Shadow on the Mesa ($15) is a solid Western from Hallmark, starring Kevin Sorbo, Greg Evigan and Barry Corbin. They offer fine support to Wes Brown’s young gunfighter out to avenge his mother’s death, only to be tangled in a range war between the father he never knew (Sorbo) and an evil rancher (Evigan).
Sorbo’s character veers toward the dark side, beginning as the nemesis of Brown’s gunfighter, but then he redeems himself for his sins against the young man and his mother. Sorbo could roll through this part in his sleep, but dedicates himself to an interesting layered performance.
Director David Cass has been behind the camera on scores of movies for executive producer Larry Levinson. His staging of scenes with an extra focus on tension makes this film a fine example of what a Hallmark Western can be when the right elements fall into place.
C. Courtney Joyner is a screenwriter and director with more than 25 produced movies to his credit. He is the author of The Westerners: Interviews with Actors, Directors and Writers.