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Billy Jack

Started by lostmissy, August 23, 2001, 09:10:24 AM

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Mark Spangler

Even as a kid when I saw this one in the theatres it made me want to conceal my budding liberal tendancies.

Easy Rider was cool.  Billy Jack was, well, how do I put this... a stupid idiot.

I wish this one tin soldier would've ridden into the sunset and then found true inner peace by beating up Trent Lott while he was in the larval stage.  But no... Tom Laughlin had to go and make several more silly movies. "The Trial of Billy Jack"... "Billy Jack Makes a Sandwich"... "Billy Jack
Lights His Farts to Commune With the Great Stinky Father".

I don't mean to be sacrilegious.  Okay,  me speak with forked tongue.  I do mean to be sacrilegious.  It's just that trying to preach peace while beating up everyone in
sight sends a confused message.  Kinda like compassionate conservatism.

The perfect counterpart to this liberal failure is the equally bad conservative epic "The Green Berets"... you know, where the sun sets on the wrong side of the planet.

Here's an idea.  Tom Laughlin vs. John Wayne.  Oh yeah baby!
I'd pay to see that ... "one tin pilgim rides away."

I knew this was a bad film when I was about nine when I saw it, when my idiot older brother thought it was deep and heavy.  It's only value is the neat scene where Laughlin
hits that old fat dude in the side of the head with his foot.  

Of course, back in 1972 if he'd done that in the town square of my little conservative berg,  his balls would've been hanging from the marquee of the Princess Theatre where
something like "Ben Hur" would've still been playing that very Saturday night.

It was tough being a young liberal in my little town. "Billy Jerk" didn't help.


Tom Laughlin versis the Duke? Yukyukyuk...I've always said "Chuck John Wayne and Clint Eastwwod in a locked closet with one baseball bat...and I know who's gonna come out..." You could chuck Tom in there too, just for a little bring in the hip younger crowd. Ol' Clint's gonna swagger out and ask everyone..."What the hell you lookin' at?" Yeah, Clint made a few clinkers, but never has he ever shown his political ass in the process. I never miss "The Green Berets" when it's on, being a survivour of that era myself I love a good hard laugh as much as the next cynical bastard. Easy Rider WAS cool...but Hopper and Fonda would't make it outta the closet either...Clint wouldn't have needed the fancy Kung-Fu to whip ass on the town  boss and his thugs...he'd have spit once, squinted, checked the angle of the sun, then pulled John Wayne's  freshly extracted thigh bone from behind his back and proceeded to beat the whole town to death with it. While Laughlin and the Duke were busy making this dishonest tripe, Clint was just making movies. Most of his films at this time would become considered as minor classics...(We're not gonna mention Paint Your Wagon...anyone who has seen it will know why.) One point I'd like to make is this...All politics are dishonest, therefore all films with a decidedly political angle are dishonest...some call it propaganda...I just call it bulls**t...I think Clint would look great in Billy Jack's hat. It doesn't really matter, he'd still kick major movie ass wearing a sun bonnet and a diaper...The Duke's personna was an overblown right-wing pro-American myth. Tom-Billy Jack-Laughlin's was leaning to the left. Clint was the Man-With-No-Name who took no sides but his own...just like real "heroes" must do, for better or worse. And in the end, what the Hell? It's all just MOVIES! The Duke sucked in just about every film he made except for the action-comedies and a handfull of the westerns...I don't even consider Tom Laughlin as a player in the movieworld big league...he was just a flash in the pan...but Clint, like The-Man-With-No-Name, never wavers. One Tin Soldier would limp away, if he was lucky enough to get away at all after an encounter with the Pale Rider.


Billy Jack has hit the nail right on the head! I am full-blood Cherokee and I feel a lot of what Billy Jack said hits home on a personal level.  The government HAS stolen a great deal from the American Indian, and I wish there really was a way we could get back our rightful heritage. My Grandmother was on the Trail of Tears, and my father told me some of the things that happened back then. I wish I knew how to get hold of Tom Laughlin. I would like to speak with him about his beliefs and views on this subject. Does he really believe and feel this way?


Personally, I liked the movie(s)...all of them.  There was a message there...still is.  For those who can't see that, I truly feel sorry for you.  For those who can't see beyond what you term "bad acting & actors", and "plot", I suppose you've never seen movies like; "True Lies" or newer yet, "The Matrix".  Those truly leave something to be desired...what, I don't know.  Everyone's taste in movies differ as do opinions of each movie you see.  Me, I like the more believable, that's my "taste" and my "opinion".  Perhaps I should have made no comments at all concerning the Billy Jack movies...I just felt compelled to "defend" Tom and Delores in their efforts and commitment to bring a movie to the big screen on a shoe-string budget ($400,000.00), and believing in it so strongly that they mortgaged their home and belongings to do so, not with the help of a "hollywood" budget.  That my friends, is believing in yourself and what you have to offer.  Thank you Tom and delivered a lot to more than the handful who choose to down-play your efforts and movies in this "review".  By the way Tom...notice how after over 30 years, YOUR movie(s) are still a controversial subject for many people...those who understand and those who don't!!  Amazing.  I wonder how much recognition will be made to Arnold and Keaneu after the next 30 years pass??


For those of you who have chuckled and stated that BillyJack doesn't "look Indian"...I ask this:  What does an Indian look like?  You people are warped into life on the screen....he doesn't fit the Hollyweird image of an Indian...the image you think is sacrosanct!! So therefor he isn't an Indian!  In reality, his blonde wife is part First Nations, he is not.  She also, doesn't "look Indian" by Hollyweird standards.

The acting was amateur, the scenery beautiful, the music full of important thought provoking lyrics, the singing was like a junior high school glee club, but for all of the foibles, the message was clear.  Sometimes it takes a two by four on the head to make a mule move.

The gimme kids of today, those who will shoot up a school if they've been picked on...could use a dose of the message in the BillyJack movies.  Seems that the parents could too.  When the youth of America had BillyJack as a cult many school kids came to class and murdered their classmates.........that only happened after the multitudes dismissed the heros of old and adopted the "I am entitled" attitude and ignored the "let's work together" lifestyle embraced by this and other movies of the times.

Just my opinion...


This review is great, hillarious.

I saw the original movie in a drive in, it should only be seen in a drive in.

My job was "bouncer" making exit entries and mean people go away.

BillyJack was so bad, so weird, the main female lead so ugly, it was treasured for satire,

amazingly it created a great deal of humor as best workable nonsense shamelessly bad movie of the era.

Again, Your review here is brilliant.

So I got one more laugh out of Billy Jack.

Thank You, but what do English majors use for allusion to bad film in college now?


Two topics-One that nobody has mentioned yet.  Mr. tom introduced a marketing strategy that was used for years to make a lot of money with a third or forth rate film. It worked like this. You sell your movie to several theatersin an area. In a real small market it would probably be only one. You saturate the area with TV radio and print adds. Remember local adds arn't that expensive.  This blitz style of advertising would result in long lines at the theaters for serveral days before word of mouth would have time to kill it. Then you move on to the next town and do it again. Your primary sourse of advertising money would come from the last gig.  I think the public finally wised up to this ploy. Because I haven't seen it used in the last twenty years or so. But it was common for a long time.  I understand that BJ was the first movie to be marketed that way.  Thank Mr. tom.  Second topic-An earlier writer asks about the song One Tin Solger.  Iv'e read the lyrics to that song and they do not make any sence.  You can not follow any logical progression in that song. It is just a series of platitudes strung together in no particuler order.  Maybie Mr. tom wrote them.

son of godzilla

I saw this movie in the theaters when it first came out. Makes me feel old. Anyway.  I didn't like this film because everybody is a victim. And they all play the self pity, I'm a victim role pretty well. Who's the bad guy? The white man!(racist,sexist) hating anyone and everyone who is in anyway different.  You don't even need to look diffent for the white man to hate you. Somebody just needs to say you've got some Indian blood in you and POW! You too can be a victim.  And what do all the victims do. They sit around and cry until some great hero comes along to save them. Somebody who's like them. Somebody not like the mean, racist, sexist white man.  But it's just a movie and it made alot of money on a low budget.


Apropos of none of the above:

On a rural road near the tiny town of West College Corner, Indiana (I lived there briefly some 10 years ago), there was a place where the road went over a culvert and the shoulder on the right side of the road just disappeared. There was a old, rusted, yellow warning side as you approached it that read, "ONE THIN SHOULDER."

I swear I'm not making this up, but it looks preposterous now that I've written it down.

Perhaps the Union County Highway Department had an employee with a wicked way with puns. Anyway, every time I'd drive down that road, I'd roll down the window, stick my fist out, and sing "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend!" at the top of my lungs.


Billy Jack was a good idea for a cool character... too bad he had to be in these movies.  Woulda made a better Rambo than Stallone.  These movies totally suck, and BJ's girlfriend is butt ugly.

Nathanial Meade

Can you actually believe their is a new generation of hippies? Jesus, no wonder people vote Republican. Parents, take my advice, let your children watch this movie, then ask them, "now what do you think about peace and love?"

Dan Lyon

Billy Jack should have spawned a generation of films. Instead, people watch crap. Greatest country in the world filled to the brim with nitwits. Makes me sad.


By the way hippies, my father wanted me to thank you for spitting on him and calling him a baby killer when he got back home from the war in 1970. Such an understanding group...


Real hippies didn't involve themselves in political activities or education or jobs or anything else with our culture. They were totally removed from it as they saw it as corrupt and insane. Those who spit on vets were jacked- up-longhaired-wannabee-dudes who in one instance, were cheerfully beaten by my friend Clay who just returned from 'Nam. There is a movie in there somewhere- "Billie Jack Beats College" or something. I did see the flick with my wife and we thought it was a total rip off. I had more enjoyment when BJ took off his boots cause the theater went nuts with anticipation- "whoo boy, watch this".
Interesting how this film generates a lot of animosity all these years later.


I was really amused by this review. I know it sounds crazy, but when I saw this movie in 1971 it made total sense. It was first made in 1969 and ran until 1971. It was the 60's and early 70's....Ya just had to have been there.