Skip to Content


The Ballad of Kiwi Kate


Gunsmoke and hearts afire in the troubled town of Tinder.


It was a little slow at first, but I really got into as the song went along! A cute and simple western story told rather well with some good visuals and decent songwriting.

Topical western set in the town of Tinder that had gun-toting Bob fresh out of England blasting away anyone he disliked. That thunderous passion leads him to his would-be mate Kate but through a ROMEO & JULIET like familial faf the tale twists into a tail of revenge with her trusty steed Jacinda by her side.

Narrated through an actual ballad that was particularly well performed, this was a slow burner that paid off in spades. Very down to earth humour, taking jabs at Australia and using cheese rolls for a horse as punchlines, I liked the commitment to making an authentic western with outstanding costuming. To be honest for me the blow up horse worked really well, giving your film some much needed life and humour.

Now the things for me which stood out a bit were the pacing. It is all well and good to build your short up, it just felt like transtions and developments by being guided through the narration kind of just happened without weight whether dramatic or comic. Some really great visuals, but the edit at times also felt a bit jumpy and sudden too in my book. Having said that, the ending was good and kind of covered up a lot of these issues by leaving me with a smile.

Story: 2.5/5
Technical: 2.5/5
Elements: 3/5
Overall: 2.5/5

The highlight of this film is definitely the titular ballad which was really well performed and kept us moving through the story. Having a recently killed cowboy sing it was really cool too, if not a little "inspired" by The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

I think the opening locations were cool, and really felt like we were in the old west, but soon enough it feels like this attention to detail was dropped, and Kiwi Kate herself was introduced in a way that felt like it was from a film with less of a keener eye for locations.

Some good gags, but ultimately felt a lot of the jokes fell flat - especially naming the horse Jacinda. I'm not even coming at this from a political view, it just felt like a pretty meanspirited joke that didn't work for me.

Some odd choices here as well when it comes to superimposing words on the screen, the Tinder sign and the Made in Australia logo were both clearly added in post despite both being very easy practical things you could make in real life. Maybe that was the joke?

Things you got right: A well told story with inconsistent but good-when-it's-good costume design and art direction, a catchy ballad.

Things to work on for next time: A more compelling story, dedication to the authenticity - especially with matching that first location.

Great songwriting, singing, guitar. Well done making a musical when you weren't forced to! Clever use of invisibility.

Cool story team - well done!

Song was fun, the shots were clean, edit was clean, the audio was good - well done.

The story I felt lacked depth, I didn't see how it was a Rom-Com and was a bit confused on why some of the events happened in the film - but meh.

All round - good work team!

The Jacinda joke may have played better in Dunedin, I don't really have a reason why I think that it's just a gut feeling.

Rest of the film was pretty good tho :)

Add a review

Sign in to post your review