Shoot (1976)

“They look just like us.” Take a shot of Deliverance and mix it with a dash of Southern Comfort and you will get a good idea of what to expect from this fascinating and disturbing Canadian film. Obsessive, hardcore gun enthusiast “Major Rex” (Cliff Robertson) is the leader of a group of war veterans and weekend hunters who hit the woods for a booze-soaked hunting excursion full of false bravado along with a strong dose of macho posturing. The group includes “Lou” (Ernest Borgnine) and “Zeke” (Henry Silva), among others. When they encounter another hunting party across the river, a pointless confrontation ensues resulting in an injury to one of Rex’s group and the death of a hunter from the other group. However, instead of reporting the incident to the police, Rex convinces his friends to keep quiet, stock up weapons, gather more “soldiers” and prepare for another confrontation the following weekend – on a much bigger scale to say the least! Only one of the friends, Lou, actually questions the sanity of their actions but even he eventually falls in line with the others. It tells you how bad things are when a guy like Lou represents the moral center here. You can just tell these guys are simply more bored with their empty careers and dull family life (Rex’s wife spends the day in a drunken stupor while he’s out living his military fantasies) than the actual desire for revenge. The shocking finale is something that will probably stick with you a long time. The tag line reads, “For some guys the war is never over!” Directed by Harvey Hart (The Pyx), Shoot was based on Douglas Fairbairn’s novel of the same name.

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