Johnny Firecloud/Bummer! [DVD]

David F. Friedman, mighty monarch of movie exploitation, produced this solid B picture that borrows its Native American revenge angle from the popular Billy Jack series, and ups the sex and violence ante. Fans of Friedman's more salacious work may be disappointed to learn that the film's prurient parts are relegated to brief nude scenes involving Christina Hart as Colby's lascivious daughter, and Sacheen Littlefeather (who accepted Marlon Brando's 1972 Oscar), who is involved in an ugly rape. Still, even without the easy sell of sex, Johnny Firecloud features a decent share of action and suspense, a competent script and direction by sexploitation director William Allen Castleman, and a terrific cast of hateful villains led by a dissolute but still menacing Ralph Meeker (character actors George "Buck" Flower and John Tull are among the gang members). 20th Century Fox obviously thought the film was competent enough to distribute it in theaters, and Johnny Firecloud should surprise and satisfy fans of '70s action and exploitation. Something Weird Video and Image Entertainment's widescreen DVD pairs Johnny Firecloud with another Friedman/Castleman collaboration -- the sleazy rock-star exposé Bummer! Trailers for both films are included among a substantial selection of softcore coming attractions and a pair of short subjects (one is a public service announcement for theater owners warning against "blind bidding" for films). There's also a commentary track featuring Friedman with Something Weird Video head Mike Vraney and Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter, which, like all of Friedman's commentaries, is salty, fun, and very informative for exploitation students and novices alike.
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Special Features

  • Digitally remastered
  • Audio commentary by producer David F. Friedman
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • '70s Dusk-to-Dawn trailers for: Angels, Betta Betta in the Wall Who's the Fattest Fish of All, Boots and the Preacher, Girls in Trouble, the Love Slaves, and There's Always Vanilla!
  • '70s film industry short subject #2: Blind Bidding and How It Affects You
  • David F. Friedman gallery of exploitation art with Friedman soundtrack greatest hits


Members of a rock band get a little carried away with their partying lifestyle. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Johnny Firecloud
Puerto Rican actor Victor Mohica plays the title character, a Native American who has returned to his small California desert home town after service in Vietnam to face a new enemy -- a gang of ruthless racist thugs led by town boss Colby (Ralph Meeker). Pushed to his breaking point by a neverending string of brawls and harassment by town sheriff Jesse (well-played by David Canary, later on All My Children), who is kept under Colby's thumb by a hidden secret. Johnny finally snaps when Colby's goons lynch his alcoholic grandfather (Frank De Kova of F Troop) for kicks. Johnny escapes from prison and vanishes into the desert. There, he stalks and brutally murders each of the gang members responsible for his grandfather's death. A panicked Colby sends Jesse after Johnny, and soon, the two are facing each other down. Jesse must choose between obeying his cruel employer or freeing a man who has suffered the same sort of injustice as he. ~ Paul Gaita, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Dennis Burkley
    Dennis Burkley
  • Carol Speed
    Carol Speed
  • Image coming soon
    Connie Strickland
  • Image coming soon
    Kipp Whitman
  • Image coming soon
    David Buchanan
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