I patiently waited for this film to hit American shores, but it was sadly not meant to be. Based on the writings of Robert E. Howard who fathered Conan the Barbarian, Kane is a Puritan warrior who wanders the land and fights various forms of evil. He uses his wits, magic, and sometimes just brute force to send the Devil's minions back to hell. The 2009 film takes a little liberty with the source material and gives us sort of an origin tale chock full of action, horror, and all the things true genre lovers appreciate. This is dark material so I guess it's really no surprise that it never got picked up by a U.S. distributor. I can't imagine how they would market it, or what the MPAA would have rated it. Thank goodness for region free DVD players because this gem of a title can be easily imported and viewed by all worthy fans of a kick ass good time.
I love it when actors are willing to suffer for their craft. The production staff absolutely tortured their actors on this one and the end result shows up on screen. Rain machines, mud, and the look of misery constantly shown on the characters faces bring this tale of swords and sorcery to life. When I dived into the special features on my DVD copy, I was amazed to hear about the actors being so cold and wet that their costumes would actually freeze while they were filming certain scenes. I'm getting the flu just thinking about it!
All that suffering would be moot had they had not filled the cast with solid thespians. James Purefoy simply owns the role of Kane and gives us a new film badass to root for. He's surrounded by the likes of Pete Postlewaite, and the great Max Von Sydow in supporting roles. A notable mention goes to the performance of Mackenzie Crook best known for his work in the U.K. version of "The Office" as Father Michael. This character may have one of the creepiest lines of dialogue ever put on film when he says, "I deliver you unto Satan's creatures for the destruction of your flesh that your spirit may be saved." No thank you Father, I wish to be excommunicated from the congregation please.
Sword fights, crucifixions, and just a touch of "Evil Dead" make "Solomon Kane" a title worthy of seeking out. For those out there who are fans of films like "The Beastmaster," or "The Sword and the Sorcerer," you won't be disappointed with this chunk of high quality cheddar. What are you waiting for? The splendors of Kane await. Import it now!