September Dawn

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September Dawn WOOf! 2007 (R)

Take a stock Old West setting, add a theme of religious intolerance, a “Romeo and Juliet” subplot, a ton of gratuitous violence, Jon Voight, and the label “based on a true story,” and you have this truish fiasco about a Mormon militia massacring 120 settlers on September 11th, 1857. Bishop Jacob Samuelson (Voight) isn't pleased about a wagon train of non-Mormons and their worldy ways passing through his territory, but when his son (Ford) falls for one of the settlers (Hope), he goes berserk and decides to show them who's religion is right, after all. Mass-murder of the settlers (and the viewer's tolerance) ensues. Voight chews scenery while the movie collapses into a pit of one-dimensional characters, heavy-handed plotting, and made for TV level production values. Movie stirred controversy and accusations of anti-Mormon bias because of the implication that Mormon leader Brigham Young authorized the massacre. 110m/C DVD . US CA Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Taylor Handley, Tamara Hope, Jon(athan) Gries, Shaun Johnston, Lolita (David) Davidovich, Dean Cain, Huntley Ritter, Terence Stamp; D: Christopher Cain; W: Christopher Cain, Carole Whang Schutter; C: Juan Ruiz-Anchia; M: William Ross.