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March 24, 2019, 08:56:39 AM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  The BILLY JACK saga . . . again « previous next »
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Author Topic: The BILLY JACK saga . . . again  (Read 105 times)
The Burgomaster
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« on: March 17, 2019, 08:15:09 AM »

About once every year or two, I watch all 4 BILLY JACK movies. My main attractions to these movies are:

1. BILLY JACK is an iconic 1970s movie character (and I love movies from the 70s)

2. I like when he opens a can of whoop ass

3. The dialogue (especially in THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK) is sometimes bad on a gut-wrenching level

I think these movies are very entertaining. I posted this in the Bad Movies forum because, other than THE BORN LOSERS, the screenplays are nothing but uber left-wing (and I mean, far, far, far left) manifestos . . . maybe even rants. I don't care what anyone's political beliefs are. However, focusing 90% of the dialogue in a screenplay on an in-your-face political agenda (and in this case, a conspiracy theory political agenda) is a recipe for disaster.

A few weeks ago I watched THE BORN LOSERS. This is sort of a "stand alone" Billy Jack movie . . . it doesn't have much in common with the other 3, except for the main character. Billy fights a motorcycle gang (with Jeremy Slate turning in a nice performance as the gang leader). Typical 1960s AIP biker fare.

Last week, I watched BILLY JACK. In this one, he introduces the Freedom School and hits us over the head with Native American (known as "Indians" back in the 70s) rights issues and shows us how the generation gap and the narrow-mindedness of most adults leads to trouble. Once in a while, he kicks some redneck ass in scenes that were big crowd-pleasers back in the day.

This weekend I watched THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK and BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON.

THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK IS A LONG (nearly 3 hours!) political lecture. It has some of the most in-your-face, heavy handed dialogue of any movie I have ever seen. It contains conversation after conversation about the evil government, corruption and cover ups. One of the Freedom School students even invents a lie detector that is "more accurate than a polygraph." They use it to analyze television interviews with influential people and someone suggests using it to analyze the Watergate tapes so that they will know "the real story." To drive the point home, they show National Guardsmen shooting unarmed kids (often in the back or while they are lying helpless on the ground). As if 3 hours of preaching weren't enough, they flash another political message on the screen just before the end credits and tell us that "All they are saying is . . . give peace a chance."

Amidst the political exposition, we do get a few of the expected scenes of Billy and his pal (Master Bong Soo Han) kicking redneck ass.

BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON is the most obscure film in the series, but appears to be a more professional production (possibly due to the supporting cast including Pat O'Brien, E.G. Marshall and Sam Wanamaker . . . although performances by Luci Arnaz and Dick Gautier tend to send the movie in the opposite direction). It's a remake of MISTER SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON and is (again) preachy, but not as preachy as its predecessor. In this one, all the people in power are white men (same as the other Billy Jack movies), but the hired thugs are African Americans instead of rednecks. Billy spends time on the Senate floor, ranting and throwing around sacks of mail before fading off into the end credits.

As much as the dialogue makes me cringe, I'll say the following about these movies:

1. I think they are fun to watch

2. I think Tom Laughlin and his wife Delores Taylor were sincere in the messages they were trying to send (even though their delivery was anything but subtle)

3. These movies bring me back to my childhood and early teen years . . . and I enjoy watching movies that do so

4. I wish that Laughlin had been able to complete THE RETURN OF BILLY JACK, which he started filming in the 1980s



« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 08:19:07 AM by The Burgomaster » Logged

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claws
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 08:27:58 AM »

I have never seen any Billy Jack movies but I've read plenty about them and they sound like something I might enjoy. Maybe someday...

So my only contribution to this thread is this song by Prince

Error 404 (Not Found)!!1 Small | Large


 Question
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Trevor
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 08:29:44 AM »

All four Billy Jack films - including Born Losers - were banned here: Billy Jack is also the film which brought me here in the first place.  Smile
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But, be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.
The Burgomaster
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 08:41:55 AM »



The four faces of Billy Jack



THE BORN LOSERS





BILLY JACK





THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK





BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON




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TensionSplice
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 11:15:32 AM »


Quote
Since at least 1996, Laughlin had sought funding to resume production on the fifth Billy Jack picture,[5] initially as The Return of Billy Jack, but later retitled Billy Jack's Crusade to End the War in Iraq and Restore America to Its Moral Purpose; then in succession to Billy Jack's Moral Revolution, Billy Jack for President,[6] and Billy Jack and Jean. According to Laughlin, he intended the picture to be a "new genre of film", with a focus on social commentary of politics, religion, and psychology,[7] culminating in a debate between Billy Jack and then-President George W. Bush via computer manipulation of archived speeches.[8] In 2009, Laughlin released scenes and plot details of that film on a video on his website.[9]

...oh man!
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RCMerchant
Bela
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 03:21:34 PM »

I thought the BORN LOSERS, where Jeremy Slate and his biker gang fight Billy Jack, was fantastic!
And the hippie s**t in the later movies was too much for me. That song played on the radio all the f**king time.AH! Buggedout
 Even as a kid, I was like-" Just kick his ass already!"
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 03:32:48 PM »

That song played on the radio all the f**king time.AH! Buggedout

Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor's daughter sings a cover version of it during the end credits of BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON (it wasn't enough that they gave her supporting roles in the movies).


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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me the hell alone."
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Bela
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 03:35:33 PM »

That song played on the radio all the f**king time.AH! Buggedout

Tom Laughlin and Delores Taylor's daughter sings a cover version of it during the end credits of BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON (it wasn't enough that they gave her supporting roles in the movies).




Christ Wept.  Bluesad
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"Supernatural?...perhaps. Baloney?...Perhaps not!\" Bela Lugosi-the BLACK CAT (1934)

Interviewer-"Does Dracula ever end for you?"
Lugosi-"No. Dracula-never ends."

Slobber, Drool, Drip!
http://ronaldcmerchant.tumblr.com/
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