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Richard L. Bare
I like crime films a lot. So, the idea of a film about an escaped convict and a cop who doggedly follows him is one I'd probably like. However, "Cry of the Hunted" turns out to be pretty poor--mostly because the writer was 'slap-happy'--literally! Characters in the film are pretty one-dimensional and spend a lot of time slapping folks around--and they way the slap-ee (is this a word?!) reacts is even more bizarre. For example, early in the film, Lt. Tunner (Barry Sullivan) wants some information out of a prisoner--so he beats the crap out of him. Then, later in the film, after this prisoner escapes, the prisoner refuses to harm the Lieutenant when he has a chance! You'd think he'd at least deck him for having worked him over earlier--but instead he inexplicably likes him! And, when Tunner and his assistant (William Conrad) are out in the bayou looking for the escapee, the assistant takes a local behind his shack and slaps him around to get information! Only moments later, the prisoner and his woman get in an argument and, surprise, surprise, he slaps her across the face--at which point she kisses him very passionately!!! I tell you, the writer was slap-happy--and reinforced some bizarre clichés about violence!
This is not my only complaint about the movie. Much of the dialog is bad but the plot really doesn't make any sense. A prisoner from the bayou escapes back to the waterways he knows so well. So, the Lieutenant and only one assistant follow him--determined to get him. This makes no sense, as the Louisiana back country is a maze of waterways, islands and ferocious creatures. Yet, two lawmen are going to somehow find a man who grew up there AND who is being aided by the locals. Yeah, right. And this makes sense to whom?!
The bottom line is that the film is chock full of bad writing. Despite a decent story idea, the film manages to blow it.
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