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This movie is probably more than most will bear to sit through, as a first impression the afflicted work gives is that it must have been hastily cobbled together from footage removed from the cutting room floor, since it is virtually unintelligible. Its initial frames are composed of text that provides background for what follows, i.e., a group of former Northern (Union) troops make their way back to their homes in Texas immediately following the War Between The States under leadership of a former sergeant, Sampson Moses, played by Robert Vaughn, slaughtering erstwhile Confederate soldiers along with their families, wherever they find them. Settling in a ghost town called Brambles, the former Unionists restore the town by day, while continuing their marauding during the evenings, Moses having declared himself mayor of the hamlet and building a combination jail/insane asylum to confine ex-Rebels and their kin who have been taken prisoner rather than butchered. The actual filmed action begins twenty years later, in 1885, and it is consistently challenging to locate a semblance of sense within any of it; among the many disparate plot elements are included: a group of Confederate offspring in their twenties, who refer to themselves as the Waterhole Gang, are clashing with Moses and his companions, including their offspring, the two groups gaily and ineffectively flinging rocks at each other; one of the Gang, an illiterate, courts Sampson's daughter Delilah (Lisa Cangelosi) by learning how to read (his primer is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet from which he is soon quoting entire passages); murders frequently occur, the victims not only having a large "WH" (Water Hole) branded upon their foreheads, but also being somehow completely and immediately desiccant, as well; many of the female characters are seen with bared breasts to little narrative purpose; a mob of escaped "insane" prisoners lurch evenly through the town holding torches, their demeanour being evocatory of the flagellants in Bergman's SEVENTH SEAL in combination with Romero's zombies in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD; et alia. Scene after scene chaotically passes during this choppily edited affair, leaving behind a stream of unanswered questions, and if there is a climax to this thing, a viewer probably will not be able to identify it or, indeed, to comprehend relationships among the characters, most of whom as depicted are seemingly as confused as will be an audience. Anachronisms are rife within the dialogue, and costumes as well, for this mess shot with video tape (often hand-held!), yet it is the general incompetence of those responsible for this production that will cause viewers to watch numbly as each sequence beggars its predecessor for folly, with only the lush natural landscape where the film was shot in the hill country of south central Texas being of worth. Post production efforts are substandard, as well, in particularly in relation to sound quality but, above all else, a bizarre script leaves little with which to work, and casting choices are often grotesque, with few of the actors capable of playing into their roles, only Cangelosi being impressive here. Willie Nelson, billed second, appears briefly in but two scenes, with few lines, shot mainly in closeup, and generally with an owlish stare, most likely reflecting his wonderment as to why in the world he became involved with this tripe.
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