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Cry Blood, Apache (1970)

R | | Western | September 1970 (USA)
Gang of sadistic cowboys let nothing stand in their way in their search for gold.


Jack Starrett


Sean MacGregor, Harold Roberts (story)




Complete credited cast:
Jody McCrea ... Pitcalin
Marie Gahva Marie Gahva ... Jemme (as Marie Gahua)
Dan Kemp Dan Kemp ... Vittorio
Robert Tessier ... Two Card Charlie
Jack Starrett ... The Deacon
Don Henley Don Henley ... Benji Dawson
Carolyn Stellar ... Cochalla
Rik Nervik Rik Nervik ... Billy Dawson (as Rik Nervick)
Barbara Sanford Barbara Sanford ... Mother
Carroll Kemp Carroll Kemp ... Old Indian
Andy Anza Andy Anza ... Crippled Indian
Joel McCrea ... Pitcalin as an Older Man
Marcus Rudnick Marcus Rudnick ... Indian


A party of five men discover gold in a small Apache camp. They murder everyone there except for one young woman, who they keep alive hoping she'll lead them to more gold. Only Pitcalin among the five men shows kindness to the prisoner. An Apache brave who was away from the camp discovers the massacre and buries the dead. Then he tracks the murderers and brings slow but steady vengeance upon them. Written by Charles Delacroix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Revenge... Slow and fatal!




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Did You Know?


Filmed in 1967 but not released until 1970. See more »


When the Deacon wakes up Billy to take him to see Jemme bathing, he puts his hand across Billy's mouth twice. See more »


[first lines]
Unnamed Man: [handing Pitcalin a flintlock rifle] Whatcha doin' with such an old timer, Mr Pitcalin?
Pitcalin as an Older Man: Well, it's an old friend.
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Bringing in the Sheaves
Music by George A. Minor
Lyrics by Knowles Shaw
Sung by Jack Starrett
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User Reviews

Not THAT bad
26 December 2009 | by ofumalowSee all my reviews

I'd heard this was one of the worst movies ever, but it's just cheap and mediocre. (How disappointing.) It's no worse than much of the era's drive-in era genre cheapies, particularly the sexploitation, biker and horror ones--though I guess by this point it was a fairly rare low-budget western, since that genre pretty much dying out (big-budget exceptions like "True Grit" aside).

Some 19th-century longhaired white cretins rape and murder a small village of Apaches, taking one woman hostage when she promises to take them to a gold mine. When the a young Apache warrior returns home (he'd been absent during this slaughter), he tracks and methodically kills the brutes.

This movie is kinda like a non-graphic version the same time period's porn semi-classic "A Dirty Western"--though what passed for high production values in a porn flick looks pretty low-grade in a mainstream feature. (There's only so much rugged-landscape location shooting can do for an otherwise micro-budgeted movie.) It's all about abduction, loutish behavior and righteous vengeance. Jody McCrea plays the "nice" member of the gang, who tries to save the "squaw" from further rape and violence; his dad Joel cameos as the character many years later, remembering these grim events.

You've got to wonder if McCrea Sr. (in his next-to-last role) had any idea just how sordid much of "Cry Blood, Apache" would be, since the sleazy aura early on is so at odds with the wholesome image he'd preserved as a Hollywood star. McCrea Jr., in his sole effort at producing, is OK--but he sure was cuter as Deadhead in those "Beach Party" movies.

Nonetheless, this movie isn't so bad. It's got a professional orchestral score, decent technical contributions, adequate pacing, OK stunt work, picturesque high/low-desert locations, and competent direction from Jack Starrett, who played the hypocritically evangelical "Deacon and would go on to direct a fair number of TV episodes ("Starsky & Hutch," "Dukes of Hazard") as well as TV movies and second-rung theatrical ones ("Cleopatra Jones," "The Gravy Train," "Race with the Devil").

Yes, those adjectives are pretty tepid. No stretch of the imagination can make "Cry Blood, Apache" good. But t'ain't THAT bad. It's just drive-in routine, circa 1970, with dialogue largely dubbed in post. Actually, it gets better as it goes on, particularly in late vengeful stretches that reach for tragedy and irony--they don't memorably reach either, but they're effective enough in melodramatic terms. (There's a particularly nasty death by rattlesnake.) Still, the ending is corny.

Big bearded "Billy" was the father of child star Dawn Lyn ("My Three Sons") and teen idol Leif Garrett.

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September 1970 (USA) See more »

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