***½/**** Image A Sound B Extras A
starring Robert Blake, Billy (Green) Bush, Jeannine Riley, Elisha Cook
screenplay by Robert Boris
directed by James William Guercio
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. By 1973 in the United States, film had already become chronicles of listless motion, failed ideologies, ironic Westward expansion, and rampant paranoia. American cinema was in the process of cannibalizing itself in great gulps of genre reconsideration, taking the lead of the movies-by-critics of the French New Wave and reassessing the western/film noir/thriller cycle of studio-era Hollywood through a new mirror darkly: The iconography of the hero mythology Americans hold most dear (cowboy, hardboiled detective, two-fisted man of action), forced now to be populated by incoherent psychopaths and, worse, effeminate ones--lawyers, journalists, ex-cons, ex-soldiers back from an unpopular war, unloved, disrespected, lost and still losing.