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The Canyon of Hope (03/20/2007)

released: Mar 20, 2007

description: Bodies litter a battlefield. A terrified young boy hides under the body of his father, hoping the worst has passed. The ancient cavalry man, Rat Tooth, spots him and lures him out if his hiding spot. Rat Tooth tells the boy that he will have to come with him, as there is where else to go. Before they leave, the boy, JuJu, takes his father's pocket watch.

Five years later, General Crogg's men train. General Crogg is pleased overall, but not with the performance of one soldier. He strikes him with his longsword, and when the soldier survives, orders the rest to eat him. The soldiers, though conflicted, comply.

Meanwhile, JuJu wakes in a cold sweat, remembering his entire family's death at the hands of General Crogg. Lucy hears him stirring and checks on him. When he tells her about his dream, she comforts him by telling him that she will never leave him, she will never die. JuJu is still unnerved and decides to walk around the fort and make sure everything is secure.

JuJu walks through the streets of the fort in the canyon, greeted by other townspeople about their business. He finally ends up at a quiet pond. He gazes into it and sees his younger self, joined by his parents. He is int erupted by Rat Tooth, who asks if he is ready to learn to fight yet. JuJu again declines, and Rat Tooth lectures him for an excessively long time about what needs to be done, and what he may be called to do in the future.

Meanwhile, General Crogg and his men are burning down an orphanage and feasting on the children. The soldiers feel bad about it, but they are hungry.

As they walk through the forest, JuJu tells Lucy he wants to show her something. He directs her into a clearing where a beautiful pond is. The birds, fish, and other woodland creatures greet there. There, with some help from the woodland creatures, the two share a shy kiss.

Back in town, the two young people walk hand-in-hand, chatting with the townsfolk, when suddenly a cannonball flies between them. More cannonballs blast into the fort. The two run to Rat Tooth's tent. Despite being interrupted in a private moment, Rat Tooth takes the time to lecture JuJu again about vengeance and what needs to be done. Then he finishes his business in his tent, and the three run to the wooden door of the fort.

General Crogg's men have a battering ram, but are hesitant to destroy such careful craftsmanship. General Crogg tells them that is fine, they can leave if they choose, but knowing the fate that befalls those who cross General Crogg, they take down the gate. They are immediately shot dead by Rat Tooth, who in turn is killed by General Crogg. He then runs through the town, setting fire to everything in his sight.

JuJu takes a moment with his dead mentor. As Lucy watches, she reminds JuJu that she will never leave him. JuJu gathers himself to face General Crogg. He takes Rat Tooth's gun, and they run after General Crogg.

They meet him in the middle of the streets. JuJu reminds General Crogg of who he is -- how the general killed his entire family. He informs him that he will now have his revenge. The general sneers and asks how he will do that with a gun with no bullets -- Rat Tooth used all his bullets on the general's men. Lucy throws her gun to JuJu and both men shoot simultaneously. The bullets both hit, and the general falls dead -- however, the general's bullet ricochets off of JuJu's father's watch, so he is safe. However, it hits Lucy.

As JuJu kneels beside her, he remembers his family and wonders if all those around him are cursed. Just then, Lucy's eyelids flutter. Her head is bleeding heavily, but she is all right. JuJu gathers her up to take her to the doctor, as the rest of the townsfolk emerge, seeing that the danger has passed.

cast & crew:

Directed by . . . Jason Chin
 
Cinnamon Roll Merchant . . . Colleen Breen
Expendable Soldier #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Expendable Soldier #2 . . . Colleen Breen
Expendable Soldier #3 . . . Mel Evans
Expendable Soldier #4 . . . Sean Kelley
General Crogg . . . Michael Johnson
JuJu . . . Rob White
JuJu's Father . . . Jorin Garguilo
JuJu's Mother . . . Kristen Studard
Lucy . . . Kristen Studard
Old Man . . . Michael Johnson
Rat Tooth . . . Jorin Garguilo
Rat Tooth's Lady Friend . . . Michael Johnson
Townsfolk #1 . . . Amy Verdon
Townsfolk #2 . . . Colleen Breen
Townsfolk #3 . . . Jorin Garguilo
Townsfolk #4 . . . Mel Evans
Townsfolk #5 . . . Sean Kelley

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trivia:

  • Jorin's character was originally named Raktook.

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