Billy Jack

Billy Jack
(1971)

Directed by Tom Laughlin
Starring Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor

Rating: ******
              5/6

Billy Jack is a shining sequel,
That hit more chords than its violent prequel.
His Trial was like a Preach-O-Rama,
And The Born Losers an action-drama,
But this film tells a simple tale,
Starting small and setting sail,
Gradually gaining evermore speed,
And giving its audience what they think they need.

Two groups exist near a small little town,
One group smiling, and one with a frown
The smiling group is properly stationed
On a nearby Indian reservation,
Peace-loving hippies who like to sing songs
About how everyone can get along.
They built a community for people like themselves
To reach onto their creative shelves
And find that which makes them unique…
And then broadcast it in the street.

The hippies always visit the town,
Where the other group has settled down.
This group thinks the hippies should go,
Because they disrupt the status quo.
All the men in town have jobs,
Dressing like citizens instead of like slobs.
They will tell a hippie to his face
That they don’t like the way he stinks up the place.
The thing the townsfolk hate most of all
Is the fact that the hippies are there at all.
They will go out of their way to be extra mean
And will push around people both scrawny and lean.
The hippies are pacifists by trade,
Not pushing back. Their fists are stayed.
You see, the hippies stand their ground.
By letting others push them around.

The star of this film is Billy Jack.
He doesn’t fit in with either stack.
Billy tries very hard to keep calm.
He was in the Special Forces, Vietnam.
He was trained to fight and trained to kill,
And if pushed, to push back harder still.
He made the mistake of falling in love
With a pacifist hippy who leads the doves,
And teaches that all violence is wrong.
This goes against Billy’s Army song,
But he tries to fit in nevertheless,
And tries to keep gentle when he’s pressed.

The locals don’t like Billy either.
For one, he’s friends with the hippie leader.
For another, he’s a halfbred wildman killer,
Cold-blooded and skilled—a real chiller.
Sometimes he will go and interfere
With the locals on behalf of his lady dear.
Billy is someone right in-between.
He’s not overly nice, and he’s not too mean.
He’s middle ground against a case of extremes,
And he can’t forget the things he’s seen.

So, when the locals attack,
The solution is Billy Jack.
When the hippies are pushed, he sees red
And will give perps a kick to the head,
Even if he’s being filmed,
Even if he’s overwhelmed.
So the locals teach Billy a lesson.
They hurt him because of his messin’.
They go and rape his hippie wife,
And snuff the joy out of his life.
So Billy gets all mean and evil
And murders a whole lot of people.

He grabbed his rifle from where he had hid it,
And he shot down the bad guys who did it.
Then he holed himself up in his home,
And he stained red the land that he owned,
By shooting down well-armed policemen
To avoid jail in his desperation,
Till his wife stopped him with a squeal
And set this film up for a sequel.
She told him he must give up the fight
Because two wrongs don’t make a right.
The hippies have a song
That says all manner of violence is wrong,
And if he truly wished to be free,
Then prison was the best place to be.
Soon Billy Jack acquiesced,
And surrendered to the men in the vests.
Billy will wait for a while,
For in the next movie he gets a trial.
So we say goodbye to Billy Jack,
And await the day for him to come back.

Regardless of whether or not you agree,
With the great many messages across the screen,
Including hippies preaching everything under the sun,
Ending up losing and saying they won,
And saying that love and forgiveness is better than drink…
The Billy Jack movies all get you to think.

Some of their thoughts are outlandish,
Some downright bizarre,
But honestly, most viewers
Had not thought them before.

When the movies are over,
Everyone gets to speak.
At the very least, these films are interesting,
Interesting and unique.
They can get people talking,
Describing how they feel,
Debating on issues
Which were current and real…

…Some are still current and real.

This film differs from all the rest I’ve reviewed.
I’m not even sure which category to include.
It was just the right length for the film that it is.
This is why I am giving it a five out of six.

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