In the town of Paradise, Arizona, shady land deals enrich a handful of select few. The town’s mayor and sheriff are corrupt and aware of the land schemes. Incensed by this, native-American Victor plans to extort money from the rich as punishment for the land they stole. He starts by killing two local cops with his crossbow. He leaves a note claiming the rich must pay a ransom or die. He demands 1 million dollars to be delivered within 24 hours. The Chief of police, Haliburton, contacts local businessman William Whitaker and they decide to keep the whole thing confidential. They don’t want the Press or the Feds involved since it could reveal the local land frauds. Instead, they hire private security investigator Nick McCormick, who advises them to pay out the ransom. The town boasts the largest number of millionaires in the country. Most of them agree with the plan to pay up the ransom and keep things under wraps. They are accused by the local media of being like a ‘white-collar mafia’…
User Reviews: Medium budget action film thats not as bad as made out. But I’m not saying it’s good either. But it does have something.
OK the premise is a bit naff. A unnamed wealthy small town in the South-West ( the film was filmed around Scottsdale and Mesa in Arizona) is terrorized by an American Indian with a crossbow who seeking to address the injustices of the past by extorting the town rich of $5 million. Add to that the fact that all of the roles are underwritten and there are many undeveloped plot lines. Without being too picky and in no order: is the Indian really an Indian, why all the Indian mysticism, why is he extorting money, what about his Olympius career, what about the lucrative land deal the big wigs are trying to put together, why does this small community have so many rich people …
Also everyone seems to know each other very well after just meeting. Its as if the actors are anticipating the next scene. Oliver Reed’s character abuses, woos, threatens and beds a reporter in about 2 minutes of screen time ! He also forms a friendship based on mutual respect with Jim Mitchum’s character in their 4 scenes together.
To top this off a lot of the action is a bit lame.
So what does the film have? A great cast of familiar faces! I can sit through any tripe if you throw enough faces from years past at me. Stuart Whitman as the millionaire is good ( the best scene in the film is where he and the Indian are playing cat and mouse in his mansion), John Ireland does not have a lot to do but is always dependable, Robert Mitchum’s son Jim is vastly underrated ( where is Tarantino to revive his career) and also doesn’t have much to do but I suppose he was cast as a familiar face to the 70s action movie crowd ( check him out in "Trackdown"), Paul Koslo again plays the bad guy ( he was the bad guy in so many 70s films and was always excellent) and almost lifts the ridiculous role above what it is worth! Oliver Reed and Deborah Raffin are OK.
So if you get a buzz , as I do, watching films from the 70s and 80s with great actors of years past in small leads or supports then this is the ticket for you. For my money the action is fast paced and never boring ( its just not that good). The director, Richard Compton, also directed drive-in cult classic " Macon County Line".
By the way the theme song ( for Victor the Indian) , "Shoot Him", was co-written and performed by Roger McGuinn ( of the Byrds) and its lyric explains a lot of the motivations behind the Indian’s character …. which the script writers had failed to do.