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Branded a coward for surrendering his New Mexico fort to the Confederates without firing a shot, a Union colonel attempts to redeem himself by leading a band of condemned prisoners on a suicide mission to recapture it.
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Deserves notice for attempting to do away with biker film clichés and presenting a serious minded portrait of violence
"Northville Cemetery Massacre" isn't the ultimate biker film as the promotional material screamed. Both "The Wild Angels" and "The Born Losers" are much better films. Still, "Northville Cemetery Massacre" deserves notice for attempting to do away with biker film clichés and presenting a serious minded portrait of violence. The film has garnered some comparisons to both "The Wild Bunch" and "Easy Rider", and while its nowhere near as good as either of those classics, the similarities are definitely noticeable. If this had just been released five years earlier, it would probably have more of a cult following.
The film is uneven in quality. The pacing is pretty poor, as is the acting and dialog. Still, even with the horrible delivery, its easy to see that the screenplay has some social concerns on its mind and that is admirable (as opposed to the nihilistic cheap thrills of previous entries in the genre). The bikers aren't bad guys also and only at the end are they driven to violence. The action sequences are tense and manage to make the violence exciting without glamorizing it (similar to Peckinpah). There's also some attempts at satire and comedy that end up being surreal. "Northville Cemetery Massacre" isn't a drive-in classic, but is interesting for independent cinema fans. (6/10)
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