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Vigilante Force (1976)

After oil is found in a small town and local factory shut down, violent crime skyrockets. A young man has had enough and calls in his older brother, a cynical Vietnam vet, who cleans the streets but then tries to take over the town.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Antony Carbone ...
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Shelly Novack ...
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Michael J. Loonius (as Paul X. Gleason)
John Steadman ...
Lilyan McBride ...
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Tom Cousy (as James Lydon)
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Storyline

After oil is found in a small town and local factory shut down, violent crime skyrockets. A young man has had enough and calls in his older brother, a cynical Vietnam vet, who cleans the streets but then tries to take over the town.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They called it God's Country... until all hell broke loose! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

25 April 1978 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

A város ura  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in thirty days. See more »

Goofs

During the showdown on the ranch, Viner climbs up an oil rig. When he gets shot, he falls down and the crash mat is visible. See more »

Quotes

Aaron Arnold: You know why you ain't been killed, don't you?
Ben Arnold: Yeah. Because we're brothers.
Aaron Arnold: And that's the only reason.
See more »


Soundtracks

Take Me To Morning
Music by Gerald Fried
Lyrics by Hermine Hilton
Sung by Byron Keith Daugherty
Courtesy Troubadour Records
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User Reviews

 
Banjos and bar-fights, yi-haa!
22 October 2012 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

I was in elementary school when I last read it, but "Vigilante Force" actually reminded me of the classic biblical story of Cain and Abel; the harsh and bloody battle between the strong and treacherous brother versus the physically weaker but forthright brother. George Armitage, the hugely underrated cult director of "Gross Pointe Blank" and "Miami Blues", transferred this basic given from the Biblical era to the trashy 70's and a small Californian town setting. When the previously dormant oil deposits nearby are re-opened again, the charming little town of Elk Hills all of a sudden becomes a lawless boom town. The local authorities instruct the town's mechanic Ben Arnold to call in his elderly brother Aaron for help. Aaron is a Vietnam veteran as well as a local legend, so they draft him and a handful of his Tour of Duty buddies to come and restore the law and order in Elk Hills. Aaron and C° quickly rid the town of all the scum, but then subsequently take over all the illegal activities themselves. The alleged heroes start up a felonious gambling network in town and even force the local merchants to participate in mafia practices. It takes the town of Elk Hills, and particularly younger brother Ben, a very long time to realize their new deputies are bigger criminals than they dealt with before and even longer to stand up against them. "Vigilante Force" is an interesting albeit heavily flawed mixture between urban western, guerrilla action and family melodrama. The tone of the film is very uneven, as Armitage interchanges wild & virulent bar fights (the absence of a Buddy Holly record in the jukebox is enough to drive these hicks insane, apparently) with overlong and dull morality speeches. Luckily there are a couple of powerful and memorable moments, like the cowardly assassination of a pivot character and the extremely explosive climax, to help "Vigilante Force" qualify as precious drive-in exploitation heritage. And the catchy banjo soundtrack helps a great deal as well to achieve this, of course. The best performances are given by Kris Kristofferson as the corrupt and totally unreliable anti-hero Aaron and Bernadette Peeters as a cocky but down-on-her-luck barroom singer. Personally I'm a tremendously big fan of Jan-Michael Vincent, especially of the cult hits he made around that era like "Shadow of the Hawk" and "White Line Fever", but here in this film he mainly just drives around town. Seriously, his red pick-up trucks deserves top-billing as well. For the seekers of hidden cult accomplishments…


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