Billy Jack

Billy Jack

The four films in the Billy Jack cycle are viscerally gripping and alarming in their depiction of the most noble human impulses being overwhelmed by negative forces.  Good always wins but just barely.  At the finish, one has the impression that this is a tentative victory and just one skirmish in a much larger perpetual battle.  The good guys are never far away from becoming the decimated bus of ecological flower children in The Road Warrior.  Consequently, these films pull off an astounding paradox of being simultaneously inspiring and pessimistic, almost cynical.

The Born Losers (1967) was an AIP motorcycle gang exploitation film that was written by Tom Laughlin who played the story’s hero, Billy Jack.  It reflected both the hippie love culture’s inability to defend against depravity and evil as well as conventional society’s impotence in the same regard.  Here we have law enforcement impotent to protect citizens and actually inadvertently protecting the wrong doers with unresponsive legal processes and technicalities.  And these flaws in the social fiber are directly connected to liberalism and an over concern with protecting the rights of the accused.

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