After Billy Jack in sentenced to four years in prison for the "involuntary manslaughter" of the first film, the Freedom School expands and flourishes under the guidance of Jean Roberts. The... See full summary »
When the godson of San Francisco's crime lord asks permission to leave "the business," Don Antonio agrees, but reluctantly. Such behavior by either one is a violation of the code, and a ... See full summary »
Alberto De Martino
Actually rather effective revenge flick from exploitation legend David Friedman
I love just about anything David Friedman has produced, particularly "Space-Thing" and the H.G. Lewis gore flicks. However, I was surprised by "Johnny Firecloud", because this is the first Friedman flick I've seen thats legitimately well-made, opposed to just being extremely entertaining trash. And despite it being very much an exploitation flick, it tackles bigotry more effectively than most recent Hollywood pictures. This is because the politically correctness of the 70s was far different than it is today, and thank God. The film shows bigotry at its absolute worse and avoids pulling easy punches. Despite the serious subtext, it still offers plenty of graphic thrills, but oddly enough the final revenge seems rather disappointing because of how mature the story had been up to this point.
As with many low-budget films of the era, the actual technical quality varies. The acting is, for the most part, rather one note, with the exception of David Canary as the repressed homosexual sheriff. Its a strong portrayal in an era when gays in cinema were mostly shown as effeminate sissies (we haven't advanced too much since than either). As the title character, Victor Mohica is pretty wooden as is Ralph Meeker surprisingly. The notorious Sacheen Littlefeather is in here also, probably to capitalize on her recent Oscar appearance fame. The direction by William Allen Castleman is serviceable if nothing special. Still, despite any flaws due to low production values, the film ultimately works. (7/10)
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