DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

HEX (director: Leo Garen; screenwriters: Steve Katz/story by Doran William Cannon & Vernon Zimmerman; cinematographer: Charles Rosher Jr; editors: Antranig Mahakian/Robert Belcher; music: Charles Bernstein; cast: Robert Walker (Chupo), Gary Busey (Giblets), Scott Glenn (Jimbang), Mike Combs (Golly), Doria Cook (China), Keith Carradine (Whizzer), Hilarie Thompson (Acacia), Dan Haggerty (Brother Billy), Tina Herazo (Oriole); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Clark Paylow; 20th-Century Fox; 1973)

"A weird offbeat cult biker film, set in 1919, that never received a theatrical release."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A weird offbeat cult biker film, set in 1919, that never received a theatrical release. Leo Garen has never directed a feature film before, and after this mess probably won't ever direct a feature again. Garen is confused about the direction to take this film, as it goes comical, western and supernatural.  You know this is a low-budget film when the producer is named Clark Paylow. Steve Katz adapts the screenplay from a story by Doran William Cannon & Vernon Zimmerman.

Whizzer (Keith Carradine) leads a wandering group of five ex-soldiers and a woman, supposedly en-route to California. They are chased in Bingo, Nebraska by a posse of irate citizens and escape them by finding the remote farm of two witchcraft practicing sisters Acacia and Oriole (Hilarie Thompson  & Tina Herazo). The siblings learned the black magic from their deceased Indian father. Biker Giblets (Gary Busey) attempts to rape Acacia, but she fights him off and her gifted in the black arts sister, Oriole, conjures up her magical powers which leaves the biker brutally killed by an owl.

Whizzer's girlfriend China (Doria Cook) is jealous of Oriole, and the witch reacts by casting a spell on her that results in her death. The deaths pile up (Scott Glenn& Robert Walker) until the film ambiguously gets resolved and gives way to an unforeseen incredulous happy ending. The biker (Mike Combs) chooses to remain on the farm with Acacia, while Oriole ventures for a new life in California with the bemused Whizzer.

The pic sets a strange atmosphere, but is too muddled to make its story convincing. It's a bad picture that has its curious moments. The dialogue is mostly weed talk and idle chatter, with colorful but inane lines such as "Up your tweeter with a red hot mesquita!".

REVIEWED ON 12/3030/2014       GRADE: C+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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