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Johnny Firecloud (1975)

Borrowing elements from Billy Jack (1971) and Death Wish (1974), this Native American-themed revenge flick is equal parts goofy and gory, but it’s also undeniably entertaining, in a trashy sort of way.

When he was younger, Native American Johnny Firecloud (Victor Mohica) used to cavort with a white woman, June (Christina Hart), whose father, Colby (Ralph Meeker), holds all the power in the small Southwestern town where they live.

Now that he’s an angry adult who learned a few nasty tricks while serving in the Vietnam War, Johnny spends all his time getting into hassles with the local sheriff, Jesse (David Canary), who does Colby’s bidding.

But when Colby’s thugs kill Johnny’s grandfather, tribal chief White Eagle (Frank DeKova), all of Johnny’s rage explodes into a vigilante campaign.

Johnny murders his victims in colourful ways, invoking clichés familiar from previous Hollywood depictions of Indians. He buries one fellow up to the neck in a desert and cuts off the fellow’s eyelids so he’ll go blind while he cooks in the sun. He ties another dude to a post and then ties a bag full of rattlesnakes around the dude’s head and torso. And naturally, one of the victims gets scalped.

There’s also a little sex thrown in for good measure, including – as per the norm for 1970s revenge pictures – a brutal rape scene. Playing the rape victim, Nenya, is notorious Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather, best known as Marlon Brando’s controversial Oscar proxy.

Johnny Firecloud
Victor Mohica
Ralph Meeker
David Canary
White Eagle
Frank DeKova
Christina Hart
Sacheen Littlefeather
Jason Ledger
John F. Goff
Richard Kennedy
George ‘Buck’ Flower
Wayne Storm
Elliott Lindsey
Sterling Franck
Seamon Glass
Barry Cooper

William A. Castleman