Angry Joe Bass

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

VHS Cover
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  • Don't Make Joe Mad ... It Could Get Deadly!
  • How Much Can A Man Take?

Main Details

  • Released in 1976
  • Color
  • Runtime: 82 min
  • Aspect Ratio: ( )
  • Rated:
  • Production Co.: Hardhat Productions
  • Distribution Co.: Paragon Video (1985/USA)

Cast and Crew

  • Directed by Thomas G. Reeves
  • Written by Thomas G. Reeves, Richard A. Forstner, Richard Fisher
  • Starring Henry Bal, Molly Mershon, James Dimitri, Derek Parsons, Mike Miller, Rudy Hornish, Lois Aurino, Elaine Kussack,
  • Produced by Thomas G. Reeves
  • Cinematography by Robert M. Baldwin
  • Edited by Al Nahmias

Film Review


Joe Bass (Henry Bal) makes his living as a commercial fisherman in a small Great Lakes community. George Hanson (Mike Miller), the town's mayor is attempting to usher in the extinction of commercial fishing to allow for a resort friendly environment where fat cats can come on the weekend and have their fun. As a means to an end, Hanson is buying out any and all foreclosures on local boats. To make the point even clearer, he has targeted Joe Bass, who represents two things he hates...a fisherman and an Indian.

Hanson employs Sheriff Bill Hemmings to do his dirty work, which is to nail Bass to the wall at every turn. No license? Go to jail. Over limit? Go to jail. Dating Hanson's daughter? Get the living shit kicked out of you! Joe Bass eventually has enough and goes after the entire crew. He wants to be left alone. He wants to fish.

To complicate things further, Hanson is also having a run at Hemmings' wife. As Hemmings becomes further emasculated through the progression of the film he begins to twist off himself. The film ends with a surprising twist in a story that plays out from psychoanalyst's couch as Hanson's daughter, Karen (Molly Mershon), unravels her selective memory of the events leading up to the film's climax.

Billy Jack wanted equal rights. Johnny Firecloud wanted to kick ass to avenge his father's murder. Joe Bass? Well, he just wants to fish...damn it!!

Sadly, the shortlived "injunsploitation" subgenre plays out with Angry Joe Bass. Beginning in 1970 and 1971 with films such as Cry Blood, Apache and Billy Jack, Native Americans were finally getting some payback on the big screen. In five short years, Joe Bass gets angry because he can't fish. With the lack of honest themes and the overused metaphorical rape/revenge of a culture, Angry Joe Bass stands out as one of the last attempts to exploit Native American justice as a vehicle for a profitable revenge flick. Despite its awkward pacing and the lack of a solid storyline, Angry Joe Bass is worth checking out for fans of the subgenre. On the surface, there are a few good action sequences and a few of the sheriff's deliveries are priceless.

Henry Bal would reappear in The Ghost Dance (1980) that transitions the injunsploitation theme to the spiritual realm capitalizing on the newly invigorated slasher film scene. This film is followed by Fred Olen Ray's Scalps (1983), an ultra-low budget thriller involving a team of grad students who inadvertently stir up Indian revenge after digging through an ancient burial ground. For what it's worth, Angry Joe Bass can be valued for its status as one of the last solid efforts in this power-packed (and fun) era.

Reviewed by Texploited [June 23, 2011]

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