HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Born Losers, The Stand Up And Fight
Year: 1967
Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Elizabeth James, Jeremy Slate, William Wellman Jr, Jack Starrett, Paul Bruce, Robert Cleaves, Paul Prokop, Robert Tessier, Jeff Cooper, Stuart Lancaster, Anne Bellamy, Gordon Hoban, Susan Foster, Janice Miller, Julie Cahn, Jane Russell
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The place is Big Rock, a small town in California, and there is a biker gang who have taken up residence there, spending their time roaming the streets. One day, the young driver of a car bumps into the bike of their leader, Danny (Jeremy Slate), and he dismounts to see the damage. There is none, and he tells the driver that he's lucky and is prepared to forget it, but then he starts winding Danny up in front of his gang and he feels he has no choice but to lead an attack on him. They beat him up and the driver manages to get to a diner which has a telephone to call the police, but nobody wants to help him - nobody except Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin)...

First things first, how stupid was the driver of the car to be mouthing off to the bikers? Did he want to be beaten up, or is it simply part of the strange tone of Elizabeth James' script for The Born Losers? Whatever, the film occupies a small place in film history as the production that brought the one time phenomenon Billy Jack to the screen. The sequel to this was a big moneymaker in the seventies, especially for an independent film, but that would not have existed if this low budget action movie with a message had not been made beforehand.

Surprisingly, Billy doesn't appear all that much for the first hour, kept offscreen by the antics of the gang who cause mayhem around the town and in a development that would influence action movies for decades to come, the police simply cannot do anything to control the criminals. In fact, our hero is somewhere between the law and the outlaws, not siding with either but ploughing his own furrow as an avenger and dispenser of justice the courts are reluctant to provide. We see him at the start having to pay a far higher fine than the gang members do for helping out the driver, to mark out that The Man is not to be relied upon.

Although he doesn't look it, Billy is supposed to be half-native American, so we can add a stand against racism to the subjects this film tackles - he's a Vietnam War veteran as well, but that doesn't really come up. He is also here to protect the womenfolk, because those bikers like nothing better than "initiating" young women into their fold by forcing them into sex. Their latest target is another biker, student Vicky Barrington (screenwriter James), who is returning home by the scenic route on her motorcycle after being let down by her father's non-arrival at the airport - another example of how parents, and by extension authority figures in general, are no help.

Vicky is cornered by the gang and goes along with them to play for time to get an chance to escape, but they end up foxing her and she is raped (offscreen). Next thing we see are Vicky and three other girls on the news who have been attacked, but are getting cold feet about testifying against their assailants. The police, naturally, are now powerless and not even the presence of Jane Russell as one of the girls' mothers can help the situation - but what about Vicky's new friend Billy Jack? The whole message of this film, unusual in a supposedly anti-establishment movie of the time, is that the only way to defeat violence is with more violence, which you would have thought would appeal more to the criminals than the heroes working for peace. That's not the film's main problem though, as what really tries the patience is the way every scene is dragged out your attention's snapping point, and although Slate gives an interesting reading of the villain, there's something disconcertingly blank about Billy Jack. Music by Mike Curb.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6661 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: