Set in a fictional backwater and filmed in the beautiful limestone hills of Waipara, north of Christchurch, Netherwood stirs a heft dose of hardboiled Southern Man stoicism into a modern day Western thriller. Owen Black, best known as the creepy Dr Ethan Pierce on Shortland Street, stars in a very different role as the lone drifter Stan, passing through the eponymous town of Netherwood. Its not long before he is butting heads with macho bully Mex, played by fellow Street alumnus Will Hall, cranking the redneck craziness up several notches. After Stan takes on a job pruning trees for Monroe, an old cobber of his father, things get complicated: he falls for the mysterious Maria (Miriama Smith) and finds himself the middle man in a long-standing land dispute between Monroe and Mexs father, the local baron Duncan Moore. With hothead Mex on the prowl its not long before this feud escalates into a tense and violent showdown. Michael McDonnell, NZIFF
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