A man and his wife find themselves stranded in a small western town. He discovers that a strange force has turned the residents into zombies, and runs into a beautiful woman who he believes is the key to the mystery.
A young woman is assigned to teach school in a secluded valley whose inhabitants appear stern, secretive and anti-pleasure. Following two children who disappear to play in the woods, she ... See full summary »
for the time as other reviews have mentioned, the idea has its moments, Dennis Weaver (of Spielberg's "Duel" fame) has believability as always playing the victimized average American 70's dad getting abused by some kind of horrific reality. Beyond his control, the world and its people take on sinister tendrils and horrors.
Susan Dey and Kristoffer Tabori are the siblings, off at college but not happy, accompanying Weaver and their mom to a day trip on Pismo Beach. The mom is well-played by the understated Estelle Parsons.
While the psychological undertones are there, the action is not delineated, it starts with a good suspense premise, but sort of tapers to a slow end. Look for veteran actor Henry Olek as disenfranchised hippie, Jerry the leader ostensibly is a Charles Manson-like cult figure. Although other than their garb, aimlessness and need for a "family" there is fist-fighting and wrestling, no murder. The theme of "survival of the fittest" is intimated and could have been more explored.
I did not grow up in the 70's but have studied the films and actors prevalent at that time. Also the political and economic climate as well as gas lines, recessions layoffs and a popular book my Dad had, "The screwing of the average man". It seems that history repeats itself. We are now in a similar recession, people are getting desperate, the fallout is happening now from another war, disenfranchised people and the poor in America....it goes on. But back to the film. Younger generations including my own have interest in the 70s because like it or not we have to learn from history.
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