The story revolves around the legend of the skin walkers or "S Dubs", a folk legend from Utah about the spirits of murdered Indians returning to seek revenge upon those who disrespect the land.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Lowe ...
Roman George
James Dalgam ...
Bister
...
Saginaw Grant ...
Wilson Sam
Nicholas Bartolo ...
Tommy Nakai
Jon Proudstar ...
Davis Nakai
...
Nina
Drew Lacafa ...
Bobby
Sheila Tousey ...
...
...
Capt. Butler
Marla Frumkin ...
German woman (as Marla Finn)
...
Dr. Stone
Ryan Polequaptewa ...
Lonnie Mack
...
Ruben Maze
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Storyline

Faced with the murder of three medicine men, Navajo police must find the culprit. That the murders appear to be the work of a Skinwalker, or bad medicine man, complicate and illuminate the detective's work. Written by robert_chambers@juno.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Detective Leaphorn trusts hard facts. Officer Chee trusts ancient tradition. Their beliefs will be tested as they try to catch a mysterious killer.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

24 November 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Skinwalkers - kostajat haudan takaa  »

Filming Locations:


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Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of this movie was made in and around Superior Arizona. Some scenes are from Globe Arizona. The steep cliffs shown in numerous scenes is called Apache Leap. Ironic being this movie and series was based on the Navajo Indians. The Movie U Turn was also famously filmed here as well. See more »

Goofs

The knife found in Chee's tire is held in place by grey putty, clearly seen and covering the tire tread. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Stone: Hey, this goop you had on here, Yarrow Root? So, tell me, Officer Chee, what does Yarrow Root have over Bacitracin?
Jim Chee: It's free...
See more »

Connections

Followed by A Thief of Time (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Ignore the nitpickers - just enjoy the movie
4 August 2004 | by (Merced, CA) – See all my reviews

My comments may be a little late to the party, but this was the first one I've seen adapting one of Tony Hillerman's Navajo mystery novels to the screen. After seeing the movie and reading some of the comments, it is evident there are too many reviewers getting caught up in the location and tribal origin of the actors chosen, thus, obscuring the fact that this is a decent, enjoyable, and satisfying movie. If it compels a few people who haven't had the opportunity to pick up any of Hillerman's work and start enjoying the unique mixture of Navajo Indian culture and old-fashioned who-dun-it, then it did its job.

Though I haven't read all of the series, including the book this movie was based upon, the movie was a respectable representation of a typical Hillerman novel. I think one reviewer was right on the nose when they mentioned that both Leaphorn's and Chee's character, the two principle individuals in a good number of the novel series, were not entirely faithful to the book. That may have been necessary because in the books, both of them don't say anymore than necessary and there are a lot of character thoughts expressed to the reader, something that can't be done as easily through a movie unless the director uses a voice-over approach to express the thoughts. It wouldn't have worked, so I'm glad it wasn't done. Still, as an avid reader, Joe was overly stoic and Chee had a little too much gee-whiz kind of look. Believe me, these are small quibbles for what is otherwise an admirable job to play these two decidedly different men.

What is over-emphasized is the repeated complaint of those who say the characters didn't look Navajo-like or that the locations didn't represent the Navajo nation in general. As far as them not looking Navajo enough, I'd be willing to bet most of them didn't get that while watching the movie, they probably learned that little tidbit of information through the movie sites with extensive biographical info on the actors. So, exactly how many people who watch the movie who aren't from the immediate area are going to give a cactus prick about the actors not matching the tribal features of most Navajos? Precisely zip. Were these people also ones to object to Graham Greene playing the part of a Sioux native American in Dances With Wolves, considering he is a Oneidan native from Canada??? I doubt it. I'll watch Graham Greene playing anything, whether the part calls for native North American or not. Busting the chops of those who put together this movie because the wrong ancestry of the actors who were put in just should nitpick more important things like bills from Congress. The location complaint is just as bogus, it may have been too flat but it doesn't detract from the essence of film.

It isn't a perfect film, but it was well worth the time spent and I'll be looking out for more of these adaptations. It is a tribute to Hillerman's work that his would be the first mystery series based on an American novel to be produced through Mystery, who has provided such a terrific portfolio of British based mysteries for a long time.


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