Monday, December 16, 2013

Billy Jack R.I.P.

Er um...to whom am I writing this morning, after losing so many U.S. readers by staying offline so long? How many of you remember Billy Jack? The computer says most of you live in countries where it's unlikely that that movie was ever available, but I just had to reminisce a bit...

In 1971 that movie was madly controversial. I didn't see it for forty years after it was made. Heard a lot of snarky remarks, dirty jokes, and allegations that it was pornography (there is a fairly distant shot of Billy Jack's female friend skinny-dipping, and although it's obvious that no actress was harmed in the making of the movie it's also fairly obvious what's going on when the script calls for her to be raped). I learned to sing "One Tin Soldier" long before anybody mentioned where it came from.

Lots of commentary at this Blaze article shows that people who remember Tom Laughlin's movie, or movies, are about evenly divided between liking and hating the star/producer of Billy Jack.

As a middle-aged nostalgia-tripping movie viewer, I thought it was awesome how well he managed to be both of those things. But the plot? Uh-oh...uh-oh...Dave Urbanski saw Billy Jack as a prototype of Rambo, but wasn't anybody else reminded of David Koresh? (No. Billy Jack was what David Koresh wanted to be, not what he actually was. But. Still.)

I didn't even know there was a series. I'm glad the fictional Billy Jack survived as long as his creator did...sorry he misled the poor dweeb who confused a mixed-up-rebels movie with real life.

Rest in peace, Tom Laughlin.