The other night, while looking over my DVDs, I stumbled onto one that I totally forgot I had; a low-budget movie originally released in 1971 called Billy Jack. Not having saw it since I was about ten years old (which was about six years after it first was shown), I immediately and enthusiastically popped it into the DVD player, and looked forward to watching it again after so many years, it being so old it was new. What I wound up watching was one of the funniest unintentionally funny movies I've seen since Rambo: First Blood, Part 2.
The title character, played by a man named Tom Laughlin, who also wrote and produced it under various pseudonyms, is a half-breed Native American/Cracker who seems to be an early prototype for Rambo; a quiet, intense loner, a Vietnam Vet, and essentially a one-man army who is highly skilled at armed and unarmed combat. This character's debut was actually in a 1968 movie called Born Losers, which I vaguely remember seeing sometime in the 80's, and was yet another of those movies that indicates outlaw biker gangs like the aptly-named Born Losers are every mother's nightmare, unless she is a biker momma herself.
The movie, being made at the pony-tailed end of the Hippie Era, is overwhelmingly anti-White and anti-White Establishment, and could be interpreted as Tom Laughlin's version of The Jew Suess. There are very few melanin-deficient good guys in this flick, for sure. Funny part is, most of the people in the movie are as white as a sheet, and Tom Laughlin himself looks about as Native American as Tom Arnold. The movie has three main elements, all of which interact in a small desert town, apparently somewhere in Bum Fuck, Arizona: A bunch of greedy and vicious White assholes who comprise the conservative, corrupt, racist, and rapacious White Establishment; a school for fucked-up counterculture teenage runaways ran by an excessively peaceful Hippie woman named Jean (played by Laughlin's real-life wife)whose commitment to pacifism borders on masochism; and, of course, Billy Jack, protector of the oppressed and all-around Good Guy.
The film starts with Billy Jack preventing the usual assholes from stealing horses from the Indian Reservation to sell for dog food at six cents a pound; some things never change, and you can always count on gangs of horseback-riding, gun-toting White assholes to steal your shit. Billy Jack makes an enemy of the local political boss, who tells Billy Jack, "You've made a mistake." Billy Jack replies, "I've made them before." I would have added "motherfucker" to that statement, but that's just me. The evil White man in the form of a Sheriff's deputy gets some payback of sorts, after being informed by his teenage daughter that she's pregnant, and the father could be "White, Indian, Mexican, or Black." Talk about promoting diversity! Deputy Mean Dad doesn't take kindly to this news, and gives her a brutal beating, as if we expected anything else.
The film pretty much continues to follow the trials and tribulations of the usual oppressed victims at the hands of the usual oppressive pricks. The first good fight happens when the kids are denied service at an ice cream parlor because they aren't White enough, and the son of the political boss, "Bernard Posner" (sounds like a Jewish name to me) makes an effective racist statement, rendering a couple of the kids "White" by pouring flour over their heads and faces after beating up an Indian boy named Martin and doing the same thing to him. Billy Jack shows up, and enraged, knocks Posner out and throws a huge goon through a window. Billy Jack, anticipating more thugs to trash, shows us what an incomparable badass he is by taking his boots OFF to fight. After kicking more cracker ass in a nearby park, the honkies finally get the upper hand on Billy Jack, but the timely intervention of the Sheriff, one of the few "good" Whites in the movie, saves Billy's ass.
The conflict between the Hippies and the Squares continues to escalate. The teenage girl who is fond of multiracial semen runs away (yet again) and falls in love with Martin, the recently beaten and humiliated frustrated ice cream eater. In the hospital after falling from a horse, the girl brings Martin a flower; better "flower" than "flour", eh Martin? The town's fascist elements make their dislike of the Hippie kids even more vocal and evident, and the Hippies respond in kind. Meanwhile, Billy Jack goes through a strange sado-masochistic ritual where he allows himself to be bitten by rattlesnakes, making him welcome to certain churches in Appalachia. Somehow unfazed by the hemotoxic venom, Billy Jack gives an impassioned speech that only a spiritual Injun would understand.
Bernard Posner, the savage, overprivileged (Jewish?) cocksucker who is the film's primary antagonist, begins to kick his sociopathy into high gear, swearing revenge on Billy Jack, and once again supervising the beating of Martin. None of these people apparently saw Easy Rider, and what happens to longhairs when they make the mistake of entering a small town populated by evil white hicks, as if there are any other kind. Martin would have been better off never leaving the reservation; had he waited, saved his money, and bided his time, he could have gotten in on the ground floor of a casino, and have the last laugh, watching drunken palefaces blow their money on his slot machines and roulette wheels.
Billy Jack continues to fuck with Posner, interrupting Posner's attempt at raping a girl at knifepoint and, taking Jean's unpacifistic advice, forcing him to drive his Corvette into a lake. This marks the point to where the violence in the movie sharply increases. A skinny-dipping Jean is tied up and raped by Posner and one of his asshole henchmen, making her question her belief in taking a pacifist approach to life, especially in a small hick town and surrounded by enemies.
It goes on and on; the promiscuous teenager is no longer pregnant, losing the baby after falling from a horse. The movies are good for that; if someone falls down a flight of stairs, they break their necks and die, or if the woman is pregnant, she loses the baby. The hapless and luckless would-be white teenage runaway bimbo-boning Martin is killed by that fucking bastard Posner. At least this time, Martin puts up a fight. Guns make an ever-increasing presence in the movie from this point on. Billy Jack, after being informed of Martin's murder and the rape of Jean by Posner, has finally had enough!
Billy Jack tracks Posner down and rudely interrupts him while he's in bed with a thirteen year-old girl. Posner has a gun handy, but in the worst marksmanship in cinematic history, misses Billy Jack while shooting at point-blank range - twice! Billy Jack finally kills that fucking asshole with the good-old, tried-and-true judo chop to the larnyx. Billy Jack holes up in a crude church, of all places, and after a lengthy shootout, finally gives up. He's led away by the cops, and presumably gets a fair trial from an impartial jury. What did I get from this movie? The world is full of savage and vicious assholes, and people fuck with you less when you aren't a pacifist.