Simon is a shooting star in ‘haggis’ role

Simon Jake Gillespie gets tough in a scene from 'Cowboy Court'
Simon Jake Gillespie gets tough in a scene from 'Cowboy Court'

Guns will blaze when a Falkirk film-maker’s latest “haggis western” hits the big screen of his local multi-plex later this month.

Writer/director/actor Simon Jake Gillespie will be holding a screening of his critically acclaimed new feature ‘Cowboy Court’ at Falkirk Cineworld on Thursday, June 23, at 8.30 p.m.

This is the second Simon Jake Gillespie epic to be screened at Falkirk Cineworld – back in 2009 the action-packed ‘Wild Side of Life: The Guilt of Richard Minnelli’ thrilled a capacity audience.

Now ‘Cowboy Court’ has just made waves at the Loch Ness Film Festival.

“We got a standing ovation at the festival,” said Simon (37), from Brightons. “We started this one as soon as we finished ‘Wild Side of Life’, but ‘Cowboy Court’ was written long before ‘Wild Side’.

“There will be some familiar faces from the first film, but it’s mostly new people. It’s hard to explain what ‘Cowboy Court’ is all about without spoiling the plot, but basically it starts in the past when a 10-year-old boy hires a hitman to kill his father.

“He doesn’t have any money so he gives the hitman an IOU – the hitman tells him he’ll remember this and that the boy ‘owes him’.”

As the tale moves to the present day the hitman returns to collect the debt.

Simon got into films at an early age, watching spaghetti westerns with his grandfather and then picking up his first VHS camera at school. Although he currently works full-time as a sales rep, all his spare time and cash is ploughed back into his films.

A producer of epic and violent “haggis westerns”, a term he coined himself, Simon has admitted his next project ‘Setting Rainbow’ is actually a love story.

“It’s a real change for me,” he laughed.

His current caper ‘Cowboy Court’ is sure to be a crowd pleaser because Simon’s debut feature ‘Wild Side of Life’ brought cheers aplenty when it was screened at Cineworld two years ago.

Four years in the making and filmed on location in Falkirk, this labour of love was brought to life by Simon and a cast and crew of 80 local people. A complex tale that spanned the decades, from the 1960s to the present, ‘Wild Side of Life’ jumped back and forward through time with a speed and regularity that would make Dr Who timesick.

Full of crooked cops, crazy crooks, classic cars, lost twins, bloody murders and an imaginative torture scene involving a chairlift and some rope, the film also featured lots of guns – something that is rapidly becoming a Simon Jake Gillespie trademark.

Simon says he’s learned lessons from the feedback his first feature received, and has cut down on the sometimes confusing flashbacks and the number or characters involved.

He said: “There’s only two flashbacks in ‘Cowboy Court’ and the plot is easier to follow.”

You can see for yourself by visiting www.haggiswestern.co.uk and booking tickets.