The Animals (1970)
aka Apache Vengeance aka The Desperados
Genre: Western | Rape And Revenge
Country: USA | Director: Ron Joy
Language: English | Subtitles: None
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1 | Length: 87mn
Dvdrip Xvid Avi – 640×480 – 23.976fps – 1.09gb

A woman tracks down the three men who raped her, helped by an Apache.

Strange western roughie seems based on the adults-only flick THE BUSHWHACKER, but also manages to anticipate HANNIE CALDER. Michele Carey is a school teacher who’s repeatedly brutalized and raped by a gang of villanious cowboys. Left for dead, she’s nursed back to health by Indian brave Henry Silva. Soon enough, she’s dressed in rawhide and aiming for revenge!

The low-budget film makes use of such with-it cinematic techniques as hand-held camera, zoom shots, long silences, and dreadful soundtrack music by Rupert Holmes. There’s even a treacly ballad performed by the harmony group Year 2000 (think the Sandpipers performing “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls”). Carey’s high-pitched voice makes her hard to take as a schoolmarm turned executioner, but Silva has some success with the role of the Indian. Since the character knows little English, his performance is primarily pantomime.

There’s also a typically downbeat early 1970’s climax that strives for NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD relevancy. The print viewed was on the Encore Western channel, so I don’t know if the film was completely uncut or not (the same ambivalence doesn’t extend to one of the cowpokes facing Michele Carey’s hunting knife). It did feel odd to see topless nudity, rape, and implied castration on the Western Channel.


The Animals (1970)