Fighting Mad (1976)

Fighting Mad (1976)

“I’m gonna have to start kickin’ asses and takin’ names.”

After his brother (Scott Glenn) and pregnant sister-in-law (Kathleen Miller) are brutally murdered, a young father (Peter Fonda) vows to seek revenge against the corrupt businessman (Philip Carey) intent on taking over the farm run by his own father (John Doucette).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Corruption
  • Jonathan Demme Films
  • Peter Fonda Films
  • Revenge
  • Roger Corman Films
  • Scott Glenn Films

Jonathan Demme wrote and directed this Roger-Corman-produced exploitation flick which functions as a modern-day western, with corrupt land developers ramrodding their way into an idyllic farming village, and a well-meaning sheriff (Harry Northup) caught in between the warring parties. From the opening sequence involving a bullying driver, Fonda’s Tom Hunter (who we ultimately learn is proficient with hand-to-hand combat, gun use, and a bow-and-arrow):

… is positioned as someone who will stick up for the underdog at any cost — a theme which continues throughout various scenarios.

There’s not much to the revenge-filled screenplay other than Fonda attempting to convince Northup that lethal shenanigans are at play; Fonda dating a beautiful young woman (Lynn Lowry) who is distressed by his distraction:

… and Fonda responding to the the relentlessly ruthless moves demanded by power-hungry Carey of his many minions.

Good use is made of low-budget lighting and sets, and it’s all competently directed — but this flick is only must-see for diehard Demme, Corman, or Fonda fans.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Effective sets and performances

Must See?
No. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


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