An amazingly violent and brilliantly entertaining seventies film!
For fans of seventies exploitation flicks, Northville Cemetery Massacre is a must! The film is typically thin on plot, but this isn't important as directors William Dear and Thomas L. Dyke have ensured that the film is packed with the important stuff - that being gunfire and tons of blood! The film appears to take influence from Easy Rider in that it features a troupe of bikers coming under scrutiny from the local community and police force simply because they ride bikes and don't have jobs, but it's clear that most of its inspiration comes from the robust violent flicks that were all the rage throughout the seventies. I don't doubt that this film was a major influence on Walter Hill's popular gang flick The Warriors. The plot focuses on a gang of bikers (calling themselves a biker's club). The local police force is none too happy about them hanging around the town, and after a brutal rape is committed; the blame naturally falls on the gang. A number of their troupe are slaughtered by unknown gunmen, and after their rival gang is dismissed as suspects; the real culprits come to light...
The fact that there isn't a lot of plot is completely unimportant. This film is all about atmosphere, and that is delivered through the gritty picture (the film obviously had little to no budget), the soundtrack and the grubby look of most of the central characters. Northville Cemetery Massacre is wickedly entertaining throughout, and despite the numerous continuity errors; remains enjoyable thanks to the entertainment value. The way that the guns are used is excellent, as we get to hear every shot, and each one usually results in a lot of blood being spilled - the budget certainly had room for a lot of squibs! Despite the fact that the budget is low, the violence is brutal and realistic; and it's all owed to the gritty cinematography. There are a number of standout scenes throughout the movie but, as the title suggests, the ending features a huge shootout; and that's where the film really takes off! Of course, it's mostly just mindless violence - but the constant stream of shooting and bloodshed makes for fantastic viewing, and this ensures that a very entertaining film ends on a major high. Overall, Northville Cemetery Massacre is an under seen seventies gem and I highly recommend tracking down a copy!
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