captor, but the Preacher has the upper hand, easily subduing him - and collecting a handsome reward from the local Sheriff.

Bob Quinn, who is still carrying out Cusack's monstrous doings, but this time with the law on his side - he's now the sheriff, sets out to the settlement, coming upon its elder, Elijah, and a young settler, Billy, instructing them and their group to vacate the property. Elijah explains that Cusack had collected payment for the land and promised a bill of sale, but never delivered on the latter. No matter, the Sheriff tells them, they must leave - or else.

Meanwhile, feigning drunkenness, the Preacher comes upon two gunmen at a campfire, falling off his horse. They inquire about the dead body - it's their brother, wanted for murder as they are. They draw pistols, but not fast enough: they join their brother.

The Preacher returns with his three "prizes" to the town he left nearly four years earlier, to collect his reward. Every business in the town is now owned by Cusack. Surprised, but not recognizing the bounty hunter, Quinn pays the Preacher his bounty, incredulous that one man could capture the dangerous criminals. He offers the stranger a job - working for Cusack.

After collecting his money, the Preacher visits the remains of his former church, stopping to see the graves of his late wife and daughter. A stranger there tells him Cusack never permitted the rebuilding of the church after its preacher left town.

In the saloon, the lone Preacher has a drink. One of Quinn's henchmen, Spencer, begins threatening one of the bar's prostitutes, and the Preacher intercedes. Outnumbered, the Preacher is beaten badly by Spencer and his men, who toss him out into the muddy street.

Enter Maggie Forster, the former saloon girl - now a saloon woman who quietly sweeps the floor and cleans beer mugs - who has watched the goings on. She helps him to his feet and, with nowhere else to go, brings him to her own home. Maggie cleans him up, nurses his wounds and cleans his clothes - noticing the bible and photo of his family, but saying nothing.

After warning his men that the man they beat the night before is a cold-hearted killer, Quinn greets Cusack, telling him of this possible new recruit - Cusack likes his description.

Back at Maggie's, the Preacher slowly comes back to life, meeting Maggie's seven year old daughter, Amelia - about the same age his daughter would have been.

All of his clothes are washed, alongside the laundry cleaned by Maggie's paying customers. Liking the peacefulness of this home, the Preacher asks about renting Maggie's back room while he's in town - okay, by Maggie, but no drinking and no guns.

Back in town, the Preacher comes upon Quinn, who reiterates his offer to join Col. Cusack's men after pointing out Elijah, the "squatter." The Preacher explains he's on "sabbatical" from killing - no thanks.

At dinner time back at Maggie's, the Preacher arrives late, but still passes on offering up grace before eating. Maggie explains that she schools her daughter, she not being welcome at school as the daughter of a prostitute. She inquires about his background, but he doesn't offer up much information.

Spencer and his men continue to "persuade" the settlers to leave, dragging a young couple by rope into the encampment. Billy asks Elijah what he intends to do about this mistreatment, but Elijah notes only prayer can help the group, which angers the young man.

As Maggie teaches her daughter, her guest enters and takes over the job, after Amelia begs him to read to her. He's beginning to enjoy his stay.

The next day, the Preacher makes a visit to the encampment, Billy mistaking him for one of Quinn's thugs. Elijah explains to him about Cusack's thievery, but that they intend to stay - right is right.

The Preacher decides it's time to meet Cusack, so Quinn brings him to the Colonel's home, a monument to wealth, which is heavily guarded. He introduces the visitor to the seemingly genteel Colonel, who again asks him to join his ranks, the Preacher, of course, continuing to reject the offer. The Colonel challenges him on his belief that the homesteaders are in the right. Sickened by Cusack's talk of greed and power, the Preacher declines a drink and leaves. Cusack orders Quinn and his men to get rid of him, after first setting fire to the settlers' encampment. They do so, killing Elijah in the process.

Back at home, Amelia has gone to bed, after enjoying some hard candy the house guest has brought her. Preacher and Maggie talk over a cup of coffee, the two getting to know each other's dark pasts.

In the ashes of their encampment, some of the settlers talk about leaving, to avoid further destruction at the hands of the Colonel, but Billy urges them to stay, to fulfill Elijah's dream, pointing to the now-burned ruins of a new church. They decide to remain.

Billy comes to town and convinces the General Store proprietor to provide the settlers with supplies, partially on credit, and the homesteaders begin raising new buildings, much to the dissatisfaction of Cusack. The Colonel orders Quinn to liquor up the townspeople and pay them to kill the homesteaders. At a meeting of all the town's men, Cusack riles them up with a "pep talk," explaining the settlers' "threat" to their way of life.

After a visit to his wife's grave, the Preacher, hoping to settle the score for his family's murder, rides out to warn the homesteaders of Cusack's plans. But Billy stands firm - the group's faith will sustain them, though the Preacher's own shattered faith still leaves him unbelieving in their survival.

At night, the townspeople are getting drunker and drunker. Quinn orders Spencer to kill the Preacher, telling him to use Maggie as bait. They go after her. The Preacher appears. Preacher: You want me - come and get me right now. The men try to shoot him, but in a flash, he avoids Spencer's shots, which kill his comrade instead. With Maggie's help Preacher wins the fight.

The two return home, the Preacher finally revealing his wife and daughter's deaths and his turn to bounty hunting. Amelia awakens, scared, asking for the Preacher to tuck her in. He does - and gives the girl his daughter's rag doll, comforting both Amelia... and himself.

Quinn gathers the drunken townsmen and arms them. Meanwhile, recalling the killing of his family, the Preacher prepares to help the settlers, as Maggie brings him his gun. He reveals that the burned church was his - he was the town preacher whose wife and daughter were killed in it. She and Amelia watch him ride off.

The anxious settlers await their fate the next morning, now joined by the Preacher, who has come to help "even the odds," though he is the only one with a gun. Quinn and his men approach, admonishing the settlers to leave one last time. Billy refuses - and Quinn shoots him, wounding the young man.

As the armed townsmen draw their weapons to carry out Quinn's order, the Preacher comes forward. Quinn finally recognizes the intruder - who then shoots Quinn dead as he gives the order to fire. The townsmen disperse and leave the settlers alone. Before leaving, the Preacher tells the settlers to finish building the church - they'll need it.

The Preacher rides to Cusack's house, who is surprised to see him - alive. The Preacher demands the bill of sale for the settlers' land, Cusack gives him the paper but then goes for a gun, receiving the same fate as his henchmen.

The Preacher returns home - to his new family.

 

I absolutely recommend you this long musical video by HerculesHunt

 

Official graphics Hallmark Channel, RHI Entertainment

2008 KSJAA - Please, don't borrow contents without permission



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