13 April 2006 | raegan_butcher
Who is angrier than George C. Scott? No one, that's who!
***THIS COMMENT MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*** Maybe its me but there was something about this film that worked on my nerves like a tongue on a rotten tooth. It's based on a true incident in Utah in which an Army truck dropped a cannister filled with nerve gas and a butt-load of sheep bought the proverbial farm. But if the wind had happened to be blowing in the direction of Salt Lake City that day...
George C. Scott (wearing what looks distractingly like fake eyebrows) directed and stars in this fictionalized account of a farmer and his young son who are accidentally poisoned with nerve gas by the Army.
Perhaps its my own experiences at the hands of prison doctors that makes the many scenes of bloodless technocrats abstractly speaking about the opportunity to study nerve gas symptoms and blithely LYING with their every breath so quietly, eerily effective.
After being lied to in the worst possible way by all responsible, George C. Scott's doomed farmer wreaks some almost Rambo-like revenge! I had heard about this movie for years and always wondered just what sort of havoc Mr Scott would wreak went he went into his RAGE... It was quite something to see him shooting security guards in the face and generally going postal. One can certainly understand where he is coming from. A film like this would never be made today, especially with a major movie star both directing and starring. George C Scott knows how to handle actors--this is probably one of Richard Baseheart's best performances--full of great conflicted emotions and heavy themes to wrestle with--and what a voice that man had! I think that one of the strengths of the story is the semi-documentary feel to the events. There is no giant conspiracy, just an average army-style Cover-Your-Ass situation, with those responsible already well insulated by their positions of power. The revenge enacted by Scott's character is as understandable as it is ultimately ineffective, a message nicely telegraphed by the final image, which I won't divulge here. Suffice it to say, this is one of those strange cinematic oddities from the 70's that has become, unfortunately, once again relevant. After all... if the wind had happened to be blowing towards Salt Lake City that day...