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A peaceful Native American is wrongly accused of rape leading to a
lynch mob pursuing him and his people.
Opening with one of those breezy folk pop songs that you seem to find in many American movies from the early 70's, I was immediately on board due to an unfathomable liking for this kind of musical accompaniment. This interesting obscurity stars William Smith in the title role, even though he clearly isn't an American Indian. It's a low budget flick that has a foot in the exploitation camp without really being especially exploitative overall. The pivotal moment that launches the narrative is where the protagonist and a young woman roughly argue over money she owes him only to be interrupted by her father, who proceeds to violently beat his daughter. It's a heavy scene but handled in a fairly understated manner. And that is essentially the way that the film is handled from hereon in, i.e. with restraint, despite the subject matter. The lynch mob is led by two hugely unsympathetic characters in the angry sheriff and abusive father. Some further atrocities are committed before the end but the Indians fight back, resulting with the media descending on the town to report events bringing a lot of very negative press.
All-in-all this is a pretty solid little flick. Its focus on Native Americans as the heroes in a contemporary drama/thriller is its big selling point, as at best Native Americans have no more than periphery roles in the vast majority of movies they appear in. It's certainly a shame that the lead actor actually is not one in fairness but, this aside, this is an honourable and interesting effort.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
With a poll coming up on IMDb's Classic Film board for the best movies
of 1973,I started to search online for interesting sounding
titles.Taking a look at a DVD seller's site,I was intrigued to discover
a Drama which claimed to show Native American Indian's in a positive
light,which led to me getting ready to discover how savage things could
Preparing to leave the bar after enjoying a drink,Camper John Allen is asked if he can give a woman called Vicky Shaeffer a lift back home.Due to living on the outskirts of town,Vicky agrees to pay Camper for the lift.
Dropping Shaeffer off,Allen is invited into her house to collect the cash.Allowing the drink to get to her head,Vicky tries to get Camper into bed,but is stopped in her tracks by her dad Ken Shaeffer,who forces Camper out of his house,and then rapes his daughter.With having held a hatred for Native American Indian's for decades,Ken decides that he is going to take advantage of the situation,and show all of them whose boss.
View on the film:
Whilst director Sean MacGregor does show the Native American Indian residence of the small town in a positive light,he sadly appears to be uncertain about what tone he should give the movie,with the moments showing the more serious moments of the towns folk attacking the community,being off-set by a deep-fried Grindhouse side dish,which allows for MacGregor to give the movie some rough'n' tumble action scenes,which sit uneasily next to the stern moments.
Showing Camper John Allen's gentle personality to be something which the towns folk take advantage of,William Smith (who is not a Native American) gives a charmingly quiet performance,with Smith showing Allen having to find his anger,as the townsfolk start to turn on him.Shooting anyone that disagrees with him,Kevin Hagen gives a delightfully wild performance as Ken Shaeffer,with Hagen showing Ken to be the far from gentle savage in town.
This is a great B-movie which stands for tolerance against other cultures. William Smith plays the young indian Camper John Allen, who is charged with rape. Hunted and traced but innocent he fights back with help from his friends and family. B-movie veteran Gene Evens as Sheriff and his deputy Joe Flynn, co-star of many Disney-movies complete the cast of this excellent movie.
I saw this movie years ago on a cable channel; I wish I could find the
VCR/DVD. It's a story about a bunch of good ole boys who take off in
search of a local Indian who is accused of raping a white man's
daughter. Nothing stands in their way; everyone is armed. Their
objective: To "bring back some bunch of red a**es across their
tailgates," and they don't care if they have to kill every Indian
around in order to find the one they want.
Kevin Hagen does a good job playing the outraged father who is hiding a secret, and R.G. Armstrong plays the gun shop owner who is coerced into supplying the mob with free guns and ammo while they try to hunt down accused rapist Camper John Allen.
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