4.5/10
122
6 user 9 critic

The Ghost Dance (1982)

The spirit of a long-dead warrior possesses the body of an Indian medicine man and turns him into a homicidal maniac.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Amato ... Dr. Kay Foster
Victor Mohica ... Tom Eagle
Henry Bal ... Nahalla / Aranjo
Frank Salsedo ... Ocacio (as Frank Sotonoma Salsedo)
James Andronica ... Paul Michaels
Patricia Alice Albrecht ... Carol
Deloris Maaske ... Lena
J. Christopher Senter ... Rick Haley
... Lt. Deleo (as Henry Max Kendrick)
Felicia Leon ... Rea, Indian Girl
Ramon Chavez ... Ben Montalos
Frank Soto ... Basowaya (as Frank A. Soto)
Jim Brockett ... Excavation Guard
Kirk Koskella ... Phalan (as Kirk Irving Koskella)
Susan Carol Styrmore ... Student
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Storyline

The spirit of a long-dead warrior possesses the body of an Indian medicine man and turns him into a homicidal maniac.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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When you disturb the dead, you must pay the price. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R
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Release Date:

21 May 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Dance  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lt. Deleo: You would be amazed at what people will do, doctor. With or without a full moon.
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User Reviews

 
Better than Scalps.
22 February 2016 | by See all my reviews

Most of the other reviewers here on IMDb have The Ghost Dance down as an obscure slasher gem. While I certainly agree that it's obscure, I don't think it's a gem. It's moderately entertaining, I suppose, and better than Fred Olen Ray's similarly themed Scalps (1983)—but then most films are.

Admittedly, for much of the first 15 minutes, I couldn't actually see what was happening thanks to the darkness of the picture, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the basics: it's the hoary old cliché of an Indian burial ground being disturbed by anthropologists, with a vengeful spirit inadvertently freed to go on a killing spree. While scientist Kay (Julie Amato) and partner Tom Eagle (Victor Mohica) try to unravel the mystery of the mummified body discovered at the site, the Indian proceeds to kill off the staff at the museum.

This tired premise leads to lots of stalking by the nasty native American, and a couple of passable kills (best of which sees a woman pushed onto a spear), but also lots of dull chit-chat, while the obligatory shower scene fails to deliver the gratuitous nudity one expects from such nonsense. Performances are adequate for this kind of thing, and director Peter F. Buffa manages the occasional effective moment (the creepiest scene taking place on a lonely highway), but on the whole this is forgettable, formulaic stuff, as evidenced by the predictable 'shock' ending.

4.5/10, which I feel obliged to round up to 5/10 because I rounded Scalps up from 3.5 to 4/10.


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