Mary Rose Solti (= Tom Laughlin) for National Student Film Corporation/Warner Brothers
directed by T.C.Frank (= Tom Laughlin)
starring Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Clark Howat, Bert Freed, Kenneth Tobey, David Roya, John McClure, Julie Webb, Stan Rice, Victor Izay, Debbie Schock, Teresa Kelly, Lynn Baker, Susan Foster, Susan Sosa, Katy Moffatt, Gwen Smith, Cisse Cameron, Richard Stahl, Alan Myerson, Ed Greenberg, Howard Hesseman, Dan Barrows, Herb Kohl, Phillip Crowder, Dan Conley, Jenny Bellah, Becky Voight, Mark Baum, Johnny Otis, Nora Bendich, Lenny Pickett, Robert Wilson, Meg Partridge, James French, Laurie Mayeno, Alva Thompson, Melissa Stocking, Sira Aarons, Phillip Salvarry, Paul Bruce, Jessica Myerson
written by Frank Christina (= Tom Laughlin), Teresa Christina (= Delores Taylor), music by Mundell Lowe, fight choreography by Han Bong Soo
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Jean (Delores Taylor) runs a hippie style boarding school in an Indian
reservatin next to a conservative smalltown where businessman Posner (Bert
Freed) has the entire police force safe for benign Sheriff Cole (Clark
Howat) under his thumb ... and he's strongly opposed to Jean's school, and
so is his racist son Bernard (David Roya), basically because the girls
from the school are not as easy to bed as his smalltown sluts.
teenage Barbara (Julie Webb) is brought to the school by the sheriff,
mainly because she was impregnated by God-knows-who and her father, deputy
Mike (Kenneth Tobey) is sure to kill her should he ever lay hands on her.
Of course, Mike soon figures his daughter has to be with those hippies at
the Indian reservation, and he gets back-up from Posner - and since Jean
is a sworn pacifist, she and her kids can't put up much resistance other
than singing hippie songs (which they do), but there's also Billy Jack
(Tom Laughlin), a martial arts savvy, gun-toting, half-Indian Vietnam
veteran who's the sworn protector of the school, and especially of Jean,
and as a one-man fighting machine, he's able to defeat Posner's posse,
protect Jean's kids and see to it that there's a balance of power in the
Things get ugly though when Bernard rapes Jean and kills
Barbara's Indian boyfriend (Stan Rice), because now Billy Jack is no
longer able to restrain his violent streak, he kills Bernard and deputy
Mike, and he's heading for a showdown with the police in which he's sure
to perish ... and only Jean, who still believes in her pacifist ideals
despite having been raped by her enemy and everything, can persuade him to
give himself up and do something good for the school at the same time.
hippies versus the establishment in this little film, the second inthe Billy
Jack series, and the film leaves no questions open where its
sympathies lie - which is of course part of Billy Jack's problem,
it's way too one-sided to actually make a serious, differentiated
statement on the film's main subject. Apart from that, the film is way too
heavy on action to work as a message movie and way too message-laden to
work as an action flick - and somehow message movie and action flick never
were genres that mixed well to begin with.
All that said, the film is
not a total loss, there are a few comedy skits that seem out of place
within the film's context but are quite entertaining in themselves, plus
it's an interesting document of its time for better or worse - just don't
expect anything remotely resembling a masterpiece or even a definite
review © by Mike Haberfelner
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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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