The American western film is a deeply underappreciated genre, particularly modern westerns like “The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford” or “Slow West.” They offer grit and grime, great characters and incredible backdrops, but do you know what they don’t have? Rolls-Royce SUVs. Not even one of them, at least until now. A short film that is both a western and which features a Cullinan debuted on Wednesday. It’s called “The Gunslinger,” and it’s awesome.
The setup for “The Gunslinger” is basically like that of most westerns. There’s a bad guy (the man in black), a good guy (the titular gunslinger), a saloon girl and a robbery. The film is pretty light on exposition, but we’re not blazing new trails here. Instead, it goes heavy on the imagery and production value thanks to a killer set that was constructed outside Livingston, Montana for a Nic Cage movie, plus all the out-of-control natural beauty that Montana has to offer.
Things proceed more or less how you’d expect in any western until an SUV that costs more than my parent’s house rolls thunders onto the screen at maximum attack. That SUV is, of course, a Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan. If you think the idea of a Cullinan in nature is silly, let me remind you that it’s won an off-road race already, and it’s generally way more capable than you’d guess.
The guy behind this film, Jeremy Heslup, has done stints at Petrolicious (when it was relevant) and created the YouTube channel Praemio which has a bunch of awesome stuff on it. More recently, he did a short film featuring a Porsche Taycan called “Mr. E” that did the festival circuit and which is also worth checking out.
My favorite part of this whole Rolls-Royce thing, though, is that Rolls didn’t pay for it. Sure, they loaned the production a Cullinan for a week, which is nice, but that’s it. This is no BMW Films kind of deal. That the filmmakers were able to create something this stunning looking on their own dime is super impressive, and I’m already extremely excited to see what Heslup and crew have coming out next.