COCKFIGHTER (born to kill) (1974 U.S.) D: MONTE HELLMAN W: CHARLES WILLEFORD P: ROGER CORMAN
Warren Oates is outstanding as a cockfighter who has taken a vow of silence (though we hear his narration) until he wins the coveted Cockfighter of the Year award. The episodic, almost docu-drama road to this goal is pretty much the plot of this difficult to classify cult classic, maybe Hellman`s best (which is saying a lot). It`s based on the (also brilliant) novel by Willeford (who has an important acting role, and is pretty good). Actors Richard B. Shull, Harry Dean Stanton, Laurie Bird (from TWO LANE BLACKTOP), Millie Perkins, Troy Donahue and young Ed Begley Jr. and Steve Railsback work in amongst genuine Southern cockfighters and fans (it was shot in Georgia by Nestor Alemandros). Michael Franks provides a simple but effective score. Corman`s original (misleading but hilarious) tagline was "He came into town with his cock in his hand, and what he did with it was illegal in 49 states"! For the BORN TO KILL re-release he had Joe Dante edit in car crash and sex scenes from NIGHT CALL NURSES (current DVD versions don`t include these). Willeford was not adapted for the screen again until the posthumous MIAMI BLUES. Because of animal cruelty laws, the classic COCKFIGHTER is still illegal in the U.K.

BACK TO MAIN LIST

BACK TO GENKAN