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The Shadow of Chikara (1977)

Two former Confederate captains set-out to recover diamonds hidden in the mountains of Arkansas but a native spirit named Chikara is said to protect the sacred mountains against intruders.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Wishbone Cutter
Drusilla Wilcox
Amos Richmond - Teach
Joy N. Houck Jr. ...
Half Moon O'Brian (as Joy Houck Jr.)
Rafe (as John Chandler)
Grady Wyatt ...
Rosalie Cutter
Virgil Cane
Robert Ginnivan ...
Confederate Officer (as Robert Ginnaven)
Bud Davis ...
Maj. Lee Blackburn
Roger Manning ...
Yankee Officer
Coy Kelly ...
Kerry Smith ...
Don Kellams ...


Confederate veterans of the last battle of the Civil War set out to find a hidden treasure: diamonds hidden in a cave. However, the soldiers find they are being followed by a mysterious hunter (or hunters) who may have a connection to a mythic eagle spirit. Written by Ørnås and Ray Goshay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Witchcraft Western See more »


Horror | Western


PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

31 May 1979 (Colombia)  »

Also Known As:

Diamond Mountain  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie is set in 1865 at the end of the American civil war and features diamonds being discovered in a cave in Arkansas. In real life the first diamonds were not discovered in Arkansas until 1906. See more »


The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
by Robbie Robertson
Performed by The Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Is it good? I don't know, but it holds you there.
15 November 2008 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

How many titles does it want to come under, and how close do they want to sound. For an immensely under-seen film, it's a long list that's for sure and this could mean there's a whole bunch of alternative versions. Possibly? Anyhow 'Curse of Demon Mountain' is very offbeat, but murky western / horror variation set during the end of the American Civil War. It's a low-cost looking production, but its minor handling and realistically down n' gritty vibe helped engrave a hauntingly grim atmosphere. Never does it fault on that aspect. The material might be slight, but because of its ambiguous air, paranoid questioning and often mentioned superstitious framework it does genuinely keep you compelled.

At the end of the Civil War Southern Captain Wishbone Cutter, Indian/Irish companion Half-Moon O'Brian and geologist Amos Richmond head out on a journey to a cave which supposedly holds some valuable stones. Along the way they come across a young lady, Drusilla Wilcox, who was the last survivor of an Indian ambush and decide she'll come too. But it doesn't seem quite right, as they are being followed by some unseen force who doesn't want them to reach their destination.

Really there's nothing there to blow you away about the concept, but the claustrophobic build-up, the uncertain spookiness and unpredictable developments make-up for its clunky and patchy moments. Earl E. Smith (who was director/writer/producer) can fall into some slipshod mechanisms, but his organically leery and edgy touch is well devised. The simmering score felt rather one-note, but the terrible audio sound on my VHS didn't do it any favours. In the soundtrack there's an odd inclusion of "The Night the Drove Old Dixie Down" by The Band, which plays during the opening battle sequence. The performances are very well brought across. Joe Don Baker burly and larger than life temperament is kept under check with a dominant, but careful portrayal as Cutter. Sondra Locke brings a bewildering innocence to her role. Joy Houck, Jr sensationally holds his own with Baker and Ted Neeley is ably good too. Slim Pickens also clocks in for awhile.

I see it brought up, but the use of horses in one particular scene is quite disturbing if it was for real. I can't see it not being so.

An interestingly novel and for most part an effective production, which has got be an eventual cult item.

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