The introduction of the Billy Jack character. The series got super hippie-like/philosophical and political but this first chapter is my favorite. It's your basic exploitation movie tale of a gang of crazy rape-happy bikers who mess with a town where American-Indian/cowboy martial-arts master Billy Jack occasionally hangs out. At first, like all great, kung fu heroes, Billy doesn't want to get involved in the white-man's problems but he ends up right in the middle of all the chaos anyway. One weird thing about this movie is how it starts out with the villains, who we're supposed to hate, being mouthed-off to by a real jackass and shitty driver who smacks right into one of their Harley's and then acts like a smart-ass about it. I mean beating him to a bloody pulp mighta been overkill but this meathead was obviously looking for trouble yappin' off like that. Another strange thing is how the VHS I own of this has a big rated-PG sticker on it when the movie is full of bikers raping young ladies?
Overall this one is a notch above your typical biker flick with most of the characters actually having some depth to them and being fleshed out. It was also the biggest money-maker for AIP studios up until they released THE AMITYVILLE HORROR which explains all the sequels.
Jane Russell who was a big sex symbol back in the 40's shows up as a mom of one of the raped gals and in one standout scene does some super hardcore dramatic acting!(overacting?).
Billy Jack gets his name in the title of all the rest of the films in this series which include:
BILLY JACK (1971)
THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK (1974)
BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON (1977)
There was a planned 5th film titled THE RETURN OF BILLY JACK alternately known under the long insane title of BILLY JACK'S CRUSADE TO END THE WAR IN IRAQ AND RESTORE AMERICA TO ITS MORAL PURPOSE, that was never completed.
Re-released after BILLY JACK became a big hit:
The Italian re-titling gets right to the point!: