HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
   
 
Newest Articles
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
   
 
  Klansman, The The juice is loose
Year: 1974
Director: Terence Young
Stars: Lee Marvin, Richard Burton, Cameron Mitchell, O.J. Simpson, Lola Falana, David Huddleston, Luciana Paluzzi, Linda Evans, Ed Call, John Alderson, John Pearce, David Ladd, Vic Perrin, Spence Wil-Dee, Wendell Wellman
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: Reporter-novelist William Bradford Huie earned the enmity of the real Klu Klux Klan with his 1967 novel, The Klansman, but this starry screen adaptation emerged a stupefyingly crass and misguided disaster. In a small southern town, the rape of a young white woman leads the racist authorities to assume the culprit was a black man. Local sheriff Track Bascomb (Lee Marvin) arrests black lothario Willy Washington (Spence Wil-Dee), despite doubting his guilt, but the Klan led by loathsome, if ridiculously-named deputy Butt Cutt Cates (Cameron Mitchell) set to lynching, burning and killing any African-Americans they find. Liberal landowner Breck Stancill (Richard Burton) is caught in the chaos, especially after he welcomes his civil rights activist friend Loretta Sykes (Lola Falana) and his buddy Bascomb convinces him to shelter rape victim Nancy Poteet (Linda Evans) when the whole town turns against her. However, one angry black militant fights back, waging a one-man war on the racist rednecks.

And that man is Garth played by none other than O.J. Simpson! That’s right, the juice is loose and he’s kicking KKK ass! Twenty years before he fled the cops for real, the former pro-football star was among the most beloved black celebrities in America. Nonetheless, viewed in retrospect his calamitous casting earned The Klansman another unwanted layer of infamy. Presumably the filmmakers intended Garth to engage audiences, specifically urban African-American audiences, as a Shaft-style, take-no-shit-from-whitey action hero. Instead, he comes across like an irresponsible idiot whose antics, which include assassinating a KKK member in the middle of a civil rights march, only succeed in endangering every other black person in town. Garth justifies his terror tactics with a cynical speech wherein he brands Loretta a “bourgeois negro” and rants: “The only thing the man understands is violence. History proves my way works.”

Scripted by cult director Samuel Fuller, who was attached to direct but quit over script changes, and Millard Kaufman, who wrote the superb Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Klansman aspires to a style of socially relevant thriller akin to In the Heat of the Night (1967) and the underrated tick... tick... tick... (1970). It hits on one interesting idea when town mayor-cum-“Exalted Cyclops” Hardy Riddleston (David Huddleston) admits the Klan’s opposition to civil rights is as much motivated by economic factors as by racial hatred (newly-educated/affluent African-Americans will deprive them of a cheap workforce), but spreads its misanthropy evenly between racist rednecks and liberal do-gooders. Indeed several of the activists are portrayed as self-righteous, condescending and more than a little misogynistic in their attitude towards Loretta.

Equally bizarre and offensive is the way in which the film deals with rape, implying a victim’s foremost worry is whether she will ever be seen as desirable again. Abandoned by her husband, Nancy finds solace in Breck’s bed, strangely curtailing his romantic subplot with sheriff’s secretary, Trixie (former Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi). Future Dynasty star Linda Evans’ shrill and whiny performance inexplicably leaves Nancy the least sympathetic rape victim in screen history.

Nor does the film work up much in the way of trashy exploitation thrills. Terence Young’s rambling direction saps momentum and leaves the plot looking increasingly messy. Young made two of the finest Bond films: From Russia with Love (1963) and Thunderball (1967) as well as taut thrillers Wait Until Dark (1967) and Cold Sweat (1970). Sadly, The Klansman was characteristic of his sad decline into schlock (War Goddess (1973)) and eventual disaster (Inchon (1981)). Richard Burton and Lee Marvin, two of the most commanding actors in cinema, are sadly not at their best here. While Burton stumbles about in a booze-induced stupor, searching for his lost Southern accent (his karate slapping match with Cameron Mitchell is a something to savour, for all the wrong reasons!), Marvin mumbles unintelligibly, although his is the more intriguing character - a sheriff more concerned with keeping the peace, than morality. Neither man fares well in the downbeat, depressing climax which, despite the suspenseful build-up, implies O.J. was right all along. Which is the scariest idea in the movie. One last question: who the hell raped Nancy?!


Click here for the trailer

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2150 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
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: