Film, Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Film Review: Come Hell or High Water

March 14, 2012

Both Renick and I have been waiting a few months for Come Hell or High Water to get back in stock. We burnt through our initial inventory faster than expected, and when I went to order more copies I was told they would need to “make more,” to meet the current demand. Nonetheless, I’ve watched the film a few times now, and as soon as this review goes online I’ll think about sending Renick his copy. ;)

Keith Malloy and Woodshed Films wrapped up 2011 in good fashion. Come Hell or High Water brought home a total of four awards from the NYC & London Surf Festivals…rounding out both the “Best Feature,” and “Best Cinematography” categories. A combination of vibrant 16mm film and some new camera angles really makes you wish you were there… steamrolling down the face of wave.

Being body surf film, you of course get a healthy dose of Mark Cunningham. Following a brief narration by him on the south shore, you get a good feel for what CHOHW is all about. At Point Panic, the locals aren’t competing… they’re simply having fun… which is the mantra throughout the film. The movie overall, comes across as lighthearted with jokes about Speedos and comments like “It’s never gonna be cool. I never got any chicks bodysurfing, that’s for sure!

Fear not though… there’s a healthy Wedge section smack-dab in the middle of the film, with plenty of steep drops and lines gone wrong. Fred Simpson says it best; “The hardest part is making up my mind to take off… actually putting myself in the path of the bull, and pass it so it rips my clothes but doesn’t kill me.”

Locations include California, Hawaii, Tahiti, a brief stop in MONTANA, and a pinnacle with Cunningham at Teahupoo. The best rides in my opinion are Mike Stewart at Point Panic… which includes some nice barrels and off the lip spins.
Come Hell or High Water has an overall mellow soundtrack. Some of the film’s musicians include: The Cave Singers, Eddie Vedder, Mike Kaawa, Todd Hannigan, and a Dan Malloy/Jon Swift collaboration.

I dig the film. The combination of Woodshed production and Malloy’s awesome beard really shines some light on an often times overlooked sport. The playfulness of the film was nice change of pace from all the recent overly aggressive short board flicks to come out. It’s a great addition to the Woodshed catalog, and well worth the price of admission (DVD + 6 Pack.)

That’s it for the plight of the torpedo people… guess I can mail Renick his copy now.

You can pick up a copy of the film here.


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