The Farmer is a film that was, for a long time, considered a “lost movie”. Having had a small theatrical release and a couple of airings on cable, it then seemed to disappear.
Now is a good time to rediscover it. The Farmer is a pure B movie, grindhouse-style action movie from the late 70s with a fairly simple story. Kyle Martin is a World War II veteran who comes home to find out the farm he runs with an old friend is being foreclosed on by the bank. One night a mid-level mafia mook crashes his car into Kyle’s fence while drunk.
Kyle and his old friend rush out and save him from death by fire as the car burns. They take care of him overnight and he learns about Kyle’s past in the war. He rewards Kyle with money as a thank you for saving him.
We then learn the guy they saved is running a gambling scam on a boss’s horse race. Of course, he gets caught and the mafia boss has him blinded by pouring acid in his eyes as punishment. While in the hospital, he recalls Kyle was handy at killing and comes up with a scheme to get revenge on the boss and his crew, paying Kyle enough to save his farm to kill them.
That’s pretty much the main plot of the story. The blind mafia guy’s girlfriend delivers the money to Kyle and is the go-between. She falls in love with Kyle and is then raped and almost killed by others in the mafia. This adds a personal motive for Kyle that makes him take the job. Being an exploitation film from the 70s, the rape is pretty graphic.
The farmer takes out the mafia one at a time until the big action climax. Some of it is pretty tame for 70s exploitation standards though. The high point is Kyle killing the rapist by shooting him in the crotch, then finishing him off with a point blank pistol shot through the mouth.
This movie was lost for so long that much had been made, over time, of how violent it was. This is mostly its legend growing in its absence since around 1978.
This movie had been built up a lot, even in my mind, from the reputation it had. I wouldn’t call it a letdown, but it is also not some masterpiece of the genre with violence so graphic that it would make Tarantino say “no more!”
I did like it. It suffers a little from a slow, leisurely, padded-out pace common to 70s grindhouse films. Low budgets and simple stories require some filler to hit that 90 minute mark. It’s not bad though. It is done in a way to build tension, even if it is drawn out a little too long.
So how did I see this lost classic? Well, the boys over at Scorpion Releasing got their hands on the original negatives and restored it. It is a little wonky in a couple of places but overall it looks pretty damn good and sounds pretty damn good.
The caveat here is I have very low standards for what makes a good exploitation movie so if you don’t enjoy low-budget violence, it may not be for you.
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Speaking of shooting people in the crotch, I’ve been considering that a lot recently.
It seems to me that in these days of vests…either armoured or explosive, the centre of mass chest shot we were all trained on has some issues. Along with that, it’s well known that a groin shot has all sorts of potentially happy incapacitating effects, from breaking the pelvic girdle through to femoral artery disruption and sunsequent insanguination, destruction of the balls etc.
Let’s just say I’ve been practising with deliberate placement of low shots at close range recently as part of my training regime.
I say close range because under the stress of a gunfight wuth a handgun at anything past 20 yards or so, I’d be going for centre mass just to get hits on, rather than thinking about fast and fancy shooting.
I hope this doesn’t make me sound weird.
the psychological impact of shooting a man in the crotch probably outweighs the real terminal effect. I dont know a man who wouldnt stop everything and run off if shot in the crotch. assuming he is sober. I’ve always wondered about the truth of the “breaking the pelic girdle” stuff though. I often wonder if a painful gut shot might work faster
A pelvic girdle shot with a rifle is an instant mobility kill. I saw it happen in Afghanistan to a Taliban we were in a firefight against. In this instance it took him completely out of the fight also.
In a crowded setting, a pelvic shot also has the advantage of being on a downward trajectory, posing less risk to bystanders. It would be my go-to for if a deadly threat got loose in my worship service.
I also watched a Clint Smith video where he recommended a pelvic shot with a carbine when elevating the muzzle from low ready to a high torso aim. You have to drag the muzzle across his pelvis anyway, and recoil will be pretty close to nil, so why not give him one in the pelvis on the way by? The mechanics of presenting a pistol are a lot different, so I think it has less application there, but it seemed quite sensible with a carbine.
An additional advantage is that you are likely to immobilize the threat, so whatever threat he poses, now it’s a much slower-moving threat. Very important if he has a melee weapon instead of a ranged weapon.