In the same year as Clockwork Orange, at the height of the Vietnam War, Peckinpah tried to bring his message into the present. Behind the thin veneer of civilization lies a monster worse than the barbarians of the hill country. By refusing to meet each challenge and take the consequences, the protagonist, like Western Civilization, allows the conflict to escalate to the point where extreme horror appears justified. The inevitable march to the macabre resolution, leaves lots of room for speculation about who the villains are and how much of the world around us is our own doing. This movie, like its Kubrick contemporary, was major ratings controversy because the sex and violence was "disturbing" - unlike the real thing which seems like so much fun on TV.