HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
mother!
God's Own Country
Unseen, The
Tonight She Comes
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Chato's Land Death HuntBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jack Palance, James Whitmore, Simon Oakland, Ralph Waite, Richard Jordan, Victor French, Sonia Rangan, William Watson, Roddy McMillan, Paul Young, Raúl Castro, Lee Patterson, Roland Brand, Peter Dyneley, Richard Basehart
Genre: Western
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Chato (Charles Bronson) is an Apache "halfbreed" who has made the mistake of venturing into a bar where only white men are allowed to drink. When he was confronted by the local sheriff, Chato was forced to draw his gun on him and shoot him dead in self defence, not that the courts would take that into account and now he has to flee into the desert. There are those who refuse to let him get away, though, and resident Captain Quincey Whitmore (Jack Palance) is recruited to lead a posse after him. But who is chasing who?

Chato's Land was the first film to team star Bronson and director Michael Winner, and pretty much spelled out the formula for their subsequent collaborations: violent confrontations from those in the right against those in the wrong. This one was scripted by Gerald Wilson, and was in a way a precursor to the Winner and Bronson hit Death Wish in that Chato is forced to take vengeance on those who attacked his family and friends; except, of course, this was an actual western and the vigilante thriller was a pseudo-western set in the then-present day.

There are those who view this film as an allegory of the United States' presence in Vietnam, which was contemporary to this storyline, but perhaps that is giving the filmmakers too much credit. Granted, there is the theme of the white men intruding on a land where they are frequently under fire, and ending up humiliated as a result, but when this was made it was not entirely clear that America would be on the losing side as the conflict may have been winding down, but was by no means over. Better then to enjoy the film as a straight western adventure.

Not that there are no themes to be drawn from this if the viewer so desires, as there's one about racism that is pointedly developed throughout. The white men regard Apaches as little better than vicious animals, and Chato, to them, is like a rabid dog who deserves to be put down before he can cause any more trouble. What some of the posse come to realise is that their race can be equally as violent as the Indians, and even be worse as they have some hypocritical claim to be following the traditions of justice in their murderous acts.

If you're anticipating a lengthy showdown between Bronson and Palance's men, then that is not what you get, because the star actually hardly appears. Not that his presence is not felt, but Chato is more like a phantom in the landscape, popping up at unexpected moments to kill off another posse member. Including Palance, there are some interesting actors in pursuit here, and Scottish viewers may be bemused to see Roddy McMillan from popular sitcom The Vital Spark in the role of the conscience of the group (another Scottish thesp, fishing enthusiast Paul Young, is his sidekick). Then there's Richard Jordan as one of the vile (and way over the top) Hooker brothers, who have no redeeming features and meet nasty ends. All very well, but there is barely enough plot to sustain this, and for all the weight of the hand of death hanging over the characters it feels slight, even with its typcially seventies "wait - is that it?" finale. Music by Jerry Fielding.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5088 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Shrimpton
Lee Lopez
Jennifer Thomas
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
   

 

Last Updated: