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A soldier who deserted because of spiritual beliefs was tried and evaluated by four psychiatrists, and they all concluded that he was unable to distinguish right from wrong, so he was sentenced to a mental hospital. One day, he escapes and kidnaps them and leaves them all in the middle of the desert. Written by
After being freed in the middle of the desert, one of the first things Dr. Sam MacKenzie does is take off his shirt to cool down. Being a Park Ranger, he would know that is the worst thing to do. All the experts say the best thing to do is keep your clothes on, as the Sun will quickly burn your skin otherwise, adding to your difficulties. See more »
Cheapo film that manages some suspense. However, it's too uneven to fulfill the premise. Three men and a woman are left to die in the searing Arizona desert. Their crime is having institutionalized a crazed Navajo Vietnam vet. Now he wants revenge, and just as importantly, show that his "medicine" is stronger than the white man's.
Though the acting is better than expected, the survival element comes and goes. The early part, where Sam shows how to get food, water, and keep cool by digging holes, amounts to an interesting survival manual. The trouble is many other logical precautions are implausibly lacking, like covering bare skin in the sun or seeking shade while talking. Then too, Sam seems to get stronger as the movie progresses, which makes little sense given the draining heat. That, plus a meandering narrative, doesn't help. Frankly, events appear to have been made up on the fly, maybe as the budget or conditions permitted. As a result, a finely adapted musical score is also largely wasted.
Too bad, because at times the film shows genuine promise. But a basic lack of coherent narrative and thematic development undercuts that promise. For a more riveting tale of desert survival, catch Robert Ryan in Inferno (1953).
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