I Saw A Film!
A pair of rapists and murderers fight over a woman. Or watch Gene Hackman and Oliver Reed rather dully (but bloodily) struggle ferociously over Candy Bergen. Lots of atrocities to calculate here. Reed wants school teacher (though, she’s really just rich wifey of rich bank-owner) Bergen to teach him to read. Ugh. Hackman is a rich guy who can afford to give all his hunting buddies an expensive rifle with a scope! Much ballyhoo is made about the distance the rifle can fire. Of course, our shooters are free-handing these crazy long shots with non-zeroed scopes, so there’s not just a bit of fantasy in the mix.
Inevitably the story leans on a kind of Stockholm Syndrome aspect, as rapist Reed is still kinder to Bergen than rapist Hackman, who probably would have benefitted from some sort of BDSM culture, long before such could have been located outside of a major city. And, of course, the bandit and the captured damsel is a tried and true formula, endlessly popular, and considered pure cinema magic when it’s in an Ang Lee film or something. But this mess takes the bloodthirsty element (the movie literally opens with Reed and crew hacking a live cow to death and eating it raw–no joke!) to a kind of inhumane level of horror. Only strong stomachs need apply.
I suppose by this time trying to outdo The Wild Bunch with levels of pure ferocity may have been something of a cottage industry. I’m sure I’d have watched these actors in any story, it didn’t need to be the most hostile one they could invent. Predictably, by the end, after scores of comrades have bled to death, and argued against the endless pursuit and murder, we’re down to just the three pointlessly opposed characters. We don’t really believe the love story, we don’t really care about Hackman’s revenge. And so we kind of start searching for the next film to fill our Saturday evening, before this one even fully resolves.
Another Hulu find, I had never heard of this film, and so it was at least fun to get excited about it. Though the recently viewed Chato’s Land was a much more cerebral desert chase film.